The Deal: Angel City Not Just a Trophy Investment

August 10, 2020

O’Melveny Sports Industry group co-chair Chuck Baker spoke with The Deal on bringing a National Women’s Soccer League franchise to Los Angeles, the gender gap in professional sports, and the deal outlook for teams amid the pandemic.

The newly formed LA professional soccer team Angel City is a high-profile asset, the publication noted. “It’s really both an impact investment as well as a really opportunistic investment,” said Baker, who represented the team in the deal. “We’re seeing a coming together of political and social forces unlike anything we’ve seen coming out of the #MeToo movement and the recognition of pay inequalities, gender inequalities. This group came together to try to do something important in the world and in women’s sports.”

Although the pandemic has interrupted schedules and ticket sales, sports teams have “appreciated more quickly than just about every other asset class over the last five, 10 and 20 years in this country,” Baker said. “The compound annual growth rate of each of the big five sports leagues — the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, the NHL, Major League Soccer — exceeds 12%, with Major League Soccer up over 20%,” he added. “Sports teams are recognized now not as just trophy assets but as a real valuable asset class.”

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