Following the March 18th announcement of the Reign, fans have waited almost three months for the deal to be approved by the NWSL and MLS Board of Directors, but the day has finally come. In a release early this morning, Eagle Football Group–the controlling 97% stake in the Reign–announced the completion of the sale of its entire stake in the NWSL squad to a group including MLS-side Seattle Sounders and global investment firm Carlyle. 

It has since been confirmed by the Reign in a team release as well. 

Reporting from Sounder At Heart states that Seattle Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer will serve as the Reign representative on the Board of Governors while Alex Popov from Carlyle will be the alternate. Additionally, Maya Mendoza-Exstrom will be the Reign’s new chief business officer, leaving her job as CEO from within the Sounders organization. 

“My commitment and one I make alongside two incredible teammates in Lesle Gallimore and Laura Harvey, is simple: to accelerate the growth of our business and build our brand and fanbase to meet the opportunity of this global movement in women's sports,” Mendoza said in a released statement. “I believe in this club, its brand, and in the profound ability for soccer to impact our community off the pitch. I look forward to working hard along with our players, staff, partners and fans to build upon the strong foundation that has been laid. Together we strive to grow Reign FC into a globally renowned club that wins championships and leaves our sport better than we found it for the next generation."

The $58 million price tag gave the new ownership group 97% of the club’s share capital, with the other 3% remaining with Tony Parker, who invested in the club prior to the OL Groupe buy-out in 2021. For the OL Groupe, the sale price gives the group a 16x return over four years on their purchase price. 

NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman commented on the sale, ““On behalf of the NWSL and its Board of Governors, we’re thrilled to welcome this new ownership group into the NWSL. Combining the operational expertise and long-term community leadership of the group led by Adrian Hanauer, with the financial investment of one of the world’s leading investment firms in Carlyle, this group positions Seattle Reign FC for success. We look forward to the continued growth of the club.” 

The timing of the sale becoming complete is coming at a good time for the Reign, as they see themselves in 13th place–2nd to last in the NWSL table—and the secondary trade/transfer window is quickly approaching. Although any new signed players cannot play in a game until the window officially opens August 1st, that hasn’t stopped other NWSL teams from getting new talent signed and added to practices ahead of the window. With the European calendar officially coming to a close, this is the perfect time for squads to pick up free agents. 

“We’re thrilled to welcome this new ownership group to our club,” stated head coach Laura Harvey. “Their commitment and dedication to investing in the future of the Reign, here in the Pacific Northwest, is what we all wanted and we are so happy that it is finally over the line. Our coaches, players and staff are eager to embrace this new chapter and continue raising the bar in making this a world-class club, both on and off the field. Lastly, I’d like to recognize our fans, an invaluable part of our story, for their unwavering support toward this club.”