The Real Deal New York

Stephen Ross’ latest sports bet? Drone racing

Related founder investing $1M in new drone racing league

August 12, 2015 05:13PM

An unmanned flying drone (inset: Stephen Ross)

An unmanned flying drone (inset: Stephen Ross)

First the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, then a planned stake in Formula 1 racing, and now this – Related Cos.’ Stephen Ross is investing $1 million to fund a new drone racing league through his RSE Ventures.

The New York-based Drone Racing League, which is planning its first public race later this year, is targeting a growing audience of videogame and tech enthusiasts to recreate the success of live videogame competitions.

Drone racers wear virtual-reality goggles that provide a point of view from the drone’s “cockpit,” with the flying machines capable of hitting speeds of 70 miles an hour, according to the Wall Street Journal. The drones are nimble enough of navigate old factories and other interior spaces in which they’ll compete.

Ross founded RSE Ventures with partner Matt Higgins in 2012. The Related founder’s other sports interests include a 95 percent stake in the Miami Dolphins and the team’s Sun Life Stadium, as well as the annual International Champions Cup soccer competition.

In June, it was revealed that Ross is teaming with a Qatari sovereign wealth fund in an $8 billion bid for a controlling stake in Formula 1 racing. [WSJ]Rey Mashayekhi