Sports: Exposure Brings
Interest From Investors
BY MIKE ALLEN
Optimism was peaking at the Pacific Beach offices of the San Diego Flash Soccer Club last week following a television interview of Flash CEO Yan Skwara on CNN Financial News and the official change of its stock symbol.
“Going public has given us great exposure,” Skwara said. “There are a lot of investors out there who want to support the sport, and now they have a vehicle to do that.”
Last month the club’s parent firm, San Diego Soccer Development Corp., merged with an existing publicly traded company, Roller Coaster Inc. The company was formed two years ago by a Nevada investment group, but had no business operations, Skwara said.
By merging with the existing company the soccer club was able to reach the capital market much quicker, he said.
Trading of the stock that had opened at 75 cents reached about $3 last week. With some 8 million shares outstanding, the company’s market capitalization was about $24 million.
Skwara said the Flash, which competes in the minor league A League, is one of a handful of professional sports franchises that are now publicly traded. The most prominent are baseball’s Cleveland Indians and the Boston
Celtics of the National Basketball Association.
The plan for the team that competes in the A League is to raise about $5 million to $10 million this year through a secondary offering, possibly in the second quarter.
With the cash, the Flash plan to construct a soccer-only stadium that seats 13,000. Skwara said the club is considering two undisclosed locations for the stadium.
In its second full season, the Flash lost some $650,000, but Skwara said by the fourth or fifth season he expects to break even.
Last year, the Flash produced a 20-8 record, good enough for a second trip to the league semifinal round.
Skwara said the recent publicity surrounding the company stock is having a positive effect on season ticket sales and sponsorships. The new season begins April 8.
Home games are played at Mesa College.