Qatar: In a groundbreaking deal worth $4 billion, reports have emerged stating that Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is set to acquire a roughly 5% stake in Monumental Sports & Entertainment.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment is the parent company of the National Basketball Association’s Washington Wizards, the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals, and WNBA’s Washington Mystics.
This development, although yet to be officially announced, marks Qatar’s first-ever investment in US professional sports, as anonymous sources cited by Bloomberg News and The Associated Press have confirmed.
Through its subsidiary Qatar Sports Investments, the state-run fund has held majority control of the renowned French football club Paris Saint-Germain since 2011, and in October, the same group agreed to acquire a 22 % stake in Portugal’s Braga.
By venturing into a prominent US market, Qatar further solidifies its presence within the sports world. The NBA has confirmed that its Board of Governors approved “passive, non-controlling, minority investments” by institutional investors.
NBA’s spokesperson Mike Bass confirmed that the board is currently reviewing the potential investment by Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) in Monumental Sports & Entertainment. If approved, QIA would hold a passive, minority stake in the Washington Wizards and other sports properties without involvement in operational or decision-making matters.
The NHL, on the other hand, has already granted approval for the investment, according to NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.
It is worth noting, however, that the size of Qatar’s stake will likely limit its influence on the teams, unlike the control it exercises over Paris Saint-Germain.
Qatar’s neighboring country, Saudi Arabia, has also made inroads into US sports, with its sovereign wealth fund forming a business partnership with the PGA Tour.
This investment underscores Qatar’s growing presence in the international sports scene and its ambition to further establish itself as a prominent business partner in Western markets.