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LAFC seeks naming-rights sponsor after restructuring $100m Banc of California deal

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Major League Soccer’s LAFC has been forced to seek a new naming-rights partner after restructuring its 15-year, $100.5m (€91.1m) deal with Banc of California.

LAFC’s $350m venue has been known as Banc of California Stadium since the team joined MLS in 2018. The naming-rights deal, which was agreed in 2016 and is worth around $6.7m a year, is one of the biggest in the league.

According to a press release, the bank will “eventually” step away as the team’s naming-rights partner but will remain LAFC’s primary banking partner and continue with various collaborations.

The reasons for the restructuring have not been disclosed. According to Sportico, Banc of California will pay a $20.1m termination fee to end the deal 12 years early, which amounts to three years of naming rights fees.

“We are extremely proud of our relationship with Banc of California and all that we have built and accomplished together,” LAFC co-owner and president Tom Penn said in a statement. “We thank them for being our founding naming rights partner, helping us create something special and making Banc of California Stadium one of the best sports and entertainment experiences in Los Angeles. We are excited to continue working with Banc of California on our joint community initiatives, while also pursuing a new naming rights partner for the stadium.”

The stadium is poised to stage the 2021 MLS All-Star Game after this year’s event at the same venue was called off due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

MLS remains indefinitely suspended due to the ongoing health crisis and is looking to return to competition with a tournament in Orlando, Florida, this summer.