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Dodgers owner Peter Guber could add Chivas USA to his holdings

Dodgers owner Peter Guber could add Chivas USA to his holdings
Peter Guber, center, and Magic Johnson, right, before a press conference announcing their Guggenheim group as the new owner of the Dodgers in 2012. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Peter Guber, who already owns a share of the Dodgers and the NBA's Golden State Warriors, is about to add to his sports portfolio in California as part of a group set to purchase Major League Soccer's troubled Chivas USA franchise.

Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl is reporting that Guber, along with Vietnamese American businessman Henry Nguyen; Vincent Tan, the controversial Malaysian billionaire owner of British soccer club Cardiff City; and ESPN basketball analyst Tom Penn could be unveiled as MLS' newest owners as early as Monday, when the league's Board of Governors meets in Los Angeles.

According to Wahl, the Harvard-educated Nguyen would relocate to Los Angeles to serve as Chivas' majority owner.

Chivas' previous owners, Mexican entrepreneur Jorge Vergara and his wife Angelica Fuentes, were bought out by the league in February after a disastrous run that saw the team endure four straight losing seasons and three discrimination lawsuits.

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Chivas' home attendance has fallen by more than half since 2009. The team is averaging 6,942 at the StubHubCenter this season with three games to play. The worst mark in league history is the 7,460 the former Miami Fusion drew in 2000.

Chivas, last in the Western Conference, is winless in its last 12 matches.

ESPN FC's Jeff Carlisle has reported the sale price for Chivas USA will be around $100 million and the club, which will remain in Southern California, is expected to miss at least one season, possibly two, to allow the new owners time to construct a new soccer-specific stadium and rebrand the team.

Among the discussed locations for a new stadium is Exposition Park, where the Sports Arena now stands. MLS is known to prefer a downtown location for the team's new home.

There has been no announcement over what would happen to the players on Chivas' roster if the team goes on hiatus, although a dispersal draft timed to coincide with December's expansion draft is the most likely solution.

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