CHICAGO – Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is pleased to have served as legal counsel to Keystone Sports and Entertainment LLC, its operating subsidiary Pennsylvania Professional Soccer LLC, and its lead investor and manager Jay Sugarman in obtaining the operating rights to the new Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion team in Philadelphia. The team will be the League’s sixteenth and is expected to begin play in the 2010 MLS season in a new stadium that will be built in Chester, Pa., using a combination of public and private funding. The 20,000-seat facility, which will be operated by a subsidiary of Keystone Sports and Entertainment, is expected to serve as the centerpiece of a multi-hundred million-dollar waterfront renewal project that is being developed to revitalize the area southwest of Philadelphia.
“We are pleased to have helped this group successfully bring MLS soccer to the Philadelphia area,” said Adam R. Klein, counsel for the new ownership group and a Chicago-based partner in the firm’s Corporate Practice who heads Katten’s Sports Law and Sports Facilities Practice. “The establishment of a team in the Philadelphia market is a significant achievement for the League and the community, and it was a great opportunity for the investor group as well.”
The Firm worked closely with Major League Soccer and its sister entity, Soccer United Marketing, in negotiating an expansion agreement and related documents. Other attorneys from Katten who worked on the transaction were partners Walter Weinberg and Valentina Famparska, associate Julie Liu and staff attorney Carmen Gaspero.
The Sports Law and Sports Facilities Practice provides legal services to a wide array of participants in the sports industry, including professional and minor league franchises, prospective owners, governmental entities, arena/stadium developers and operators, financial institutions, universities and corporate sponsors. At the core of the practice, the firm has served as outside general counsel for the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls since their acquisition by Jerry Reinsdorf in the 1980s. Other clients of the practice include the Chicago Fire, Oakland Athletics, San Jose Earthquakes, St. Louis Blues, new MLS Philadelphia team and several prospective purchasers of professional sports teams.