By Star wire services
Sat., April 17, 2021timer2 min. read
In the past week, sports fans learned that Alex Rodriguez is part of a bid to buy the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves (whose star rookie Anthony Edwards had apparently never heard of him), while Dwyane Wade just purchased a stake in the Utah Jazz. When it comes to celebrity ownership, however, Major League Soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League remain hard to beat:
The Oscar-winning actor and six other co-owners brought MLS to his adopted hometown. After pandemic-related delays, they’ll make their debut Saturday as the league’s 27th club. “It’s the perfect game for Austin,” he said, “and it is a perfect city for the game.”
The Seattle rapper and his wife Tricia Davis were among 11 families that became part-owners in 2019. Also on the list: Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Grammy-winning singer Ciara. The team was valued at $405 million (U.S.) by Forbes that year.
The Canadian legend invested a chunk of his earnings to bring professional soccer to Vancouver in 2011. The two-time NBA MVP remains a minority owner of the club, which is estimated to be worth $215 million in 2019.
Los Angeles FC
The U.S. soccer star joined the ownership group in 2016 and was among 30 investors who bought out Malaysian businessman Vincent Tan’s 20 per cent stake in 2020. Also in: NBA legend Magic Johnson, comedian Will Ferrell, and Hamm’s husband, former MLB all-star Nomar Garciaparra. Today, the team is reportedly worth $700 million (U.S.), most in league history.
The English soccer legend ended his playing career with the L.A. Galaxy in 2013, and had the option to buy into an expansion team. He sunk $50 million into Inter Miami, which launched in 2020, and has a one-third stake in an ownership group of five. He’s also president of soccer operations, with the team now facing sanctions for breaking league budget rules.
Angel City FC
The NWSL expansion team, slated to launch next year, is loaded with star power at the ownership level, including: Serena Williams, Jessica Chastain, James Corden, Lauren Holiday, Eva Longoria, Lilly Singh, P.K. Subban and Abby Wambach.
One of the league’s first celebrity owners, the comedian joined three others to bring pro soccer to his hometown in 2009 — the 15th team in MLS at the time. Today, he’s also chairman of the Sounders FC Alliance.
The Brooklyn Nets all-star bought 10 per cent of the $240-million franchise last June. “Seeing more fans pop up in different cities around the country, and then seeing how these franchises impact the city’s businesses and people individually was very intriguing,” Durant told ESPN at the time.
In 2019, the former Rocket bought five per cent of the Dynamo and an undisclosed stake in the Dash. Also investing in the women’s league Dash: boxing great Oscar De La Hoya.
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