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International law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has advised River City Baseball Investment Group, LLC and the Savage Family on their sale of the Sacramento River Cats Triple A Minor-League Baseball Club and Sutter Health Park to the Sacramento Kings (Kings) and Arctos Sports Partners. The transaction is the largest minor league baseball club sale in history, far surpassing the previous record.

This is another example of the type of high-profile engagements handled by BCLP’s Sports & Entertainment Group, one of just two sports practices worldwide recognized by Chambers as a leader in sports law in both the US and the UK.

The BCLP deal team was led by Co-Chair of the firm’s Sports & Entertainment Practice Steve Smith, along with LaRona Kitzinger and Kaley Rickert (Corporate and Sports & Entertainment); Anthony George (Employment & Labor); Steve Evans and Randy Scherer (Employee Benefits); Suzanne Crespo (Sports & Entertainment); and Anissa Madrill (Corporate Paralegal).

Art Savage purchased the River Cats franchise in October 1998 and relocated the team to Sacramento in 2000 from Vancouver, Canada. After Art’s passing, the River Cats legacy was continued by Susan Savage and her sons, Jeff and Brent Savage. The River Cats are the only club to have three Triple-A Championship titles and won five Pacific Coast League titles prior to that. The River Cats are the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, signing a long-term deal in 2021 to carry them through the 2030 season. The River Cats' stadium, Sutter Health Park, built in 2000, was included in the sale. In addition, the River Cats Foundation established in 2000 will continue to financially support family and youth-based activities in the greater Sacramento area under the Kings’ leadership. Susan Savage will stay onboard as a strategic business advisor and member of the ownership group.

BCLP’s involvement in the River Cats sale enhances BCLP’s position as a national leader in complex transactions involving the sale and purchase of, and investments in, professional sports teams and major entertainment companies. With the new Player Development League established under Major League Baseball’s realignment in 2021, this transaction paves the way for increased investment in MiLB franchises and demonstrates BCLP’s experience in navigating partnerships with professional sports leagues in an increasingly intricate regulatory environment.

Read more details about this deal in the Sacramento River Cats’ press release.

This document provides a general summary and is for information/educational purposes only. It is not intended to be comprehensive, nor does it constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought before taking or refraining from taking any action.