SBD/July 15, 2013/Franchises

Hunt Brothers Talk MLS Business Strategy, Working Relationship With Family

Clark Hunt (l) expects the Crew and FC Dallas to break even in the next few years
MLS Crew and FC Dallas Owner Clark Hunt and Hunt Sports Group VP Dan Hunt, the youngest children of late Chiefs Owner Lamar Hunt, gave "their first comprehensive business interviews to show that their father's vision of a vibrant, world-class soccer league is no longer a pipe dream," according to Cheryl Hall of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. While neither the Crew nor FC Dallas "is profitable," Clark Hunt "expects both to break even in the next couple of years." He said that he is "trying to sell a minority stake in the Crew to local investors in Columbus, but he won't say what his asking price is." Hunt said that he is "negotiating with three companies for stadium naming rights" for FC Dallas and "expects to have a deal done by" the end of '13. Toyota is "rumored to be in the running with Tundra Stadium, which would be hilarious since tundra means frozen dirt." Hunt said that "only 40 percent of the 2.7 million soccer fans in town are fans of FC Dallas," and "converting that other 60 percent is the big challenge." He added, "There's no magic bullet that makes that happen overnight" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 7/14). Hall noted Dan Hunt is "leading FC Dallas on an interim basis as it searches for a new president." Clark Hunt said, "Dan's doing a great job, so we're not in a rush." Dan Hunt said of his working relationship with Clark, "We're on the same page on almost everything." But he added, "He can really put the pressure on you. And I can't escape him when I go home because he lives two blocks from me." Hall noted the family's sports holdings are "split equally among Lamar’s four children -- two from his first marriage," Lamar Jr. and Sharron, and Clark and Dan from his second. Norma Hunt, Lamar’s widow, "owns a small remaining interest." Lamar Jr. is "involved with the Crew and the Hunt Family Foundation," while Sharron "works with the Chiefs and the FC Dallas Foundation" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 7/14).
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Franchises, Columbus Crew, FC Dallas

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