As Sports Industry Group Co-Chair, Irwin P. Raij has extensive experience advising clients on a wide range of sports business issues, on both the professional and the collegiate levels. He has represented owners and acquirers of professional sports teams, leagues, universities, and state governments.
His experience includes matters related to MLB, MiLB, MLS, NBA, NHL, NFL, and EPL, along with major colleges and universities. Irwin also is an owner of the Oklahoma City Dodgers (MiLB), and the MLS Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC).
Irwin has handled new stadium development projects, project program and development counseling, financing, construction, license/lease agreements, management agreements, concessions, merchandising, ancillary development, licensing arrangements, promotional and advertising agreements (including naming rights), sports technology counseling/ventures, ticketing arrangements, stadium service agreements, RSN formation, and television, radio and media rights agreements. A consensus builder, Irwin also has experience successfully negotiating complex public-private partnerships.
Recognizing the significance of Supreme Court’s May 2018 decision permitting states to legalize sports gambling, Irwin created and leads an interdisciplinary task force comprised of partners across the firm’s practices and offices to better serve clients navigating this new legal terrain.
Previously, he served as assistant counsel to the Gore/Lieberman presidential campaign, responsible for compliance with Federal Election Commission regulations, drafting committee contracts and leases, conducting research and providing other legal guidance.
Irwin also served as an attorney in the White House Office of Counsel to the President and later as associate counsel in the White House Office of Counsel to the Vice President.
Irwin began his career as an attorney advisor for the Department of Housing & Urban Development, and returned to that Department to serve as special assistant in the office of the general counsel and as acting managing attorney for the FOIA Department.
- Mergers & Acquisitions:
- Represented the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation in negotiations for its new management agreement and related sale option of the Citi Open with Washington, D.C.-based venture capitalist and entrepreneur Mark Ein.
- Represented David Tepper, founder and president of global hedge fund Appaloosa Management, in his US$2.275 billion acquisition of the NFL Carolina Panthers, the largest transaction for an NFL team to date.
- Advising Phoenix Rising Football Club in connection with its bid for an MLS expansion team for the city and related new stadium construction.
- Advising Palace Entertainment in connection with its bid for an MLS expansion team for Detroit.
- Represented Albert Friedberg in connection with the acquisition of a minority interest in Orlando City SC.
- Led the team that represented Guggenheim Baseball Management (headed by Mark Walter, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Stan Kasten and Peter Guber, among others) in the acquisition of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the single largest transaction ever for a professional sports franchise to date.
- Represented Rangers Baseball Express (the investment group led by Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan) in its acquisition of the Texas Rangers.
- Represented former Milwaukee Bucks President and Owner Herbert Kohl in the $550 million sale of the basketball franchise to New York investment firm executives Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens.
- Represented client in acquiring an e-sports team.
- Stadiums and Related Development:
- Providing advice and counsel to the City of Portland’s local business community in connection with bringing an MLB franchise to the city, including a proposed acquisition and related stadium and several million square feet of ancillary development.
- Representing the State of Hawaii’s Aloha Stadium facility with site analysis to facilitate planning possible new stadium and ancillary development.
- Representing Syracuse University on sports facility development matters, including stadium finance and project management.
- Representing Hillsborough County in its ongoing efforts to build a new ballpark for the Tampa Bay Rays.
- Representing multiple state governments regarding stadium development and financing matters related to stadiums for minor league baseball teams.
- Advised IMG regarding an agreement with the Miami Dolphins to relocate the Miami Tennis Open to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
- Represented the City of Atlanta and Fulton County Recreation Authority regarding an arena operating agreement and non-relocation agreement in connection with the US$190 million State Farm Arena (formerly Philips Arena) renovation, home to the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.
- Represented Major League Baseball (MLB) in its successful efforts to relocate the Montreal Expos, now the Washington Nationals, to Washington, DC; and separately in all matters related to the construction of the new, more than $600 million ballpark for the team.
- Appointed by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to serve on a three person committee to determine feasibility of developing a new stadium for the Oakland A’s in Northern California.
- Counseled New York State in support of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s efforts to keep the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo, including the assessment of a new building and successfully negotiating a lease extension and non-relocation agreement in 2013.
- Represented the Orlando City Soccer Club with respect to stadium agreements for original site.
- Served as member of the Sacramento First Task Force, which assisted the City with evaluating options for the new Sacramento Kings arena.
- Represented University of Miami on its basketball arena naming rights deal with Watsco.
- Represented Combate Americas in connection with a multiyear media rights deal with DAZN, the live-streaming service of Perform Group, in which DAZN will be the exclusive provider of Combate Americas’ English language broadcasts in the United States and Canada.
- Represented LaLiga, the Spanish soccer league, in its joint venture with Relevent Sports to commercialize its media, sponsorship, and licensing rights in North America.
- Assisting the Kansas City Royals with the negotiation of a media rights deal with Fox.
- Representing Combate Americas, the first US Hispanic Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sports franchise, in multiple domestic and international media deals.
Represented Guggenheim Baseball Management (the ownership group for the Los Angeles Dodgers) in the formation of American Media Productions, LLC (AMP) which launched SportsNet LA and the related media agreement between the Dodgers and AMP to air Dodger games.
- Represented University of Oregon for its $57 million multimedia rights deal with IMG College.
- District of Columbia
- New York
- Washington University, J.D.
- University of Miami, B.B.A.
- National Board of Directors for the Development Corporation for Israel
- Board of Advisors for the University of Miami School of Law’s Graduate Program in Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law
- Former Board of Directors of the Washington DC Jewish Community Center and the Greater Washington Jewish Federation (2013 and 2014)
- Former member of the Jewish Federation of North America’s National Young Leadership Cabinet and the Israel Bonds New Leadership Board
- Former member of the National Alumni Association Board of the University of Miami, and member of Iron Arrow
- Former member of the Board of Directors of Amigos for Kids®, a Florida nonprofit
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