Wilf family take up the baton of ‘The Lions’


Orlando City Soccer Club with new owner Image: Orlando City Soccer Club

The Wilf family has finalized its acquisition of the Major League Soccer (MLS) team Orlando City Soccer Club (US), becoming the club’s new majority owners. An announcement in this regard was made on July 21st.

The ‘Orlando City Soccer Club’ stated that the purchase includes Orlando City Soccer Club of Major League Soccer, 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 in Florida (US) and the Orlando Health Training Ground at Sylvan Lake Park also in Florida.

The Orlando City Soccer Club is an American professional soccer club in Orlando, Florida (US), which competes as a member of the Eastern Conference in Major League Soccer (MLS). Orlando City SC began play in 2015 as the 21st franchise in MLS, succeeding the USL Pro team of the same name.

The 25,500-capacity Exploria Stadium is a soccer-specific stadium in downtown Orlando, Florida (US) which serves as the home ground of Orlando City SC. The stadium is located along West Church Street in the Parramore neighborhood West of Downtown Orlando.

The Orlando Pride is a professional women’s soccer team based in Orlando, Florida (US). The team joined the National Women’s Soccer League, the top level of women’s soccer in the US, for the 2016 season. It became the 10th team to be added to the league. The Exploria Stadium serves as their digs.

The ‘Orlando City Soccer Club’ further stated that Mark Wilf, along with his brother Zygi Wilf and cousin Lenny, will be Managing Partners of Orlando City SC and Orlando Pride. Mark will serve as the Chairman. The Wilf family has owned the National Football League’s (NFL)’s Minnesota Vikings for the past 17 years and they lead Garden Homes, the family’s real estate firm, a nationwide leader in retail, commercial and private residential development.

Said new Chairman Mark Wilf, “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.”

Added Mark Wilf, “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. 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 (former owners of Orlando City SC) 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 (NBA’s) Orlando Magic in 1991. Dan DeVos will serve as the family’s lead representative. Dan is Chairman of the Orlando Magic and the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation.

Added Mark Wilf, “We are also thrilled to welcome the DeVos family as part of our ownership group. Dan and the DeVos family are synonymous with Orlando sports and community. They are a valued and strong strategic partner as we move forward and work to create sustained success for Orlando City SC and the Orlando Pride.”

With the purchase of Orlando City SC and the Orlando Pride, the Wilf family has dissolved its minority stake in 2020 MLS expansion side Nashville SC.

The Wilf family will be formally introduced and welcomed to Orlando at a media event and availability at Exploria Stadium on August 4th.

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