FC Barcelona, a major Spanish soccer team, is exploring an investment in Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia expansion franchise, which has been seeking capital to further strengthen an ownership group fronted by iStar Financial CEO Jay Sugarman.
Joan LaPorta, president of FC Barcelona, visited Philadelphia Feb. 28 and toured the site of the franchise’s future $115 million stadium being built in Chester.
MLS Philadelphia CEO Nick Sakiewicz said he didn’t discuss investing in the franchise with LaPorta but acknowledged that the Philadelphia franchise is still looking for strategic partners. “That’s always been part of our plan and it hasn’t changed,” Sakiewicz said.
Comcast-Spectacor is also in discussions with the club to provide it with $7 million in debt as part of an agreement that would include its facility management subsidiary operating the stadium after it is built, sources said.