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Report: Vikings owners nearing purchase of Orlando City MLS franchise

The Wilfs reportedly attempted to buy the Minnesota United expansion franchise years ago.

Real estate moguls and owners of the Minnesota Vikings, Zygi and Mark Wilf, are nearing a deal to become owners of a Major League Soccer franchise. 

According to Sportico, the Wilfs are in the process of purchasing Orlando City SC from Flávio Augusto da Silva for an estimated price of $400-$450 million. The report, which cites people "familiar with the talks," says the deal will include the team's stadium and the Orlando Pride of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL). 

Also in on the purchase with the Wilf brothers are Vikings vice chairman and co-owner Leonard Wilf (cousin of the brothers). 

“The Wilf family continues to evaluate potential opportunities in business, sports and entertainment, but it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on any specific discussion at this time,” said Lester Bagley, executive vice president of public affairs for the Minnesota Vikings, in a statement. 

The Wilfs were reportedly attempting to win a bid to purchase the MLS expansion franchise in Minnesota a handful of years ago, but the franchise – the Minnesota United FC – was sold to former UnitedHealth Group CEO Bill McGuire. 

McGuire purchased the team along with minority owners, including the Pohlad family of the Minnesota Twins; Timberwolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor; former Wild investor Glen Nelson; and Wendy Carlson Nelson of the Carlson hospitality company

According to The Athletic, the Wilfs would be required to sell their minority stake in Nashville SC (another MLS team) if they become owners of Orlando City. Any agreement would need to be approved by Major League Soccer. 

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