Nashville MLS ownership group expands

Mark, Zygi and Leonard Wilf, majority owners of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, have joined the ownership group working to bring a Major League Soccer expansion franchise to Music City.

John R. Ingram, CEO of Nashville Soccer Holdings, announced today that the Wilf family has joined as a minority owner. Mr. Ingram has said that their involvement demonstrates that momentum for MLS in Nashville is growing and attracting the interest of professional sports leaders outside the city.

“We are delighted to have the Wilf family join our group and our initiative to bring a new level of soccer to Nashville,” said Ingram. “They know sports and sports business, and they are well-known and respected for their professional sports experience. The Wilf family brings expertise in a number of areas like stadium development, fan experience, marketing, communications and ticket sales. They are a strong addition to our bid.”

The Wilfs are heading into their 13th season as owners of the storied Vikings organization. They spearheaded two of the most significant initiatives in the NFL team’s history with the completion of U.S. Bank Stadium and the successful bid to bring Super Bowl LII to Minnesota, both creating a significant economic impact to the Minneapolis-St. Paul community.

“We are excited to join John Ingram and Nashville Soccer Holdings as part of the ownership group dedicated to bringing a Major League Soccer franchise to Nashville,” said Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf. “It is clear John and his group have a passion for soccer and a commitment to the Nashville community. We look forward to bringing our sports experience and background to the table, and we believe we can help secure an MLS franchise for Nashville.”

Prior to the opening of U.S. Bank Stadium in July 2016, the venue had already secured two of the world’s marquee sporting events – Super Bowl LII and the 2019 NCAA Final Four. Mark and Zygi Wilf serve as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee and they spearheaded conversations with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other NFL owners that secured Minnesota as the host of the NFL’s biggest game on February 4, 2018.

Nashville is currently one of 12 cities vying for four expansion spots in Major League Soccer. Following a visit from MLS Commissioner Don Garber and hosting more than 100,000 soccer fans for two matches in July, the Nashville group is beginning the public process towards a private-public partnership to build an MLS stadium at the Fairgrounds.

Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

For more information on Nashville’s bid, please visit mls2nashville.com.