MLS Introduces Star-Studded Los Angeles FC Ownership Group


As promised, Major League Soccer introduced the new Los Angeles franchise after shutting down Chivas USA earlier this week. On Thursday, Los Angeles Football Club was born as the newest MLS franchise and ownership group was revealed that include the likes of Mia Hamm Garciaparra, Magic Johnson, and Nomar Garciaparra. It a group filled with knowledgable people on the business and soccer side of things.

“Los Angeles is a diverse, vibrant market with millions of soccer fans, and we look forward to an intense rivalry between the Galaxy and Los Angeles Football Club. – Don  Garber.

In addition to the well-known names above, the ownership group is led by entrepreneur Henry Nguyen, sports and entertainment leader Peter Guber, and sports veteran Tom Penn. Vincent Tan is also apart of the Los Angeles FC side that will join MLS alongside the Atlanta based franchise in 2017. With 22 planned teams, MLS is still set on having 24 teams by 2020.

"“We are thrilled to welcome Henry Nguyen, Peter Guber, Tom Penn and their owner partners to Major League Soccer,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber.  “This visionary ownership group will chart a course that will further elevate the sport in this great city and, combined with a new state-of-the-art stadium, accelerate us down the path toward becoming one of the top soccer leagues in the world.”"

After a disappointing end to Chivas USA’s ten-year existence, the LAFC ownership group will need to learn from Chivas’ mistakes and prove a second LA based team can compete alongside the LA Galaxy. LAFC is already on a better footing than Chivas because the plan is for LAFC to have their own stadium that is privately funded.

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Peter Guber, who is chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment Group, owner and co-executive chairman of the Golden State Warriors, and co-owner of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers will serve as executive chairman of the new MLS club. He understands LA area sports and understands what LAFC needs to focus on to succeed.

"“The business of sports and entertainment is all about winning on the field and providing an exciting product that will develop a passionate and loyal fan base,” said Guber.  “The Los Angeles market has millions of soccer supporters, and we know that this new team can fulfill the promise of success on the field and provide a great experience for our fans.”"

Garber, MLS media, and fans will be looking forward to another set of regional rivalry games. If done right, this will not only enhance MLS’s brand, but also the brand of soccer in the Los Angeles area. The potential is there for bringing in thousand, if not millions, of soccer supporters. The new owners of LAFC seem to understand that the fan and supporter experience is key to a franchise’s success in MLS.

“Today is day one and time for us to focus on developing a world-class stadium for the club to play in and for fans to enjoy,” said Nguyen.

Magic Johnson, one of the club’s owners isn’t a stranger to being a owner of a sports team. He is apart of the LA Dodgers and WNBA side LA Sparks. He’s excited for being apart of another ownership group.

In case you have lost track of the big ownership group, check out this picture of the entire group below.

LAFC’s brand identity, along with the front office, coaching and administrative staff will be announced at later dates. There is a lot of work ahead for the LAFC ownership group, but the foundation is beginning to be laid for having two successful LA teams in MLS.