The Orlando Pride are under new ownership. Or at least, they will be soon.
Longtime owner Flávio Augusto da Silva announced Wednesday that he is in “advanced negotiations” to sell the club, as well as the MLS’ Orlando City SC, the Orlando City academy system and Exploria Stadium to the Wilf family.
The Wilfs, led by owner and chairman Zygi Wilf, have owned the Minnesota Vikings since 2005 and have long shown an interest in getting into the soccer business. The family first bid for an MLS franchise in 2015, when the league expanded to add the Minnesota United. In 2017, the family became minority owners of Nashville SC, a stake they will now have to sell in order to own the Orlando franchise.
Vikings executive vice president of public affairs Lester Bagley said the NWSL’s growth in recent years and the potential of the club appealed to the Wilfs. According to The Sentinel, the family hopes to continue to build the Pride into a consistent playoff contender.
The MLS’ Board of Governors still must approve the sale, but it is expected that ownership of the club will transition in June or early July after a 30- or 60-day closing period.