Minnesota Vikings owners set to buy Orlando City and Orlando Pride

The Wilf family, owners of the Minnesota Vikings, are in the process of buying MLS' s Orlando City, the NWSL's Orlando Pride and other related soccer assets, including Exploria Stadium, from Brazilian Flavio Augusto da Silva, who launched Orlando City as an MLS expansion team in 2015 after four seasons in USL PRO.

The Wilf family has a minority stake in second-year MLS team Nashville SC and bid for the MLS expansion team in Minnesota that went to a group headed by Dr. Bill McGuire and began play in 2017.

Zygi Wilf, the Vikings chairman, his brother Mark and their cousin, Leonard Wilf, are involved in their soccer interests. The Wilf family made their fortune in real-estate development and management in New Jersey, where Joseph and Elizabeth Wilf, Holocaust survivors from Nazi-occupied Poland, moved in the 1950s.

In a statement, the Wilfs said they were optimistic that the deal will be finalized after the customary closing process is completed.

"With their passion for the sport and Orlando's two teams that are in position to compete for trophies," said da Silva, "I am confident that the Wilf family will continue to push Orlando City SC to new heights."

Of the teams that joined MLS when it went on an expansion spree, beginning in 2015, Orlando City is the first team whose majority interest has been sold.

Sportico recently reported that the sale price will likely be in the $400 million-$450 million range.

Photo: Credit: Zygi Wilf (right) with Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank. Credit: Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire

5 comments about "Minnesota Vikings owners set to buy Orlando City and Orlando Pride".
  1. R2 Dad, May 13, 2021 at 1:19 a.m.

    Note that $400-$450M is a discount to previous valuations for a new franchise ($300M for stadium + $250M franchise fee). The hot air us coming out of the MLS balloon. Let's see how robust the MLS business model really is once we hit the next recession. 

  2. Chris Wasdyke replied, May 13, 2021 at 7:47 a.m.

    I'm sure these rich business owners don't look over the financials of the league at all.  Do you really think they don't know what they're getting in to?  So many negative nancies in US Soccer when it comes to MLS.  It's getting annoying.

  3. R2 Dad replied, May 13, 2021 at 9:52 a.m.

    Chris, Sac Republic recently lost their place in the MLS queue because they lost their lead investor and haven't been able to replace him. So at least one wealthy investor got cold feet. This shouldn't be too hard, though as there are now half a dozen new crypto billionaires to choose from---maybe one of them wants  a club? I guess we shall see.

  4. Wallace Wade, May 13, 2021 at 7:02 a.m.

    The NFL controls MLS/ US Soccer Federation. That's how they want it

  5. Chris Wasdyke replied, May 13, 2021 at 7:47 a.m.

    Considering how successful the NFL is, is that really a bad thing?

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