MLS, about a month ago, said Dell Loy Hansen would sell his soccer holdings, including Real Salt Lake, after The Athletic reported that he repeatedly used racist language to and around team employees.
Hansen didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the hiring of the boutique New York investment bank. Inner Circle declined to comment.
The source was granted anonymity because the process is private.
Utah Royals FC of the National Women’s Soccer League, the Real Monarch of the United Soccer League Championship and Rio Tinto Stadium are among the assets also being sold.
Inner Circle Sports has participated in a number of ownership changes in MLS, including the sales of D.C. United and the Columbus Crew.
Hansen assumed control of Real Salt Lake in 2013, taking over from founder Dave Checketts. Hansen had been a stakeholder in the team.
The Salt Lake Tribune has reported that the Larry H. Miller Sports Group, parent of the NBA’s Utah Jazz, is interested in buying the soccer entities. Qualtrics co-founder Ryan Smith has said he’s interested, too, as have a trio of athletes: Toronto FC’s Jozy Altidore, along with NFL player J.J. Watt and his wife, Kealia Watt, who plays in the NWSL.
Sports Business Daily earlier this month said talks around the sale of Utah Soccer Holdings began at around $500 million.
Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper paid $325 million for the rights to the MLS expansion team in Charlotte.
Forbes last year said RSL was worth $235 million, ranking 19th in MLS.