Former Blue Jay José Bautista buys stake in Las Vegas soccer team

Ryley Delaney
3 months ago
Blue Jays legend José Bautista may have retired over five seasons ago, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t still active in sports.
It was announced on Tuesday by the official United Soccer League Championship Twitter account that Bautista has purchased full ownership of Las Vegas Lights Football Club. I mean, who saw that coming?
Las Vegas finished second last in the USLC standings with 19 points, just one ahead of Hartford Athletic. Furthermore, Baustita’s new team finished last in the Western Conference table, finishing 22 points behind the next worst team, Monterey Bay F.C.
The city of Las Vegas is a rapidly growing market, with their first big-four sports team being the Vegas Golden Knights at the start of the 2017-18 season. A few years later, the gambling capital of North America welcomed the former Oakland Raiders to the city in 2020. 
Another Oakland team is likely to move to Vegas in the future, as Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has made his intention clear to move the team to Vegas in the future. It’s not looking great for the ownership group, which is absolutely great for A’s fans and fans of baseball. It’s out of the scope of this article, but Fisher needs to sell that team and keep the storied organization in the city of Oakland.
Back to Bautista, the 43-year-old was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in August 2008. It took him a year and a half to find his footing in the city, but he quickly became one of the most feared power hitters of the early 10’s. In 2010, he went off for 54 home runs, five shy of his home run total in his career coming into the season. He followed up the 2010 season with a 2011 season that saw him hit 43 home runs.
From the 2010 season to the 2017 season, Bautista slashed .255/.376/.516 with 272 home runs in 4807 plate appearances, cementing himself as not just a Blue Jays legend, but a Toronto sporting legend.
It’s always interesting when a former player branches into a different sport, and hopefully Bautista’s soccer team will be profitable and win him a ring that he so deserved in 2015.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.


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