Reese Witherspoon has recently become a part-owner of a soccer team. Following her husband’s steps, the celebrity joined Derrick Henry in partially acquiring Major League Soccer’s Nashville team.
Nashville Soccer Team’s New Owner – Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon, the actress widely known for playing Harvard-educated pink-clad lawyer Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, just purchased partial ownership of the Major League Soccer’s Nashville team. Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, as well as Witherspoon’s husband, agent, and investor Jim Toth became co-owners at the same time as the Hollywood star. The three made the move right before the opening of Geodis Park, the team’s new 30,000-seat stadium. Previously, the Nashville soccer team started playing in 2020 at Nissan Stadium, home of the Titans. After eight league games, they are opening the venue playing against Philadelphia. Why is the purchase so important for Witherspoon and her husband? Well, Nashville SC comes 20th with $460 million in value, according to Sportico in 2021. Also, the actress grew up in the Nashville area, so the local team is even more valuable to her.
“As a Tennessee native, it is thrilling to see how much growth and development has come to our home state,” she said in a statement. “The opportunity to go as a family and watch a world-class team compete has been such an incredible experience. The team, the management and the players have worked so hard to build this amazing organization and community,” Witherspoon continued. “So, I’m thrilled to announce that my husband, Jim Toth, and I have made an investment in the club and are now a part of the ownership group moving forward.”
Principal owner John Ingram was happy to announce the investment, too. “We meant it when we said we were doing this in Nashville, with Nashville and for Nashville,” said Ingram. “Having Derrick, Reese and Jim join our group signals our commitment to being a club that is going to do things at the highest level and with the best Nashville has to offer.” In fact, Henry has been with the Titans since 2016. NFL players investing in new soccer teams is a trend now. That said, Mark Ingram (D.C.), Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City), and Russell Wilson (Seattle) have already become MLS part-owners while being NFL players.
What’s the history behind Nashville’s soccer team? Well, it was founded by a group of supporters. The main idea was to create a team owned by real soccer fans. Chris Jones, Nashville FC’s president, stated that other fan-owned clubs inspired the NFC’s foundation – with the English club F.C. United of Manchester is cited as the main one. Initially, the original club was formed from two groups in 2014, in time for the 2014 NPSL season. Since then, the team made a lot of advancements. For example, Nashville SC’s inaugural MLS match in 2020 was visited by 59,069 people and became the highest attended soccer event in Tennessee. That day, the club hosted Atlanta United FC at Nissan Stadium. Also, the team consists of various personalities, including Joe Willis, Handwalla Bwana, Hany Mukhtar, Brian Anunga, and others. Gary Smith is the head coach of the team.
Other actors who own the soccer teams are Drew Carey (Seattle), Matthew McConaughey (Austin), and Will Ferrell (Los Angeles FC).