A group headed by Washington businessman Robert Brewer is contemplating the purchase of controlling interest in the Washington Diplomats soccer team, it was learned yesterday.
Eric Cummings, Brewer's lawyer, said he has been in telephone contact with Steve Danzansky, president of the team. Cummings said last night that he anticipates meeting today with Danzansky.
Brewer, a resident of Falls Church, recently purchased a private club in downtown Washington named elan; the deal has not been finalized. He also has real estate holdings, he said. Cummings said that other members of Brewer's group are involved in commercial real estate and in construction in the Middle East. He indicated foreign money might be involved.
The Dips have been for sale since Madison Square Garden Corp., the club's owner the past two seasons, decided recently to sell, merge or fold the franchise. It has lost $5 million since buying the team.
Danzansky has right of first refusal to buy the team. He has been trying to put together a group, with either a partner or limited partners providing the financing.
"I don't want anything but complete control," Brewer said yesterday.
"The whole thing is very preliminary at this point," said Cummings. "There's nothing firm; we're just probing. There are a lot of loose ends to tie up."
Brewer said he has never been involved in a professional sports franchise, but has been active in boys club sports. Brewer is enthusiastic about the future of the game. "I've seen it coming for a number of years," he said. "especially with the youth today. It's just fantastic."
Meanwhile, the North American Soccer League has postponed its meeting scheduled for Friday in Chicago until Dec. 1-2, giving the Dips time to finalize a deal, if possible, and present the new owners at the meeting. The Garden has until Nov. 23 to find a new owner. After that time it must turn into the league its certificate of ownership and receive and a refund on next year's operating bond.