The Athletic, the two year-old local sports site, is growing rapidly and is worth “hundreds of millions of dollars,” according to Daniel Leff, the founder of Luminari Capital, which has invested in the company. The subscription-only site, has over 100,000 subscribers paying $5 per month, and is expected to have more than 300 editorial employees by next month, up from 65 just 10 months ago.
But with such growth comes growing pains. The company has been the target of heavy criticism for poaching veteran sports writers from local newspapers, which are already struggling. And not everyone is convinced that the site can lure more casual sports fans to subscribe—something it may need to do to be profitable. Leff, for one, is dismissive of such concerns. “They may or may not need additional capital to do it, but if so, so what,” he said.