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Nashville MLS ownership group adds Vikings owners Wilf family

The bid to bring MLS to Nashville just gained some major additional firepower.

The Wilf family, owners of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, have joined forces with majority owner John Ingram and the Nashville bid as minority owners, reports the Tennessean. Mark Wilf, along with his brother Zygi and cousin Leonard, bring additional capital to the bid, though the terms of the agreement remain undisclosed.

“This is a sophisticated family that could invest its money in a lot of places,” Ingram said. “It’s an endorsement for both soccer in the country and Nashville as a market that has a bright future with this sport.”

“Those are both areas that will be very helpful to us, and we’re really thrilled to have them as part of our efforts,” Ingram said, speaking of the Wilf family’s experience running a major sports franchise and involvement in building a professional sports stadium.

The Wilf family purchased the Vikings in 2005 for $600 million, and the team has a currently estimated value of $1.6 billion, lending some major capital to Nashville’s efforts. The Wilf family previously placed a bid to own MLS expansion franchise Minnesota United, but were beat out by current owner Bill McGuire as the league preferred an outdoor stadium to the Wilf’s planned dome.

The addition continues to add to Nashville’s resume as a major contender, as the field of 12 continues to narrow down to a handful of serious candidates for slots 25 and 26, to be announced by the end of this year.

5 comments
  • BSU SC

    Top three are definitely:
    Sacramento
    Tampa
    Nashville

    Miami will obviously be getting a franchise.

    Next in line are:
    San Antonio
    Detroit
    Cincinnati
    San Diego (if the referendum passes in 2018)
    Phoenix

    Like

  • Flagermunsen

    The Ingram’s don’t need Wilf’s money. They gave the largest donation ever to a university when they donated 1B to Vanderbilt. Yes, Will And family will share financial risks. However, the real reason to have the Wilfs is that MLS knows that ownership with experience and connections from the other sports brings value beyond their deep pockets.

    I find it ironic after the Wilfs failure to secure the MSP franchise they still want in.

    Like

    • AzTeXan

      I’m pretty sure they want the Wilf’s for the party planning committee. I’m not sure if Nashville has any lakes on the caliber of Lake Minnetonka, but I’m sure Zygi will make due

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  • two cents/lowercase letters guy

    i think that anytime an nfl ownership family wants to buy into mls, that’s a good thing for us. then maybe the next time that a soccer game is held at the Viking’s stadium, the fans will feel more welcome there. we should all welcome the wilfs, i think.

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  • evan

    um, didn’t the Wilfs sabotage MNUnited’s stadium plan in Minneapolis after they got passed over by MLS for the Minnesota expansion? and now they still want to join? weird…

    Like

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