Report: RSL nearing purchase by group that includes sports executive David Blitzer

Blitzer’s group owns an NBA team, an NHL team and has investments in soccer clubs across Europe.

(Julio Cortez | AP) David Blitzer, center, co-owner of the New Jersey Devils, in 2017. Blitzer is reportedly part of a group that plans to buy the Real Salt Lake soccer club of the MLS.

It appears the sale of Real Salt Lake is imminent.

David Blitzer, co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, is part of a group that is nearing a deal to buy Real Salt Lake, per a report in Sportico. Blitzer in recent years also has invested in several European soccer clubs, including Crystal Palace from the English Premier League.

Sportico reported last May that Blitzer was interested in purchasing RSL, which has been seeking new ownership since August 2020. Dell Loy Hansen announced he would sell the franchise’s teams and facilities after reports surfaced of racist and sexist behavior and a toxic workplace culture within the club.

Major League Soccer took over the sales process last January and hired Inner Circle Sports to find a buyer. Blitzer has been among several names in the past year-plus that have emerged as at least being interested in the team. Other names have included Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith, NFL player JJ Watt, Toronto FC player Jozy Altidore and the owners of Utah company Powdr Corp.

Sportico’s report did not mention a sales price, but the publication recently valued RSL at $420 million.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber has said he expects the sale of RSL to be completed sometime before the end of 2021. RSL Interim President Jon Kimball said in August that he agreed with that timeline.

RSL is in the middle of a playoff run and a coaching search. The team secured a postseason berth after beating Sporting Kansas City 1-0 behind a stoppage-time goal from Damir Kreilach on the final day of the regular season. The team’s playoff opener will be Nov. 23 at 8 p.m. at the Seattle Sounders.