Wayne D. Katz is a partner in the Corporate Department, specializing in the sports industry.
Wayne's experience includes the representation of the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League in their various corporate matters, including team ownership transfers and team financings. Major transactions he has worked on for the leagues include the NBA’s purchase and sale of the New Orleans Hornets; the NBA's grant of expansion franchises to Toronto, Vancouver and Charlotte; the NHL's grant of expansion franchises to Nashville, Atlanta, Columbus and Minnesota; the NBA’s $3.6 billion League-wide credit facility; and the formation of the Women's National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Development League.
He also has worked on several proposed and completed acquisitions and sales of National Football League and Major League Baseball teams, including the sale of the Miami Marlins, Jimmy Haslam’s purchase of the Cleveland Browns, Jeffrey Lurie’s purchase of the Philadelphia Eagles, Robert Wood Johnson IV’s purchase of the New York Jets, Jeffrey Loria’s purchase of a controlling interest in the Montreal Expos, and Ted Lerner’s purchase of the Washington Nationals. In 2002, Wayne handled the seminal transaction in which the owners of the Expos sold the Expos to Major League Baseball and simultaneously purchased the Florida Marlins from John Henry. He also represented Red Bull GmbH in its purchase of the MLS MetroStars (now known as the New York Red Bulls), Cliff Viner in his sale of the NHL Florida Panthers and The Ralph Wilson Trust in its sale of the Buffalo Bills.
Wayne has extensive experience with stadium and arena development, financing and lease transactions, including representing the Marlins in its development of Marlins Park in downtown Miami; the NBA in its temporary relocation of the New Orleans Hornets to Oklahoma City; Red Bull in its joint development and lease of a new stadium in Harrison, New Jersey; the Eagles in its financing of Lincoln Financial Field; the Jets in its financing of MetLife Stadium; the Minnesota Vikings in its lease and financing of a new stadium in Minneapolis; and the Cleveland Browns in its stadium renovation financing.
Wayne also handles various financing and commercial agreements on behalf of his sports clients, such as bank credit agreements, naming rights agreements, concessions agreements and employment agreements.
Outside of sports, Wayne has handled mergers, acquisitions, financings and investments, and has prepared partnership agreements, limited liability company agreements and various other corporate documents, for clients in a wide range of other industries.
Wayne has been inducted into the Sports Business Journal’s Hall of Fame after being named one of the “Forty under 40” most influential sports executives for three years in a row.