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U.S. Sports Teams On Pace To Own 40M SF Of Nonstadium Real Estate

Chase Center, the Golden State Warriors' new arena, a month after its September 2019 opening.

Sports teams are on their way to becoming significant presences as commercial real estate landlords.

Across the U.S., the pipeline of nonstadium commercial real estate owned by sports teams that is either in planning or construction phases has reached 28M SF, Sportico reports. That doesn't count the 12M SF already operational nationwide, like early success story The Battery Atlanta at Truist Park for the Atlanta Braves.

Among the largest mixed-use projects being planned are by Southern California baseball teams, with the San Diego Padres winning local approval for a $1.6B, 2M SF project with a major office component. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim owner Arte Moreno has agreed to buy the team's stadium from the city of Anaheim and 150 acres of land surrounding it, with designs on an 8M SF megadevelopment, Sportico reports.

In the past decade, mixed-use projects anchored by sports stadiums have become commonplace, and the teams that play in those stadiums have increasingly sought to retain control of the properties surrounding their homes. As public financing for stadiums has become less palatable for local governments, commercial real estate ownership has become a key revenue stream for teams looking to build new homes, Sportico reports.

The Chicago Bears don't own their home of Soldier Field, where their lease runs until 2033, but the team has put in a bid to buy a 326-acre site in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights, the Chicago Tribune reports. The home of horse racing track Arlington Park, the site is being marketed for sale by Churchill Downs Inc., the company that also owns its namesake track in Kentucky.

The site is much larger than what became the Battery or the mixed-use area surrounding the Golden State Warriors' Chase Center arena in San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood, meaning it will likely require a substantial amount of development beyond a stadium to give it the dense, thriving feel that teams crave when envisioning their stadiums as year-round entertainment destinations, Sportico reports.

The diversity of revenue that comes from a mixed-use district, which includes a substantial office component for the Battery and Chase Center, managed to keep up throughout the coronavirus pandemic, outperforming their local markets overall where completed.