CHICAGO - The law firm of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is pleased to have served as legal counsel to William and Nancy Laurie in their recent sale of the St. Louis Blues National Hockey League (NHL) Franchise and the operating rights to the team’s arena, the Savvis Center. The Lauries, who had owned the franchise and the operating rights to the arena since 1999, sold the team and arena to a buyer group led by sports executive David Checketts. The acquisition closed on June 30, 2006.
"We are pleased to have helped the Lauries successfully sell the team and the operating rights to the arena and are excited to have played a role in the first sale of an NHL franchise since the recent work stoppage and new collective bargaining agreement," said Adam R. Klein, counsel for the sellers and a Chicago-based partner in Katten’s Corporate Practice, as well as co-chair of its Sports Law and Sports Facilities Practice. Additional members of the Firm’s legal team that were involved in the transaction included associates Alex Liker, David J. Kelly, Dustin R. Cahan and Daniel B. Lange; of counsel Gerald M. Penner; and partners David R. Dlugie, Jim T. Smulkowski, Howard M. Richard and Scott E. Lyons, all from the Firm’s Chicago office.
The Firm, which called upon its experience in representing the Chicago White Sox, the Chicago Bulls, the Oakland Athletics, minor league hockey teams and other prospective purchasers of sports franchises, worked closely with the sellers in negotiating and documenting the sale, the redemption of outstanding bonds used to finance the Savvis Center’s construction, and the NHL’s approval of the transaction.
Katten’s 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. It counsels clients regarding all aspects of the business of sports, including player and management issues, compliance with league rules and developments in league policies, television and radio broadcast agreements, sponsorship agreements, including naming rights deals, intellectual property issues, and all aspects of arena/stadium construction, financing and operations, including ticketing arrangements, concession deals and suite licenses. The Practice’s experience includes representing Major League Baseball, NBA, NHL, ECHL and USHL franchises. It has used this experience to also represent several clients in their pursuit of purchasing sports franchises in these leagues, as well as in the Arena Football League, Major League Soccer and the NBA Development League. At the core of Katten’s Sports Law and Sports Facilities 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.
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP (www.katten.com) is a national, full-service law firm with offices in the nation's largest centers of business, government, finance and technology and an associated entity in London. The Firm’s 600 attorneys in more than 40 practice areas provide timely and cost-effective counsel to clients in numerous industries. They serve as business advisors and advocates for a wide range of public and private companies - from entrepreneurial, emerging-growth, and middle market firms to global Fortune 100 corporations - as well as government entities, non-profits, and charitable and cultural organizations.