The Pittsburgh Spirit of the Major Indoor Soccer League ceased operations Friday, owner Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. announced.
DeBartolo, who has run the team since 1981, made the announcement at a news conference at the Civic Arena.
DeBartolo, who also owns the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League, said he has lost about $9 million running the Spirit in the last five years, including $2.4 million for the regular season that ended last week. A loss of $2.6 million was projected for next season, he said.
“It is with great regret that I make this announcement,” DeBartolo said. “Indoor soccer may very well have a future in Pittsburgh, but not on the near horizon from what we can objectively assess.”
The Spirit finished the season with a 23-25 record and missed the MISL playoffs for the second straight year. The team averaged fewer than 8,000 fans in 24 home games.