LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Las Vegas Lights FC announced early Tuesday morning that former Major League Baseball star José Bautista has acquired the professional soccer franchise as its new principal owner.

“Las Vegas is the place to be and has emerged as a big professional sports town, and I will do everything I can to push this club forward,” Bautista said in a statement. “As a soccer fan and former professional athlete, I am excited to be involved with the world’s game, Since my retirement from professional baseball, I have witnessed the incredible growth of soccer in the United States, and I look forward to sharing my love of sports with the Las Vegas soccer community.”

The team said in a statement that since retiring from baseball, Bautista has been an active and thoughtful investor, board member, philanthropist and entrepreneur.

Bautista played 15 years in Major League Baseball and was a six-time All-Star, spending most of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays. He led MLB in home runs in 2010 and 2011. One of his signature moments in the sport was in the 2015 playoffs, where he flipped his bat after he hit a go-ahead home run in game 5 of the American League Division Series to lead his Blue Jays over the Texas Rangers.

Las Vegas Lights FC have played in USL Championship since 2018. The team plays its home games at Cashman Field in Downtown Las Vegas. The team will open its 2024 season in March.


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