16 years after buying the Mavs, Cuban jumps into new sports ownership

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has tried to buy the Chicago Cubs and nearly outbid Nolan Ryan to purchase the Texas Rangers in bankruptcy court. Now, Cuban has finally ventured into new sports ownership.

Cuban has purchased a principal ownership stake in the PFL — the Professional Futsal League. Yes, futsal.

What is futsal? It's modified soccer, played with five players on a side and typically played indoors. In this pursuit, Cuban joins Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, who is co-owner of the PFL. Nelson is also a co-owner of the Mavs' D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends.

The Professional Futsal League, according to the press release announcing Cuban's ownership stake, will begin play in 2017.

According to the release, futsal is “FIFA's only officially approved version of 5-a-side soccer and is currently played in 198 of of the 207 FIFA member associations across the globe with an estimated 30 million participants playing worldwide. It is currently supported by professional leagues on every continent except North America.”

“I couldn’t be more excited about partnering with and investing in the PFL,” Cuban said in a press release. “Futsal is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and it’s time to make it even bigger in the U.S. market. We are ready to introduce the best global brands and the world’s best players to our growing fan base and I’m thrilled to be part of the PFL.”