Weekly Column: Sports Real Estate is Booming

In his capacity as a Columnist for California Sports Lawyer®, Founder Jeremy Evans has written a column about the booming sports and entertainment real estate market and hopeful expectations for growth.

You can read the full column below.

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The pandemic has expedited the clock on professional sports teams and colleges to focus inward on real estate development. Owning and controlling more land and facilities related to athletic performance, safety, sustainability, games, and entertainment. Investing team revenue and financing through public-private partnerships and even current player-investor ownership stakes.

Quarterback Russell Wilson has invested in the Seattle Sounders FC $1 billion dollar training facility, housing, and office space development. With baseball stars like Juan Soto looking to make about $500 million over a long term deal, it is no wonder players are investing with teams on real estate. Assuming all incentives are reached, Quarterback Patrick Mahomes is already the highest paid athlete in America and has similar investments.

With the Big Ten conference aiming to bring in over $1.1 billion dollars per year on their next rights buyout, financing with be readily available. As sports move further past the pandemic, the possibilities are ever-expanding. The Oakland Athletics are seemingly clearing hurdles to push forward with the multi-billion dollar Howard Terminal development, while the city of Las Vegas is eyeing a potential move of the iconic franchise from the bay to the desert. Of course, the $5+ billion dollar development in Inglewood (SoFi Stadium) currently takes the proverbial cake and just hosted the Super Bowl.

The Intuit Dome, the new home of the Los Angeles Clippers starting in 2024, is $1.8 billion dollars, privately funded, and will be the near neighbor of the Los Angeles Chargers and Rams football teams, SoFi. Snapdragon Stadium is replacing Qualcomm, vacated by the Chargers moving to Los Angeles, is a massive development set to benefit San Diego State University, the fans, and community. International development in the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, and in China are all seeing short term and long term stadium development plans.

Where the real estate market plays along, the National Football League (NFL) is looking to possibly host the Super Bowl in 2026 at Tottenham in the United Kingdom, international stadium growth should continue to grow, complemented by the upcoming Olympics and World Cups. Back in the States, the Tennessee Titans are considering a new stadium or working on a three-year, $600 million dollar plan to add an entertainment district. The Anaheim Angels are coming up against some roadblocks, but will look to have a clear pathway soon on their entertainment district development. With Major League Soccer (MLS) adding franchises in Charlotte, St. Louis, and possibly Las Vegas, there will be more stadium and entertainment district real estate development in those cities.

From a business operational standpoint, having a great venue is one of the four essential tenets to success in sports (team wins, fan attendance, and championships). Specifically, running a successful sports franchise requires a great venue, lease (or outright ownership), market, and personnel or some positive mixture of the aforementioned. As states continue to add sports betting laws, sports teams will have an influx of cash and another reason to add entertainment aspects to existing or new stadiums. With lacrosse, esports, and women’s sports on the rise, expect to see more development there as well.

The next question is whether name, image, and likeness (NIL) revenue will see college athletes begin investing in sports real estate as well. Meanwhile, Hollywood studios and streamers continue their significant land buys and development for production space here in America and globally. Those will continue to growth especially where the sports industry continues its push into entertainment content.

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About Jeremy M. Evans:  

Jeremy M. Evans is the Chief Entrepreneur Officer, Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clientele in contractual, intellectual property, and dealmaking matters. Evans is an award-winning attorney and industry leader based in Los Angeles. He can be reached at Jeremy@CSLlegal.com. www.CSLlegal.com.

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Jeremy M. Evans is the CEO, Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clientele and is licensed to practice law in California.