D.C. United have started 2018 slowly on the field this season, but there are exciting things coming down the pipe for the original MLS franchise with a new stadium under construction and now, perhaps, a big investment from a potential owner.
On Monday, Bloomberg’s Scott Soshnick reported that billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong is close to a deal to invest in D.C. United in an agreement that would value the club at a league-record $500 million.
BREAKING: billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong near deal to buy into @dcunited at $500M valuation, source says. He and managing partner Jason Levien buying Erick Thohir’s stake, source says. Levien will continue to run the @MLS club. Soon-Shiong owns piece of @Lakers #sportsbiz— Scott Soshnick (@soshnick) April 10, 2018
According to the report, Soon-Shiong and team CEO Jason Levien are preparing to buy the stake held by Erick Thohir, who owns 78 percent of the team’s operating rights. Per the Washington Post’s Steven Goff, Thohir has been seeking to divest for more than a year.
In a statement, a D.C. United spokesperson said: "As we march towards the completion of Audi Field and providing what will be the most exciting experience in Major League Soccer, D.C. United have been evaluating different strategic opportunities to add to our ownership. As is our policy, we will not comment on any specific potential investment.”
Soshnick says the deal could be done by the end of the month and that Soon-Shiong (who also owns a share of the Los Angeles Lakers) and Levien (who owns a piece of Swansea City) may seek additional investors in the future.
The franchise is scheduled to move into a long-sought stadium, Audi Field, in July.
After playing one more home game Saturday vs. Columbus at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (7 pm ET | TV & streaming info), D.C. United will play eight straight road contests while the 20,000-seat stadium is under construction.