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Orlando City to be sold in US$400m deal

Owner of Orlando City SC, Flávio Augusto da Silva, is on the verge of selling the Major League Soccer (MLS) club ahead of the 2021 season.

Currently lying in fourth place of the Eastern Conference, Orlando City are having one of their most successful seasons after making their MLS debut in 2015.

Da Silva paid a US$70 million expansion fee to obtain the team which was last year valued at US$295 million by Forbes, 12th among the 24 teams in the league. The US$400 million deal would therefore represent a windfall for da Silva.

It is unclear whether the deal would include other assets within the Orlando Sports Holdings LLC. Da Silva also owns National Women’s Super League (NWSL) outfit Orlando Pride; United Soccer League side Orlando B and Exlporia Stadium.

Orlando City’s owner has been diminishing his ownership since 2018 when he sold 8.63 per cent of Orlando Sports Holdings LLC to Albert Friedburg, valued at nearly US$500 million. An undisclosed percentage of the club was also sold to Jed Kaplan, who is part owner of NBA team Memphis Grizzles and Championship club Swansea City.

During da Silva’s tenure as majority owner of Orlando City, the value of the average MLS team is now worth US$313 million, up 30 per cent since last year. The growth far eclipses the rising values in the National Basketball Association (13 per cent), National Football League (11 per cent), Major League Baseball (8 per cent) and the National Hockey League (6 per cent).

Author: Charlie Farmer