Major League Rugby (MLR) is reportedly seeking a $100 million investment to grow the sport of rugby in the United States. The North American rugby league, which currently consists of 12 teams, is looking to raise money to expand its reach and capitalise on the Rugby World Cup coming to the US in 2031, followed by the women's World Cup in 2033.
MLR's Chief Commercial Officer, Harry Hardy, has said that the league is "perfectly positioned to grow and receive a ton of attention and investment" with the Rugby World Cup's arrival in the US. Hardy has also expressed confidence in the potential of rugby in the US, saying that "North America is the next big destination for the sport."
MLR's extension of its deal with Fox Sports in January will provide significant exposure for the league. Fox Sports will air MLR matches on FS1 and FS2 every weekend during the season, as well as the conference finals and championship match on the main Fox network.
The move by MLR to seek a significant investment mirrors similar efforts by other rugby leagues. In March 2021, CVC Capital Partners bought a stake in the Europe-focused Six Nations Rugby, while Silver Lake bought a stake in New Zealand's top club, the All Blacks, after contentious negotiations.