New LA FC Ownership Management in Place

New Los Angeles FC stadium

A new LA FC ownership managing-partnership structure is in place, as local businesspeople take control of the MLS franchise as it begins the road to a team on the field and a new stadium to host it.

The new managing owners: Apollo Global Management LLC senior partner Larry Berg, Ares Management LLC co-founder Bennett Rosenthal and Brandon Beck, co-founder of League of Legends owner Riot Games. The three had been part of the Los Angeles FC ownership group from the start, but they were overshadowed by the more celebrated owners — former Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson; Mandalay Entertainment Chief Executive Peter Guber, co-owner of the Dodgers and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors; self-help author Tony Robbins; entertainer Will Ferrell; and women’s World Cup champion Mia Hamm and her husband Nomar Garciaparra, a former major league baseball all-star.

Berg is the lead co-managing owner, and his financial expertise was key to the team financing a new stadium, per Bloomberg:

“It’s easier to energize with local ownership,” Berg, who is also an investor in Italian soccer club AS Roma and English team Swansea City, said in an interview. “It’s amazing what a difference it makes.”…

According to Goldman banker Greg Carey, who specializes in stadium financing, this particular transaction is unique because it’s the first time in Major League Soccer’s 20-year history that a loan for one of its stadiums will be collateralized solely with revenue from the facility.

Previous MLS stadium loans included recourse debt, Carey said, which means the team owners were responsible for paying back the debt holders if revenue from the stadium fell short.

In related news, the Los Angeles City Council voted to apply for a $22.5 million loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The loan would cover development surrounding the stadium.

RELATED STORIES: LA City Council Seeking HUD Loan for Soccer Facilities; Los Angeles FC Wants Operations in TustinNew Los Angeles FC Stadium Approved; New LA FC stadium pitched for a Sports Arena site

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August Publications