Mar 19, 2024 - Sports

New owners for the Reign

Two soccer players on the field.

Seattle Reign midfielder Jess Fishlock and Washington Spirit defender Gabby Carle during a game on March 17. Photo: Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Seattle Reign FC is poised to get new owners.

Driving the news: In partnership with the Seattle Sounders, the Carlyle Group, a global investment firm, has agreed to buy the Seattle Reign FC from France's OL Groupe for $58 million.

  • It's Carlyle's first-ever pro sports team purchase.

The big picture: The National Women's Soccer League is at a turning point, with a new TV contract and rising interest in U.S. women's sports.

  • Last year, only a few NWSL games were nationally televised. This year the number will be over 100, all with better production quality. But there's still plenty of room for additional commercialization.
  • Now some early owners are seeking to cash out at a profit.

Zoom in: Last year, Megan Rapinoe's final regular-season home game broke the NWSL attendance record — previously set by the San Diego Wave in 2022 — and also set a new streaming record.

  • More than 34,000 people attended the Lumen Field game and 683,000 viewers tuned in, according to CBS Sports, making it the second most watched game in NWSL history, trailing only the 2022 NWSL championship.

What's next: The deal still requires league approval.

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