San Diego Wave Women’s Soccer Club Sells for a Record $113 Million


A record-breaking deal is being made in the women’s American football industry. San Diego professional club the San Diego Wave sold for $113 million, nearly doubling the previous record set in 2023 when the Portland Thorns sold for $63 million. Here are the details about the planned deal. If you place bets on sports through Melbet com, this news may be useful to you: with new investors, new players or coaches may come to the club, so the quality of the game may change (both for the better and vice versa).

Who is Buying, and Who is Selling?

Since its founding (June 2021), the owner of San Diego Waves has been Ronald Wayne Burkle (born November 12, 1952), an American businessman. He serves as the co-founder and managing partner of The Yucaipa Companies, a private investment firm specializing in various sectors within the United States, including distribution, logistics, food, retail, consumer goods, hospitality, entertainment, sports, and light industrial ventures. Through Yucaipa, he has overseen numerous mergers and acquisitions in the grocery chain industry, involving notable supermarket brands such as Fred Meyer, Ralphs, and Jurgensen. At one point, Yucaipa held stakes in approximately 35 companies, including major players like A&P and Whole Foods Market, before their eventual decline and acquisition. As of February 12, 2018, his net worth was estimated at US$2 billion. He was previously ranked No. 633 on

Forbes’ “The Richest People on The Planet 2014″ list.

The new owners are the Levine and Leichtman family. Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, headquartered in Beverly Hills and led by the husband-and-wife duo of Arthur Levine and Lauren Leichtman, concluded its sixth fund closure in January. This latest fund, totaling $2.5 billion, aims to fuel investments in 12 to 14 portfolio companies over the next four years. Currently, the firm manages assets totaling $6.4 billion.


Established in 1984 by Levine and Leichtman, the investment firm has since made substantial strides, backing over 80 middle-market companies across a diverse range of industries. Their investment portfolio spans consumer goods, healthcare, education, engineered products, and franchises.

The Deal Details

Billionaire owner Ron Burkle is selling the club to the Levine Leichtman family in a two-part deal, with the potential transaction reaching up to $120 million. This figure significantly surpasses the previous record in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), which stood at $63 million, paid by the Bhathal family for the Portland Thorns in 2023.

The sale also exceeds the $90 million valuation assigned to the team by Sportico in October of the previous year. It is second only to Angel City’s reported $180 million valuation in the league.

Part of the agreement entails Burkle remaining as the club’s principal owner until the conclusion of the current season, as reported by The Athletic.

In confirming the family’s entry as minority investors, Burkle expressed confidence in the potential contribution of the Levine Leichtman family to the team’s growth and the San Diego community.

The substantial figure marks a remarkable turnaround for Burkle, who initially paid a mere $2 million expansion fee for the club, which commenced NWSL play in 2022. His decision to back San Diego’s NWSL bid came after withdrawing from a bid to establish an MLS club in Sacramento in 2021.


Since its inception, San Diego has emerged as a dominant force in the NWSL, clinching the NWSL Shield in 2023—the fastest achievement of a top trophy by an expansion team in the league’s history. Furthermore, they set a record for NWSL championship attendance, with 25,011 fans turning up in November 2023.

Lauren Leichtman expressed excitement about joining forces with San Diego Wave FC and building upon the impressive foundation laid by Ron Burkle. She emphasized that the investment aligns with their values and vision of supporting initiatives that empower women and create opportunities for aspiring female athletes.


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