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James Harden buys stake in Houston’s MLS, NWSL soccer teams

James Harden has demonstrated considerable civic loyalty with his latest business investment, as the Houston Rockets star has bought a stake in the city’s two professional soccer teams.

Harden has purchased a minority stake in the investment group that operates the MLS’ Houston Dynamo, the NWSL’s Houston Dash, not to mention the city’s BBVA Stadium, according to an announcement made Thursday by the Dynamo.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to join the ownership group of the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash and proud to be a part of a club with tremendous history and a great future,” Harden said in a statement issued on the Dynamo’s website.

“Houston is my home now, and I saw this as a way to invest in my city and expand my business interests at the same time. Soccer in general, and especially MLS, have exploded in this country throughout my lifetime. I’ve been a fan of the game for several years, and I know that Houston has a massive soccer fanbase, so it was an easy decision for me when this opportunity arose.”

According to Front Row Sports, via ESPN, who first reported on the Rockets superstar’s investment, Harden has purchased a five percent stake in the two franchises as well as the stadium in which the two squads play. The value of the two soccer teams and the arena is said to be a reported $475 million.

With the transaction, Harden becomes among the few high-profile athletes to diversify their portfolio by investing in teams in other professional sports leagues, joining a group headed by LeBron James, who has a considerable stake in English club Liverpool FC.