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Banc of California announces naming rights deal for new L.A. soccer stadium

The soccer stadium set to replace Exposition Park's Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena now has a name: Banc of California Stadium

The ownership group of Los Angeles Football Club, which is building the new stadium, this morning announced a naming-rights deal with the Irvine bank, a fast-growing lender that’s been working to make inroads in South Los Angeles.

The Major League Soccer expansion team, set to debut in 2018, signed a 15-year deal that gives Banc of California naming rights to the 22,000-seat stadium, the first outdoor pro-sports venue built in Los Angeles in a generation.

As stadium names go, it might leave some fans scratching their heads.

The bank has only been called Banc of California since 2013, when it changed its name from Pacific Trust, and it will be by far the smallest bank to attach its name to a professional stadium.

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Though the bank has grown dramatically over the last few years, it has fewer than 40 branches and assets of about $10 billion, making it about one-tenth the size of BBVA Compass, the bank that holds the naming rights to Houston's pro soccer stadium.

“It’s a little out of the mold for a bank of our size,” said Steven Sugarman, the bank's chief executive. “But we think it's exciting. It demonstrates the commitment we have to California and to Los Angeles.”

Though Angelenos might have seen Banc of California ads around town, many touting the lender as the official bank of USC athletics, Larry Berg, managing owner of LAFC, said it’s true that the bank isn’t well known.

But he said that's not a bad fit for the team, which is starting from scratch in a city that already has one successful MLS team, the LA Galaxy.

“We’re not as well known either,” said Berg, a senior partner at New York private equity firm Apollo Global Management. “They’re on the rise, we’re on the rise. And frankly, to have California as part of our stadium’s name is very attractive.”

The naming-rights deal is set to be announced this morning at a groundbreaking ceremony for the stadium.

Source:   latimes
Source Link:   latimes

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