Kai Ryssdal vs. LAFC | Tom Penn


Welcome to the bank. You’re about to see the greatest soccer-specific stadium on the planet. Is this what you had in mind? Is this what you thought it would be? From a physical standpoint, it’s exactly what we thought it would be. The performance of the team and the performance of the audience and the rocket ship that we’re on as far as being relevant with sports in LA, that is much more than I expected. So this is tangential, but are you guys still sort of a startup then? I think we’re out of the startup phase now. I’d say that our soccer operation when we talk about putting on or performing a game is at a high level now. “Performing” a game? Interesting word. We’re getting better, too. We’re still improving. We’re not at our peak. The game against the Galaxy, the crosstown rivals, I have to say for the record you’ve never beaten them, right? We have not. No. They haven’t won here either. You’ve had really quick short-term and robust success, but what’s your worst nightmare? I think the worst nightmare is always about some security risk at a venue like this with 22,000 people. We all face that. We’re not just an average building. We’re sort of a city landmark. So that’s always the thing you worry about the most. Do you think soccer is finally here to stay in this country? Oh, for sure. For 40 years soccer was the sport of the future in America, right? It’s finally here. There’s this millennial audience that’s on the rise, has spending power, and millennials want to be citizens of the world, right? And how are you a citizen of the world without being fluent in the world’s game? You’ve got to have a club. There’s all that momentum behind us, and we’re capitalizing on that in the best market in America.

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