Report: David Siegel Purchases Orlando Predators
The Orlando Predators apparently have their owner. After much speculation over the course of the last several months, one of the longest standing franchises in the Arena Football League will be taken over by one of Orlando's richest men. David Siegel, the owner of Westgate Resorts, has reportedly bought the Preds, according a report in the Las Vegas Sun.
Though neither the team nor the league has made this report official, this signals what could be the end of what has been a season filled with drama in the City Beautiful. Siegel will mark the third official ownership that the team has had in the last 12 months. Brett Bouchy was the managing partner in the team from the relaunch of the league through the end of last season. David Pearsall purchased his shares of the club and became the managing partner, but he was ousted from the league in May.
The Arena Football League could not officially take over the team due to league bylaws, but ownership hasn't been in place in Orlando since that point.
Siegel coming to the Preds immediately makes him one of the wealthiest owners in the Arena Football League, and it certainly raises the status of what has become a floundering franchise.
Siegel is the founder and CEO of Westgate Resorts. In 2007, Forbes estimated his net worth to be over $1 billion. His financial plight was well documented in the film, Queen of Versailles, but he is estimated to be worth over $100 million at this point after recovering some of his fortune.
The Predators moved from the Amway Center to CFE Arena this year, and returns have been less than fruitful. The team has averaged just 5,029 fans per game in 2014, the lowest mark in the league. Orlando led the league in reported attendance in each of the previous three seasons, averaging just over 12,000 fans per game.