Mexican-American investor Jeff Luhnow, together with a group of shareholders, has acquired the Yucatán Venados soccer team, according to Azteca Deportes journalist David Medrano.
Luhnow is best known in the US as the Houston Astros general manager who was fired after a huge cheating scandal.
Luhnow has been shopping for teams within the Liga Mx, the Mexican professional soccer — or fútbol — league. First, he attempted to buy the Puebla team and then Atlético de San Luis in San Luis Potosí, according to media sources.
Luhnow made headlines in January 2020 when he was fired in the wake of the Expos’ sanctions for a 2017-18 cheating scandal. He has maintained a low profile ever since, according to the Houston Chronicle. But he has also denied any knowledge of the scheme.
In early 2020, Luhnow and another staffer were suspended for the entire season after failing to prevent the Astros from cheating by electronically stealing the opposing teams’ signals during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Luhnow adamantly denied knowing about Astros players banging on a trash can to signal specific pitches, or that employees in the replay room were decoding signs and sending them to the dugout. But the ruling stated that Luhnow should have made it his business to know, given that as general manager, he was charged with ensuring the team follow the rules.
It is the longest suspension for a baseball executive since Atlanta Braves GM John Coppolella was famously banned from baseball for life in 2017.
“While Luhnow is still a controversial figure for a number of reasons, no one can deny the impact he’s had on baseball,” said SB Nation writer Brian Cohn. “He was one of the greatest minds to pass through the sport, and admittedly, changed the way I enjoy watching baseball.”
In addition to the Liga Mx team, Luhnow has partnered with Formula 1 promoter Tavo Hellmund and former player/scout Tim Clark and to create a company that will acquire sports franchises and related businesses and implementing leading data analytics, media, and technology for sports markets, said Cohn.
Luhnow was born in Mexico City in 1966 to parents of American origin. By high school, he had relocated to California where he attended prep schools. He graduated from the Webb School of California and holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in economics and engineering. His MBA is from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
A newly planned Sustainable Stadium will be the home of both the Venados and the Leones de Yucatán baseball team.