MLS will soon announce the owners of its new team in Los Angeles that will replace Chivas USA, and the ownership group that’s almost certain to land the team includes Henry Nguyen, Peter Guber, Vincent Tan and Tom Penn, SI.com has learned.
MLS is expected to announce the winning group officially as soon as next week, after the league’s Board of Governors meets in Los Angeles on Monday.
Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American venture capitalist who recently brought the first McDonald’s franchise to Vietnam. He would move to Los Angeles as the majority partner. Guber is a Hollywood producer and co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Golden State Warriors. Tan is the flamboyant Malaysian owner of Cardiff City, which played in the Premier League last season, and would be a minority owner. And Penn is a former NBA executive and analytics expert who has worked at ESPN.
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The fee for the new L.A. team, which will likely start play in 2017, is believed to be in excess of $100 million, the league record fee that New York City FC paid to join MLS next March. It would be an expansion team in MLS, and Chivas USA would be dissolved.
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The group has committed to building a new soccer stadium in Los Angeles. Sources tell SI.com that two sites they are interested in are in downtown L.A. (“not far from the Staples Center”) and near the Hollywood Park racetrack. The league has spoken about a possible site near the current L.A. Sports Arena.