Sorry, Revs fans. If owner Robert Kraft has it his way, you’ll be the middle child of his sports owning family before you know it.
On Thursday, it was reported by ESPN’s Darren Rovell that WME-IMG, in conjunction with Dalian Wanda Group, and China Media Capital have both made bids, at around $4.1 billion, to buy the growingly popular UFC.
WME-IMG has asked potential investors to pitch in $25 to $50 million dollars if they want a piece of the octagon and The Kraft Group has reportedly stepped in.
A Kraft Group spokesman declined to comment to ESPN.
So what does this mean for the New England Patriots, which is owned by Robert Kraft? Not much, if anything at all. The NFL is king and will get a kings worth of attention.
But, the Revolution, also owned by Kraft, its future is not so bright.
Ever since the Revs were founded back in 1996, the franchise has struggled to get it’s owners attention. At one point, Kraft’s name was spoken in conversations as to who isthe worst owner in MLS. They play in a stadium that holds 68,756 people when their average home league attendance in 2015 was 19,627 making a home field advantage nonexistent.
They also play in an area that fans will only drive to see a different kind of football be played.
The Revs haven’t had as much success as the other, more major sports franchises in the city, but have had relative success compared to most teams. In 2014, Kraft, to his credit, invested in his team and acquired USMNT member Jermaine Jones which led to a 10-1-1 run at the end of the season, an easy playoff go through the Eastern Conference, but eventually falling to the LA Galaxy in the MLS Cup Final.
More important than the on field success was the chatter going on off it. Non-soccer fans were paying attention, so much so that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh had a viewing party of the MLS Cup Final at City Hall Plaza. And people showed up!
It was surprising and great progress for the Revolution and its relationship with its owner.
But now, if he is part owner of the UFC, that process is at risk to be moved aside for a shinny, often bloody new toy.
UFC President and New England Native Dana White has frequented Patriots games in the past and even has been a special guest of Robert Kraft. It would seem if both bids are equal or relatively close, White’s voice, however big or small in the decision-making process, would lean towards Kraft which is scary if you are a Revolution fan.
Build a new soccer-specific stadium you say? Nah, I’ll buy part of the UFC instead.