NWSL announces sale of FC Kansas City to Elam Bear
The National Women's Soccer League has announced its second ownership change in three days, confirming that Minnesota businessman Elam Bear has purchased FC Kansas City.
Bear is the chief executive officer of North Central Equity, a Minneapolis-based holdings company. Bear has previously said he intends to keep the two-time NWSL champions in Kansas City.
"I'm honored to be a part of the future of FCKC, whether that is on game day or in the greater Kansas City community," Baer said in a statement released by the league. "I am fortunate to be joined by exceptional partners who want the same thing that I do, and that's a club built for long-term stability and success in Kansas City."
The news comes after Monday's announcement that the 2016 league champions, the Western New York Flash, had been sold to an ownership group in North Carolina. The team will play in Cary, N.C., and has been rebranded as the North Carolina Courage.
FC Kansas City had previously been owned by Chris, Brad and Greg Likens, as well as Brian Budzinski. In August, Budzinski filed a lawsuit against his fellow owners, seeking $3 million in damages after claiming he was excluded from the team's executive committee meetings. Budzinski also alleged a serious of inappropriate behaviors by his fellow owners, including the sending sexually inappropriate emails, allegations which were denied by the Likens.
"On behalf of the league and its owners, I welcome Elam to the NWSL and look forward to working with him and his partners as a new era begins for FC Kansas City," NWSL Commissioner Jeff Plush said, in the league's statement. "Elam is committed to strengthening FC Kansas City's roots throughout the entire Kansas City metropolitan area and beyond."
FC Kansas City is an original member of the NWSL and won league titles in 2014 and 2015. The team finished the 2016 in sixth place, the first time FCKC has failed to make the NWSL playoffs.