SBD/July 6, 2012/Franchises

Sources: 76ers Minority Owners Thohir, Levien To Buy Part Of MLS DC United

76ers minority Owners Erick Thohir and Jason Levien are "expanding to another sport, reaching agreement to become co-owners" of MLS DC United, according to sources cited by Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Sources said that Thohir and Levien "are poised, pending MLS approval, to become partners next week with longtime DC United owner Will Chang." Sources said that United President & CEO Kevin Payne "will continue to run the club's day-to-day operations." Sources also said that Thohir and Levien "will make the construction of a new soccer-specific stadium for DC United their top priority" (ESPN.com, 7/6). In Philadelphia, Jonathan Tannenwald notes Thohir's name first surfaced as a "potential investor back in March, and he attended a United practice in late May." Tannenwald writes, "I had not heard Levien's name associated with United until now, and I think his involvement will be of more interest to Union fans than Thohir's." Tannenwald: "Knowing Levien's passion for basketball, I can't help wondering to what degree he would take a role in United's operation." MLS is "still a small enough league that most of its investor-operators take active interests in their clubs" (PHILLY.com, 7/6).
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