San Diego Wave forward Alex Morgan, left, controls the ball...

San Diego Wave forward Alex Morgan, left, controls the ball as OL Reign defender Lauren Barnes defends during the second half of an NWSL semifinal playoff soccer match Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in San Diego. The National Women's Soccer League has a lot to be excited about heading into its 11th season. Credit: AP/Gregory Bull

The San Diego Wave of the National Women's Soccer League will have new owners by the season's end following a sale the puts the club's value at $113 million, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release financial details of the two-transaction sale to the Levine Leichtman family, first reported by Sportico.

Lauren Leichtman and husband Arthur Levine manage the California-based investment firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners. They will initially join as significant minority investors and acquire a majority stake at the end of the season. Current owner Rob Burkle will control the team until then.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the Levine Leichtman family to the ownership group of the San Diego Wave," NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman said in a statement to The Associated Press. "As longtime supporters of the women’s game, Arthur and Lauren know well the impact that our league can have in our society, and as savvy investors, understand the opportunities in front of us to continue to grow our league and club businesses.“

The sale, which could eventually be worth $120 million, is significantly higher than the previous record sale of $63 million paid by the Bhathal family for the Portland Thorns earlier this year.

“We are excited to join forces with San Diego Wave FC and help build upon the impressive foundation established by Ron Burkle. This investment aligns with our values and vision for supporting initiatives that empower women and foster opportunities for aspiring female athletes,” Lauren Leichtman said in a statement.

The Wave are set to play in the Challenge Cup on Friday night against defending league champion Gotham FC at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. The NWSL's regular season kicks off on Saturday.

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