The Portland Thorns may finally have a buyer in the Bhathal family
The GIST: After a year on the market, the Portland Thorns may finally have a buyer. The team is reportedly in exclusive talks with the Bhathal family, but no deal has been finalized yet. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
The details: Since establishing a swimsuit manufacturing empire in the 1960s, the Bhathal family has expanded its investment portfolio, most notably as principal co-owners of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. Since its ownership group bought the Sacramento Kings and the team’s arena in 2013, its franchise value has risen from $525M to $3.33B.
- While there’s no official sale price, the Thorns rank fourth in NWSL team valuations at an estimated $65M value. There’s no place like Soccer City.
The trend: Thanks to a year of historic NWSL growth and viewership, investors are trying to get onto the women’s soccer pitch while they still can. For those keeping score, the Thorns and OL Reign are the only two NWSL clubs still for sale after the Chicago Red Stars sold for $60M in September.
- And if the Reign are sold to its current prospective buyers, this would mean all available NWSL franchises have been snapped up — and by two men’s sports ownership groups.
- There’s a reason NWSL clubs are perfect portfolio assets — with a $66M average club valuation generating $9.7M in average revenue, the NWSL has a value-to-revenue multiple of 7.1, sitting between the NFL (8.8) and MLB (6.5). Hitting it out of the park.