The Wilf family closed on its Orlando City SC purchase as well as other team assets while adding the DeVos family, owners of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, as limited partners.
Besides the MLS team, the Orlando City SC purchase includes the Orlando Pride of the National Women’s Soccer League, Exploria Stadium and all related soccer assets, including the Orlando City Academy and Youth Soccer Network, and the Club’s two official training facilities, the Orlando Health Training Ground at Osceola Heritage Park and the Orlando Health Training Ground at Sylvan Lake Park. The total purchase price was estimated to be in the $400-$450 million range.
The Wilfs are a family-controlled business led byby Zygi Wilf (currently Vikings president) and includes co-owner Mark Wilf (Zygi’s brother) and Vikings vice-chairman and co-owner Leonard Wilf (Zygi’s cousin). The Wilfs had sought an MLS expansion franchise in Minnesota that eventually was awarded to Minnesota United, led by lead investor Dr. William McGuire; the Wilfs had proposed the team play out of U.S. Bank Stadium, but that arrangement was rejected by MLS.
The sale is not a surprise: Augusto da Silva has been pursuing a Orlando City SC sale for a few years, saying he wanted to devote more time and money to philanthopy. He stands to make a nice return on his initial investment of $70 million for the MLS team and $155 million for Exploria Stadium.
“We are humbled to become stewards of Orlando City SC and the Orlando Pride, clubs with strong and established foundations on the pitch, with renowned supporters and a passionate fan base, and in a community we are extremely proud to represent,” said new Chairman Mark Wilf via press statement. “We have a great appreciation for Flavio Augusto da Silva and to the entire staff for all of our discussions and for the foundation that they helped build,” Wilf continued. “We are committed to building a world-class organization, winning championships, investing in the growth and success of the Pride, and ensuring that we continue to give back to the Orlando community and make a meaningful difference.”
The DeVos family will join the ownership group as a limited partner. The DeVos family has been part of the fabric of Orlando since purchasing the National Basketball Association’s Orlando Magic in 1991. They will have no say in team operations and serve an advisory role regarding the Orlando business community.
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