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Edward Ristaino

Chair, Sports Practice
350 East Las Olas Boulevard
Suite 1600
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Edward L. Ristaino is a partner in Akerman's Corporate Practice Group and chair of the Sports Law Practice. He has a broad-based corporate practice with particular emphasis on the representation of professional sports teams and sports venues, arenas and stadiums, and municipal and county governments in connection with public funding for development of sports venues, arenas and stadiums.

Ed's sports experience includes numerous matters for the Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers, and the National Football League, as well as for a number of individual sports teams, owners, and sports-related entities. He also has been involved in a number of matters relating to the acquisition, financing, operation, and equity funding of professional sports teams, including the acquisition of the Miami Dolphins, the Florida Panthers, and the Florida Marlins for H. Wayne Huizenga, and the sale of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Malcolm Glazer, the sale of the Miami Dolphins to Stephen Ross, the sale of the Florida Marlins to John Henry, and the sale of the Florida Panthers to Alan Cohen.

Ed has represented both teams and bond issuers in transactions relating to sports properties, including facilities financings (such as the bond financing for Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, and the BankAtlantic Center in Broward County, Florida) and loans to teams and team owners.

In addition to his Sports Law practice, Ed has specialized in corporate compliance and governance issues, public and private securities transactions, and mergers and acquisitions for more than 20 years. He has served as lead counsel representing buyers, sellers, investors, special committees of boards of directors, and other stakeholders in hundreds of mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, and restructurings of private and public companies.
Representative Experience
Representation of City of Orlando, FL in connection with design, development, construction, operation, and lease of New Orlando Events Center (2011 completion date), the home arena of the Orland Magic.
Representation of City of Miami, FL in connection with the design, development, construction, operation, and lease of Miami Baseball Stadium (2011 completion date), the home ballpark of the Florida Marlins.
Lease, development and financing of football stadium for the Miami Dolphins, new baseball stadium for Florida Marlins and new arenas for the Florida Panthers and Orlando Magic
NHL's grants of expansion franchises to Florida and MLB's grant of expansion franchise to Florida Marlins
Local radio and television contacts with major telecasters
Joint ventures between sports entities and media and technology
Franchise transfers and financing, including sales of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers, Florida Marlins and minor league baseball and AHL hockey teams
Other key agreements relating to arenas and stadia, including naming rights, seat licenses, sponsorships, concessions, patron services and related agreements
Licensing and other matters relating to the exploitation of intellectual property
Awards & Recognition
Chambers USA, Ranked in Florida for Corporate/M&A
Super Lawyers Magazine 2014-2017, Listed in Forida for Business/Corporate
Florida Trend's Legal Elite, 2006
Martindale-Hubbell, AV Rated
The Best Lawyers in America 2017, Listed in Florida for Merges & Acquisitions Law
Published Works & Lectures
The University of Miami School of Law, Sports Law Class, Guest Lecturer, "Purchases and Sales of Professional Sports Franchises," November 11, 2013
Professional Memberships & Activities
Museum of Discovery and Science, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Board of Trustees, since 2008
U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, Retired Commander
Akerman Fort Lauderdale Office Corporate Practice, Chair, since 2005
The Florida Bar, Business Law Section, Member
Broward County Bar Association, Member
Indiana Bar Association, Past Member

Edward  Ristaino

Representative Clients
Miami Dolphins
National Football League
Huizenga Holdings, Inc.
The Middlesex Companies
Florida Panthers
City of Orlando, FL
City of Miami, FL
Sun Life Stadium
BankAtlantic Center
Learn.com, Inc.
LL.M., University of Miami School of Law, 1988
J.D., Notre Dame Law School, 1984; magna cum laude
B.S., Stonehill College, 1974
Bar Admissions
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