The Los Angeles Football Club, soon to be the official in-city rival of the Los Angeles Galaxy starting in 2018, have made some moves. They have partnered up with Oliver Wyss’ Orange County Blues of the United Soccer League. As a result, the OC Blues are LAFC’s USL affiliate and a number of players that will be signed by LAFC will start their careers at Anteater Stadium on the campus of UC Irvine in Irvine, Calif.
“We are incredibly excited about this partnership, which will contribute significantly towards our goals of building a competitive roster in 2018 and growing the game here in Southern California,” said LAFC executive VP of soccer operations John Thorrington. “In the OC Blues, we have a fantastic partner with an owner and staff who closely align with our vision to bring world-class professional soccer to Southern California.”
As for their pitch, it has a name: Banc of California Stadium. Banc of California will be the title sponsor of LAFC’s home stadium for the first 15 seasons of their existence, a ground in Exposition Park that will seat 22,000 and will be located adjacent to USC and the LA Memorial Coliseum. Banc of California Stadium is expected to play a vital role in the 2024 Summer Olympics bid, in which Los Angeles is looking to defeat bids from Budapest, Hungary, and Paris, France, the home of Paris Saint-Germain.
“We start here,” said Larry Berg, LAFC Lead Managing Owner. “After years of planning and hard work we are set to make history here in the heart of the city. Banc of California Stadium will allow for greater sports-viewing and live entertainment experiences to take place in Los Angeles than ever before.”
“This world-class stadium,” said Peter Guber LAFC Executive Chairman and Owner, “will be a state of the art venue featuring ‘state of the heart’ experiences for players, fans and artists.”
“It has always been important for me to invest in projects that create and support jobs in communities that are often overlooked, especially here in Los Angeles. The shovels in the ground today mean real dollars are now flowing into this community, benefitting thousands of people,” said Earvin “Magic” Johnson. “The new Banc of California Stadium will bring over $350 million in private investments in South Los Angeles. The construction that begins today will lead to the creation of thousands of jobs.”
“This spectacular stadium will provide LAFC and its fans with a world-class home,” said MLS commissioner Don Garber, “and I look forward to the many rivalry matches between LAFC and the LA Galaxy that will be played here for years to come.”