Padres third baseman Manny Machado is immersing himself further into the San Diego sports community as a minority investor in the newest MLS franchise.
Major League Soccer officially welcomed its 30th team on Thursday, and the franchise has a famous San Diego sports face as part of its ownership group. Per MLS, San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado has signed on as a backer for the soon-to-be-named San Diego MLS club.
Set to begin competing in 2025, the San Diego squad will play at Snapdragon Stadium — the San Diego State University-owned, 35,000-seat venue that’s already home to Aztecs football and the NWSL‘s San Diego Wave FC. The stadium is also a host site for the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup.
Egyptian-born billionaire Mohamed Mansour will serve as owner, alongside the local Sycuan Tribe. As for Machado, he joins the likes of Zephyr Partners co-founder Brad Termini, Right to Dream founder Tom Vernon, and Right to Dream board member Dan Dickinson as minority financiers. Eben Novy-Williams of Sportico reported that MLS had reached a record $500 million deal to finalize the franchise’s arrival.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to join the San Diego MLS ownership group,” Machado said. “I continue to plant roots in this amazing community that means so much to me and build upon my connection with the incredible fans.”
Machado now joins Nomar Garciaparra (Los Angeles FC) and Ken Griffey Jr. (Seattle Sounders FC) as current or former baseball players with ownership stake in an MLS franchise. Kevin Durant (Philadelphia Union), James Harden (Houston Dynamo FC), Russell Wilson (Seattle), and Patrick Mahomes (Sporting KC) are on the long list of other athletes to buy in.
Machado inked an 11-year, $350 million extension with the Padres in February, and that could be enough to keep the 30-year-old in southern California for the remainder of his pro career. NWSL side San Diego Wave FC is in its second season playing top-flight women’s soccer. In its inaugural year, the Wave reached the semifinals of the NWSL playoffs and set a league record in the process when 32,000 fans watched them defeat Angel City DC 1-0 last September.
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