The Los Angeles Football Club was honored Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for the team’s contributions to the South Los Angeles community and record-setting inaugural season.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas presented a scroll to the team’s president and co-owner, Tom Penn, and chief business officer, Larry Freedman.
The Second District that Ridley-Thomas represents includes Banc of California Stadium, where the Major League Soccer team plays, but all five supervisors posed with black and gold team jerseys sporting their district numbers.
A video montage of the team’s season offered highlights before Penn thanked the board.
“We’re so proud of the club that we’ve been able to build,” Penn said, adding that it’s about more than just sports. “We want to be a unifier.”
The team established the LAFC Foundation last year to implement programs in underserved schools and neighborhoods, with a focus on South Los Angeles. More than 7,000 tickets have been distributed to residents of the community, and Banc of California Stadium in Exposition Park includes 125,000 square feet of publicly accessible plazas and open space, according to Seth Burton, LAFC’s vice president of communications.
Penn called the arena “a house of joy for the entire community.”
Banc of California Stadium was built under a project labor agreement which guaranteed local hiring and area wage standards. More than $70 million was spent on the construction workforce, which achieved its goal of 40 percent local hires of the more then 3,000 workers who were employed during its construction, which was completed last year, Burton said.
More than $25 million was invested into communities within 10 miles of the stadium, according to Burton.
LAFC had 57 points during its inaugural 2018 season, the most by an MLS expansion team on a 16-9-9 record. It is off to a 2-0-0 start this season.
LAFC sold out all 17 regular-season matches and its lone playoff match last season and both games this season at the 22,000-seat stadium.