A Colorado businessman who was involved in the ownership of six different Major League Soccer teams, and who was often referred to as that league’s financial savior during its monetary difficulties around 2000.
Anschutz began his business career as a an independent driller in the Colorado and Wyoming oilfields, and eventually expanded from oil and gas into real estate, railroads, telecommunications, movie theaters, moviemaking and sports. After becoming interested in soccer during the 1994 World Cup, he began in MLS as investor/operator of the Colorado Rapids. Over the first decade of MLS, he became involved at various times with the Los Angeles Galaxy, the Chicago Fire, the San Jose Earthquakes, the MetroStars and D.C. United, although he eventually scaled back to just two teams as more investors were attacted to soccer.
As owner of the Galaxy, he financed the building of one of the first of MLS’ string of soccer-specific stadiums, the stadium in Carson, Calif., that was originally called the Home Depot Center. It was also as owner of the Galaxy that the reclusive Anshutz first became a face widely known to the public. As one of the leaders of MLS, he was one of the key people in the league’s purchase of English-language television rights to the World Cup. His involvement with the entertainment industry and soccer led to his financing of the movie Game of Their Lives about the 1950 United States World Cup team.
Inducted in 2006.