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Seattle Sounders and investment firm finalize acquisition of NWSL's Seattle Reign

Women wearing cleats, navy blue jerseys, socks, and shorts walk on to the field while talking to each other.
Lindsey Wasson
Seattle Reign forward Bethany Balcer (8) celebrates her goal against the Orlando Pride with teammates, including forward Tziarra King (23) during the second half of an NWSL soccer match, Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Seattle. Orlando won 3-2.

The Seattle Sounders and international investment firm Carlyle have finalized their deal to acquire the Seattle Reign of the National Women's Soccer League.

The OL Groupe, the holding company that owned eight-time French champion Lyon, announced in March it had agreed to sell the team to the Major League Soccer team and Carlyle for $58 million. The completed sale was announced on Monday.

“Our goal is to be a standard bearer in global soccer,” Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer said in a statement. "This means creating a first-class environment for players, staff and fans, while staying authentic to our community. For anyone that loves the sport of soccer and its place in Seattle, today’s news brings everyone together and allows us all to run toward an incredible future.”

The Reign was purchased by OL Groupe in 2019 for approximately $3.5 million. The team's sale was part of OL Groupe's focus on men’s soccer.

Hanauer will represent the Reign on the NWSL Board of Governors. Alex Popov, Carlyle’s head of private credit, will serve as alternate governor.

“Combining the operational expertise and long-term community leadership of the group led by Adrian Hanauer, with the financial investment of one of the world’s leading investment firms in Carlyle, this group positions Seattle Reign FC for success," NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman said. "We look forward to the continued growth of the club.”

The Reign will have a women-led management team including chief business officer Maya Mendoza-Exstrom, who has been with the Sounders for the past 10 years, along with general manager Lesle Gallimore.

The Reign were among the founding teams in the NWSL in 2013 and played its first season at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Washington, before moving to Memorial Stadium in Seattle. The Reign also played for a time in Tacoma before moving to Lumen Field, home of the Sounders and the NFL's Seattle Seahawks, in 2021.

Originally owned by Bill and Teresa Predmore, the team was sold to OL Groupe five years ago and later changed the team name to OL Reign.

Last year, Washington Spirit owner Michelle Kang announced her intention to own OL Feminin, the women’s team at French club Lyon. Because of her ownership of the Spirit, the Reign were put up for sale.

The team was re-named the Seattle Reign earlier this year.

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