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Sports, Entertainment & Convention Facilities

Our Sports, Entertainment and Convention Facilities attorneys provide transaction, litigation and compliance counsel to public entities, private businesses and public-private partnerships that plan, develop, build, operate, maintain and promote these types of facilities. We have specialty expertise advising on sports, entertainment and convention projects that are also part of larger mixed-use developments with companion residential, commercial, hotel, and public recreation uses.

Two of the most complex challenges in the development and on-time completion of these types of projects are (1) obtaining the myriad of approvals and permits from local, state and federal agencies and (2) defending against a broad range of legal objections that project opponents often pursue in court. Meyers Nave has extensive experience developing practical strategies for negotiating approvals and agreements with public agencies and the community and creating litigation defense strategies that help keep completion deadlines on track.

Our expertise covers laws and regulations that arise during project development and implementation, including Land Use, Environmental Law, Eminent Domain, Constitutional Law, Construction Law, and laws relating to public contracts, public finance, public meetings and public records. We have extensive experience with AB 900 Environmental Leadership Development Projects and special legislation relating to sports stadiums and arenas.

 

Representative Matters

  • City of Sacramento Downtown NBA Arena Project. Meyers Nave served as Special Counsel to the City of Sacramento and defeated every legal challenge against the $477 million downtown arena for the Sacramento Kings NBA team, including (1) an eminent domain victory giving the City permission to take over the final piece of downtown property, (2) a published appellate decision denying a CEQA-based challenge to the project, (3) a published appellate decision denying a constitutional challenge to the special statute passed to streamline the City’s CEQA review of the proposed arena, and (4) an 11-day trial victory, recognized by the Daily Journal as a “Top Defense Result,” alleging that the public-private partnership behind the arena engaged in a secret subsidy, collusion, fraud, and illegal expenditure of public funds.
  • City of Anaheim’s “Big A 2050” Plan for Orange County’s only MLB Stadium.  Meyers Nave serves as lead land use and CEQA counsel to the City of Anaheim for a mixed-use development and stadium project, known as Big A 2050, on the site of an existing Los Angeles Angels stadium. The project envisions redevelopment of the stadium site to introduce large-scale residential, office, and retail/entertainment uses to create a year-round use. The plan is designed to keep major league baseball in Anaheim for the next 30+ years. Meyers Nave is advising on all entitlements and environmental review required to bring the plan to fruition including a Disposition and Development Agreement, site plans, tentative maps and other required approvals. The project is a key element to the City realizing its vision for the development of the Platinum Triangle Mixed Use area located adjacent to Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) which provides rail, bus, taxi and other services for daily commuters and visitors.
  • Oakland A’s MLB Stadium and Mixed-Use Development Project. In addition to providing general CEQA advice to the City of Oakland on major development projects, Meyers Nave serves as outside land use and environmental counsel to the City for a waterfront ballpark and mixed-use development project at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal. The project includes a 35,000-seat ballpark, 3,000 residential units, 1.5 million sq. ft. of office, 270,000 sq. ft. of retail, a 400-room hotel and a 3,500-seat performance venue. We are advising on the preparation of the Environmental Impact Report (CEQA), land use entitlements, and project-related agreements including the Development Agreement and Community Benefits Agreement. We also are advising on compliance with special streamlining legislation (AB 734). The project straddles jurisdictions of several agencies with different regulations and permitting processes, including the State Lands Commission (tide and submerged land issues) and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (San Francisco Bay Plan issues).
  • Professional Soccer Stadium and Mixed-Use Development Project with Modular Housing. Meyers Nave provided land use strategy and CEQA advice to Hall Equities Group, the developer of a proposed $750 million soccer stadium project with linkage to the downtown Concord BART station. The project includes a 15,000- to 18,000-seat stadium, two hotels with 650 rooms, a 150,000-square-foot convention center, retail space and modular multifamily housing. The stadium was planned to be home to a United Soccer League franchise for the Oakland East Bay area.
  • Mixed-Use Development Project and Transit Station Adjacent to SAP Arena. Since 2011, Meyers Nave has assisted the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) on land use and environmental matters for implementation of long-range plans to expand public rail transit into the South Bay and Silicon Valley, including bringing BART from Fremont through San Jose to Santa Clara. Our cases currently include representing VTA in a lawsuit filed by the San Jose Sharks alleging violations of CEQA and NEPA relating to BART’s multi-year four-station extension into downtown San Jose and Santa Clara.
  • Los Angeles Clippers Arena Litigation. Meyers Nave represented the Consolidated Oversight Board of the Second District of Los Angeles County, which includes the Inglewood Successor Agency of the Redevelopment Agency, in litigation relating to a dispute over a potential new home for the Los Angeles Clippers. Madison Square Garden Co. (MSG), which owns the Forum, alleged that the City of Inglewood and its mayor tricked MSG into giving up its long-term lease and purchase option on 15 acres of parking space near the Forum because the City and the mayor were allegedly secretly negotiating with the Clippers to build a new and competing arena on that land less than 1.5 miles from the Forum. The lawsuit alleged violations of the Brown Act and the California Environmental Quality Act. The litigation was dismissed when Clippers owner Steve Ballmer completed his $400-million purchase of the Forum from MSG, thus ending a dispute that started when the Clippers announced their arena project.
  • City of Reno Minor League Baseball Stadium and Mixed-Use Development Project. Meyers Nave advised on a new $40 million 10,000-seat outdoor stadium project that brought the first Triple-A baseball team to downtown Reno in 2009. In addition to the Reno Aces stadium, the development plans also included an entertainment district with retail, dining and nightlife venues. Meyers Nave advised the City of Reno on numerous matters, including assembling land; ground lease, stadium lease, subleases, option agreements, guaranty agreement; agreements with third-party owners, including a land exchange; relocation of City fire station; and State of Nevada’s approval to use an historic structure.
  • General Counsel to the South San Francisco Conference Center Authority. Meyers Nave serves as General Counsel to the South San Francisco Conference Center Authority, which manages, operates, maintains and promotes the South San Francisco Conference Center. Our legal services include transaction, litigation and compliance counsel for matters involving Labor and Employment, Public Contracts, Governance, Land Use, Public Finance, Brown Act, Public Records Act, Event Space Lease and Use Agreements, and Concessionaire Agreements.