University Times

LAFC Claims the L.A. Throne

Los Angeles Football Club celebrates its inaugural season with a new stadium and big dreams.

LAFC+at+the+Stubhub+Center+on+the+field+with+the++LA+Galaxy+team.
LAFC at the Stubhub Center on the field with the  LA Galaxy team.

LAFC at the Stubhub Center on the field with the LA Galaxy team.

Luis Sinco

Luis Sinco

LAFC at the Stubhub Center on the field with the LA Galaxy team.

Mike Nelson, Staff Reporter

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Los Angeles finally has their own soccer team: Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC). Yes, the Los Angeles Galaxy have been here for 22 years, but they have never played within the LA City limits. LAFC’s home games will be played at Banc of California Stadium in Exposition Park.; it doesn’t get much more L.A than that. 

The team played their first home game at the 22,000 seat soccer stadium on April 29, defeating the Seattle Sounders 1-0 with a last minute free-kick goal from LAFC Capitan Laurent Ciman. 

Tom Penn, the President of LAFC, recently spoke to the LA Times:

“We are not a suburban team. We are not a beach team. We’re brick and mortar. We’re Downtown L.A.” 

The Banc of California Stadium was built where the iconic Los Angeles Sports Arena once stood. MLS Commissioner Dan Garber spoke to the Los Angeles Times about the site:

“We had our sights on the Sports Arena for four or five years before we even contemplated LAFC.”

LAFC’s existence was a result of the Major League Soccer (MLS) purchase of the recently bankrupt Chivas USA Football Club from Jorge Vergara in 2014. When Chivas USA was acquired by the league, it was to be kept in the local area, but lacked an investor. Peter Guber CEO of Mandalay Entertainment became that investor. 

Guber, also part owner of the LA Dodgers and Golden State Warriors, spoke to the LA Times about the risk he took with his investment: “When you look at LAFC there was nothing there. There wasn’t even a hole in the ground. The vision was ‘build it and they will come’.” 

The fans have done just that; LAFC have sold out 17,500 season tickets, the maximum amount allowed by MLS regulations. 

In-part, LAFC’s ownership consists of famous athletes including: Mia Hamm, Nomar Garciaparra and Magic Johnson. Self-help author Tony Robbins and comedian-actor Will Ferrell are also part of the ownership group that includes over 20 people. 

For LAFC, they have a team, investors and their own stadium; the only thing missing is a championship. 

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LAFC Claims the L.A. Throne