Orlando City SC sale on tap? Depends on whom you ask

Orlando City SC stadium

An Orlando City SC sale is the subject of many rumors and unattributed comments, with the team and/or its assets (a leading NWSL team and Exploria Stadium) maybe or maybe not being sold. Depends.

As noted, there’s plenty to the Orlando City SC empire: the MLS team (the result of a $70-million expansion fee), the Orlando Pride NWSL team, Orlando City B (a development squad that’s dropping out of USL League One to play in a new MLS U-23 league come 2022), a new Kissimmee training complex that include a renovated Osceola County Stadium, and the privately financed Exploria Stadium, certainly a league showcase when it comes to MLS-designed facilities.

That Flávio Augusto da Silva has been open to outside investors has not been a secret: he’s sold minority shares in the MLS team in recent years (most recently in September) at a valuation of $490.5 million. Sports Business Journal has reported that Augusto da Silva was close to a sale but did not identify the assets, sale price or buyer. Meanwhile, the Orlando Sentinel is citing different sources and reporting that Augusto da Silva is willing, as always, to take on additional investors but is not looking to exit Orlando City SC completely:

A source told the Orlando Sentinel that Augusto da Silva is always open to talking about sales of shares or larger portions of the club. However, a change of majority ownership is not immediately imminent….

A source reiterated Friday that Augusto da Silva remains passionate about the growth and development of Orlando City SC, and any suggestion he solely sees it as part of his investment portfolio is inaccurate.

We have now entered a media age where rumors can outrun realities. Given the totally uncertainty of professional sports and MLS in 2021, a sale now would be a curious endeavor: with revenues down and not a sure thing to return for 2021, this would be a sale undertaken in a totally down market.

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August Publications