James Harden, the Houston Rockets
star, has bought an interest in the ownership group of MLS's Houston Dynamo, the NWSL's Houston Dash and BBVA Stadium.
City sources, the Front Office Report reported
the stake was 5 percent, which valued the Houston group at well over $475 million.
A similar deal last year
involving the sale of a small interest in Orlando Sports Holding, which owns MLS's Orlando City, the NWSL's Orlando Pride and Orlando City Stadium (now known as Exploria Stadium) valued it at $490.53
AEG moved the Dynamo from San Jose to Houston in 2006 and BBVA Stadium opened in 2012. Mexican-born investor Gabriel Brener
purchased the majority share of the team
in December 2015.
The Dynamo has one of the lowest payrolls in MLS, and its attendance has declined steadily over the last four seasons. It averaged 20,985 in 2012, its first season at
BBVA Stadium, to 15,557 in 2019. The Dash, which has failed to make the playoffs in its first five NWSL seasons, has declined to less than 4,000 fans a game the last two seasons.
was the 2018 NBA MVP and has led the USA to gold medals at the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to join the
ownership group of the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash and proud to be a part of a club with tremendous history and a great future,” he said in a statement. “Houston is my home now, and I
saw this as a way to invest in my city and expand my business interests at the same time. Soccer in general, and especially MLS, have exploded in this country throughout my lifetime. I’ve been a
fan of the game for several years, and I know that Houston has a massive soccer fanbase, so it was an easy decision for me when this opportunity arose.”
Other minority owners
include former boxes Oscar De La Hoya
, who founded Golden Boy Promotions in 2002, Ben Guill
, the managing partner of White Deer Energy, a Houston-based energy private equity fund, and
, a private investor based in Portland, Oregon.