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SPORTS

The roar of the crowd, the crack of the bat, the squeak of tennis shoes on the court — it’s all music to our ears. And we love orchestrating the deals, transactions and contracts that make those sounds possible for players, owners, corporations and facilities around the country.

The noisy business of sports stretches so wide that it touches nearly every aspect of law, from collective bargaining to copyright enforcement. At each point of contact, Thompson Coburn offers highly skilled attorneys who can respond swiftly and competently to any issue and craft a comprehensive solution for the individual, corporation or municipal entity.

Stadium finance

Public finance attorneys handled tax and estate planning logistics for a $20 million private donation to a regional university multi-purpose sports facility. The donation provided a portion of funding for the facility, and attorneys worked to obtain public funding for the remaining amount.

Bond Counsel for University of Missouri financings

For more than 20 years, public finance attorneys have served as bond counsel for Missouri’s flagship university on all financings. During a period of both rapid university growth and outside economic challenges, public finance attorneys led work on complex financings that accomplished the University of Missouri’s goals regarding new construction and expansion. Thompson Coburn also helped the University improve its credit structure by helping structure a pooled system of auxiliary facilities such as parking, student housing, dining and recreational facilities. This pooled system boosts the University’s creditworthiness by allowing it to obtain a single higher credit rating for all its facilities, rather than lower ratings for the individual facilities.

Thompson Coburn has served as bond counsel on every financing and refinancing of the Edward Jones Dome

In 2012, the firm acted as bond counsel to St. Louis County in relation to financing for the St. Louis Cardinals ballpark. The transaction was a refinancing that saved St. Louis County about $9.5 million on bonds issued to provide a portion of the construction funds for the stadium. The firm also served as bond and special counsel to St. Louis County on the original financing in 2003. The $9.5 million savings allowed St. Louis County to invest in other tourism and convention opportunities.

The Public Finance group represented the sellers of the St. Louis Blues during the 2006 sale of the team to a private equity group.

Public Finance attorneys also worked on the refinancing of the St. Louis Arena, the old home of the St. Louis Blues.

Stadium naming rights

Thompson Coburn represented two major U.S. companies in connection with the naming rights for a major sports and entertainment venue.

The firm assisted a facility-owner client with tax issues related to the renaming of a major football stadium.

The firm worked on naming-rights and contract issues relative to a multi-purpose sports facility.

Sports Law Chair Bob Wallace led the Rams sale and negotiation efforts with Edward Jones for the renaming of the Stadium.

Franchise relocation

Sports Law Group Chair Bob Wallace is among one of the only attorneys in the U.S. to have led the relocation of two NFL teams (the Football Cardinals to Arizona in 1988, and the Rams to St. Louis in 1995). He has experience in the bevy of contractual, legal and political issues that crop up for teams considering a move.

Thompson Coburn’s late partner Thomas F. Eagleton led the St. Louis business community and its efforts during the Rams’ move to St. Louis from Los Angeles.

Real Estate

Handled numerous projects involving land assembly, rezoning, designation by governmental municipality as selected redeveloper, incentive negotiations, redevelopment agreement implementation and design/build contract responsibilities for mixed-use lifestyle/transit-oriented developments.

Multi-property/multi-parcel transactions for a nationwide fast food chain in 26 states totaling more than 500 transactions.

$100 million multistate, multi-property real estate portfolio transaction as part of a strategic corporate acquisition.

Adaptive reuse of an historic warehouse building into 158 dwelling units/commercial space. Work included the land use entitlements, historic preservation work and assistance on economic stimulus incentives.

Leases/vendor agreements

As general counsel and executive vice president of the St. Louis Rams, Sports Law Group Chair Bob Wallace managed the franchise’s operations and business departments, negotiated all vendor contracts, and led all stadium lease negotiations.

Labor & Employment/ Immigration

In his past work for the Philadelphia Eagles, Sports Law Group Chair Bob Wallace negotiated all player contracts and coach contracts.

Representation of players, coaches and executives

For an established front-office NFL executive, we negotiated a successful transfer to another NFL organization.

For an NBA Player, we successfully negotiated a multi-year, multi-million dollar player contract with an NBA team.

For professional basketball players, we have negotiated player contracts with a number of overseas teams, including teams in Europe and Asia.

For professional basketball players, we have negotiated player contracts with a number of NBA Developmental League Teams.

For professional basketball players, we have negotiated real estate transactions, bank loans and lines of credit, and home purchases.

For an NBA player, we successfully negotiated a multi-year, multi-million dollar endorsement contract worth $5 million to $10 million with a Chinese athletic shoe and apparel company. This complex international deal included considerations related to foreign income tax, currency exchange, and player performance benchmarks and bonuses.

For professional athletes, we have established websites and domain names for marketing and promotion.

We have reviewed numerous business ventures and assisted in structuring investment opportunities.

We have developed successful tax strategies for professional athletes and assisted with the creation of a private foundation.

For a player on the Ladies Professional Golfer Association, we have negotiated a multi-year sponsorship agreement.

Wealth Management

For an NBA player, we successfully negotiated a multi-year endorsement contract worth $5 million to $10 million with a Chinese athletic apparel company. This complex international deal included considerations related to foreign income tax, currency exchange, and player performance benchmarks and bonuses.

For an NBA player, we have developed successful tax strategies and assisted with the creation of a private foundation.

For a player on the Ladies Professional Golfer Association, we have negotiated a multi-year sponsorship agreement.

Agency Representation

We serve as primary outside counsel for a Washington, D.C.-based agency with a roster of NBA and professional basketball players and have assisted with the company’s formation, operating agreement, web-hosting and site design agreements and other contracts.

Publications

USPTO launches new proof of use audit program

What the League giveth: St. Louis’ key role in the history of NFL relocation

What I’ve learned about life, law and sports

Drones and sports: A brief overview

Neutral arbitrators in sports: What makes it fair?

But it’s our locker room: What is acceptable behavior in the sports workplace?

Acceptable specimens are key to strong trademark protection

Blog Posts

Photographer hits retailer over photo of player hitting Joey Bats

A look at the legal issues in the transgender bathrooms debate

Caitlyn on the track: Athletics, Title IX, and the transgender community

Department of Justice penalizes Ironman for illegal sweepstakes

How can a university manage an all-powerful college coach?

Now on deck: The law behind sports trading cards promotions

TCLE

A University’s Guide to Avoid Being a Sports Center Breaking News Headline

News

Thompson Coburn earns corporate counsel recommendations five years running in national report

Bob Wallace weighs the neutrality of pro sports arbitrators for Law360

U.S. Olympic Committee appoints Ken Salomon to ethics committee

Thompson Coburn leads deal that brought One Direction to Edward Jones Dome

112 Thompson Coburn attorneys featured in 2015 Best Lawyers list

Cherie Stephens Bock selected for 2014-2015 class of Leadership St. Louis

Victoria Gilbert joins Thompson Coburn as a partner

Bob Wallace article: What’s acceptable behavior in the sports workplace?

Ouster of Rutgers coach, athletic director highlights risks for universities

Bob Wallace article: Fiscal-cliff-style negotiations fall flat in the sports world, too

Bob Wallace decides NFL suspension appeal for Seattle Seahawks player

Thompson Coburn leads refinancing of St. Louis County’s bond obligations for Busch Stadium

102 Thompson Coburn attorneys featured in 2013 Best Lawyers list

Bob Wallace, Jan Paul Miller publish article on compliance lessons from the Penn State fiasco

Bob Wallace, Mike Minton publish article on NFL concussion litigation

Bob Wallace talks sports law on the Press Box radio show

Bob Wallace joins Thompson Coburn as partner

Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6455

Cherie represents financial institutions and borrowers in various secured and unsecured lending transactions.

Cherie represents financial institutions and borrowers in various secured a...

Cherie Bock
Partner
Los Angeles
310 282 9432

Vicky is a versatile commercial finance attorney who represents banks, investors, and borrowers in a wide variety of financing transactions and investments.

Vicky is a versatile commercial finance attorney who represents banks, inve...

Vicky Gilbert
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6065

Sara is a trusted legal advisor to public entities, nonprofit borrowers, investment bankers and bankers in a wide variety of public financing and lending transactions.

Sara is a trusted legal advisor to public entities, nonprofit borrowers, in...

Sara Kotthoff
Partner
Chicago
312 580 2242

Litigation can be a chess match or a street fight: Rob has the skills and experience needed to navigate either approach.

Litigation can be a chess match or a street fight: Rob has the skills and e...

Rob Lang
Partner
Washington, D.C.
202 585 6904

Ken has spent his entire legal career in the public and private sectors in Washington, DC and has a thorough understanding and appreciation of how lobbying can advance cl...

Ken has spent his entire legal career in the public and private sectors in ...

Ken Salomon
Partner
Chicago
312 580 2202

Rhonda is a finance attorney who leads complex, large-scale projects for public- and private-sector clients across the country.

Rhonda is a finance attorney who leads complex, large-scale projects for pu...

Rhonda Thomas
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6509

As chairman of the firm's Sports Law Group, Bob represents teams, prospective buyers of sports teams, companies interested in sports marketing and civic and government en...

As chairman of the firm's Sports Law Group, Bob represents teams, prospecti...

Bob Wallace, Jr.