Tony Amannpour and fellow Iranian investors make a bid to
buy first professional sports franchise.
October 22, 2004
OK by now you've likely heard the news. Tony Amanpour a local
San Jose businessman has bought 4,200 tickets to give away to Iranians,
this Sunday, October 24th at 2pm in San Jose Spartan
I repeat, 4,200 free tickets, just for Iranians!
You get your free ticket (one for each person) by printing
out this form (in PDF format) , filling it out and taking
to the Eastern gate (near 10th st. entrance) at the ticket booth
marked "Iranian Group Tickets".
With this free ticket you will be able to see the 2-time MLS league
and defending champion San Jose Earthquakes play in a Western Conference
semifinal match against league rival, the Kansas City Wizards.
It should be a good match. For free, you can't beat it. Come early,
Sadri and I will take on any of you punks 2 on 2 until the game
starts. BYOK (Bring Your Own Kabab).
Tony Amanpour, a local businessman who in spite of the obvious
path of high tech silicon valley careers, chose to go into the
Real Estate Mortgage business instead (Amanpour is also the cousin
of CNN's chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour).
Now as CEO of First Portfolio Mortgage, he has rallied some 20
other local Iranian entrepreneurs to prepare to put up what will
likely be close to $10 Million and change in order to buy the team
for 2005 from the current owner Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG).
AEG has not been able to grow the business primarily due to not
being able to secure a new stadium for the team.
"Our goal is to buy this team and give back to the community
that has been good to us, but also to be a channel for us to do
our part as a team player toward [the USA] winning the World Cup
in 2010," Amanpour said recently. "We would like to see
the USA become a premier leader in the soccer world, and that path
is through MLS."
has also stated publicly that in his native Iran, the USA team
is the second most popular national squad, after Iran, of course.
He said we shouldn't confuse the Iranian government with the Iranian
people. "We love Americans, and there's no grudges being held
at all," he said. "And if there is a way for dialogue
[between the two countries] to open up, it's hopefully through
the game of socceróthat's how the youth in Iran will see the American
feel for their people. Because that's exactly the message we're
going to take to [the Iranian people]óand take to the American
publicóthat we really want to be an ambassador for that love of
the American people."
Also bidding for the team is Mexican franchise Club America, which
would move the team to Houston. Another buyer in San Antonio also
It is hoped that if Amanpour is successful, with his experience
in real estate, he can also succeed at building a new soccer stadium
that the team sorely needs in order to meet the needs of a state
of the art soccer franchise in this area. The current stadium,
was built for American Football and is not as wide as is needed
See You at the game!