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Out With the Banc in With BMO

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 Welcome Bank of Montreal

Banc of California Stadium will be no more. Being renamed to BMO Stadium after LAFC and BMO agreed to a 10-year naming deal for 100 million dollars. Originally Banc of California and LAFC agreed to a 15 year 100-million-dollar deal. However due to the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic in 2020, Banc of California restructured the deal. Where they paid LAFC 20.1 million dollars to end the contract 12 years early. BMO has been looking to expand more and more into the US and now they found a top tier partnership with LAFC. Many MLS fans will be familiar with BMO as they also hold naming rights for Toronto FC’s stadium, BMO Field and have a sponsorship on their jersey’s. With Banc of California being no more, let’s take a look at some key moments from their time as the stadiums name.

 First Ever Home Match

LAFC would host the Seattle Sounders in the clubs first ever home match in BMO Stadium. After defeating the Sounders in Seattle for their debut in MLS, Seattle had the chance to play spoiler in LAFC’s home debut. It was a tight and hard-fought battle. However, some late game drama saved the night. As then captain Laurent Ciman would score a 93rd minute game winner for the home side. After a howler from the ever so reliable Stefan Frei allowed the Banc to celebrate and rejoice in victory. With this match set history was made and many more beautiful memories were to come.

Heartbreak in the Playoffs

While there has been much joy shared at the Banc, the Banc has also seen its fair share of pain. LAFC’s first season saw them qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs and would host a knockout match against Real Salt Lake. While it looked like LAFC were clear favorites that night was not the case. As they would go on to lose 3-2 in their first ever playoff match. An own goal by then defender Walker Zimmerman would be the key moment in delivering this loss to LAFC. This wouldn’t be the only time they experienced heartbreak at the Banc but ultimately the Banc would go out with a bang.

Breaking Barriers

While womens football has been gaining an uphill momentum around the world, Los Angeles was no different and in 2021 Angel City FC was announced! The team had high profile owners that included Becky G, Natalie Portman, Eva Longoria, Mia Hamm, and Serena Williams. Angel City FC had their inagural season in 2022 where they had a phenomenal season. Falling just short of the playoffs by 4 points. With a strong first season Angel City FC will definitley continue to grow and hopefully become a powerhouse in the NWSL.

Ultimate Glory at the Banc

LAFC would go on to have a spectacular 2022. They would go on to win the 2022 MLS Supporters Shield for the second time in their history. Now MLS Cup was next. They had the advantage as the playoffs would have to go through Banc of California Stadium. They would welcome their rivals the LA Galaxy for the Western Conference Semi-Finals. Where they would win in dramatic fashion with a 93rd game winning goal by Cristian ‘Chicho’ Arango. Thus, sending them the Conference finals where they would face a fiery Austin FC side. There LAFC would easily dominate Austin and soundly defeated them 3-0. Claiming the Western Conference and heading off to MLS Cup.

There LAFC faced off against the number one team in the Eastern Conference the Philadelphia Union. It would be a game of high intensity and emotions. Ultimatley LAFC would win the MLS Cup in a penalty shootout defeating the Union 3-0. LAFC also closed the season with one of the most dangerous squads. Players like Giorgio Chiellini, Gareth Bale, Denis Bouanga, Cristian Tello, Ilie Sanchez, and the one whose been here from the start Carlos Vela.

Welcoming a New Era

No doubt it will be difficult for fans to transition to using BMO Stadium instead of Banc of California. However, with the way LAFC has done business they are set for a long run at the top. Whatver is in store for LAFC’s future BMO Stadium will be there for the next 10 years!

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