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New stadium breaks ground in South Los Angeles


Ground was ceremonially broken earlier this week on a $350 million stadium in Exposition Park that will house the Southland’s newest soccer franchise, and the ownership group announced that Banc of California has purchased naming rights for the facility.

The 22,000-seat Banc of California Stadium, which is scheduled to open in 2018, will be home to Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club, at the site of the former Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.

Members of the LAFC’s ownership group, including Lakers great Ervin “Magic” Johnson, actor Will Ferrell and motivational speaker Tony Robbins were among those taking part in a groundbreaking ceremony for the stadium this morning.

Club officials said the project is the first open-air stadium built in Los Angeles since 1962. The also said the project will create thousands of jobs and have a $130 million annual economic impact.

“Today’s announcement of Banc of California Stadium builds upon the bank’s demonstrated commitment to Los Angeles and its diverse communities—continuing to raise the bar for responsible corporate community engagement in Los Angeles,” said former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a strategic adviser to Banc of California.

Bank and LAFC officials said they are committed to providing jobs to residents of neighborhoods surrounding the stadium, and contracting with companies owned by minorities, women and veterans.

The bank also announced plans to expand its services in the South Los Angeles area.

“Banc of California Stadium will provide fans with a world-class sports and entertainment experience and create increased economic development within the local community,” said Larry Berg, LAFC lead managing owner.

The team’s ownership group also includes former Dodger Nomar Garciaparra and his wife, soccer star Mia Hamm-Garciaparra.

Los Angeles Football Club was announced in 2014 as a replacement for the disbanded Chivas USA soccer club, which played for 10 years at StubHub Center in Carson, sharing the facility with the Los Angeles Galaxy. The new MLS team is expected to begin play in 2018 at the new stadium.