MIAMI.- MLS is preparing to announce on Thursday the entry of a new team based in San Diego (California), acquired by Egyptian-British billionaire Mohamed Mansour for a record sum of around $500 million, AFP has knowledge told a source with. of these plans.
The franchise, which will be ranked 30th in the North American League (MLS) and will debut in the 2025 season, will play at the recently built Snapdragon Stadium with a capacity of 35,000 spectators.
The previous highest amount paid by a new MLS team was $325 million for the purchase of Charlotte FC in 2019.
In 1996, his MLS entry fee for his first season was $5 million.
The new San Diego team, whose name has not yet been revealed, will join three other franchises from the state of California in 2025, the San Jose Earthquakes, Los Angeles Galaxy and Los Angeles FC, the defending MLS champions.
The California city, with about 1.4 million inhabitants, is located on the border with the Mexican state of Tijuana (Baja California).
According to the source, the new MLS club will not be linked to the San Diego Loyal team, which currently plays in the USL Championship, a lower-tier championship owned by former American soccer star Landon Donovan.
Last March, MLS commissioner Don Garber said he was “optimistic” about the prospects of hosting a new team in San Diego.
The league’s plans also include the addition of two more franchises in the coming years, with the cities of Las Vegas, Sacramento, Detroit, Phoenix and Tampa being mentioned as possible candidates.
The American Football League (NFL) and Ice Hockey League (NHL) each have 32 franchises, while basketball (NBA) and baseball (MLB) have 30.
Mansour, born in Egypt, lives in London and holds British nationality.
The 75-year-old magnate is the chairman of the Mansoor Group, which operates in the automotive industry, financial services and real estate. He is also the Senior Treasurer of the British Conservative Party.
The United States is preparing to host two major soccer events in the coming years, the 2024 Copa America and the 2026 World Cup, the latter alongside Mexico and Canada.
This season, MLS began a $2.5 billion global broadcast deal with Apple TV for the next decade.