Cushman & Wakefield launches sports and entertainment advisory practice

Brokerage will work with pro teams, colleges and sports and entertainment venues, following similar moves by CBRE and JLL
April 02, 2019 09:00AM

Cushman & Wakefield's Michael Sessa (left) and Craig Cassell with the Chase Center in San Francisco (Credit: Manica Architects)

Cushman & Wakefield’s Michael Sessa (left) and Craig Cassell with the Chase Center in San Francisco (Credit: Manica Architects)

Cushman & Wakefield launched a sports and entertainment practice to help clients develop athletic and entertainment venues and the areas around them. Competitors CBRE and JLL already have similar divisions.

The brokerage picked Chicago-based executive managing directors Craig Cassell and Michael Sessa — both former college football players — to lead the nationwide team, according to Crain’s, which first reported on the announcement. Executives in its New York, San Francisco and Atlanta offices will also take part. Cushman hopes to capitalize on the trend of venues being part of larger mixed-use developments, according to the report.

Cushman will advise pro teams, colleges and other sports and entertainment venues on facilities and construction management, and how to finance deals.

Cushman told Crain’s it already leases retail space around the Sacramento Kings’ Golden 1 Center arena, provides facilities management services for the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, and won a 100,000-square-foot leasing assignment for retail space at the new Golden State Warriors’ Chase Center in San Francisco.

The new division is the latest change at Cushman, which saw a number of high-profile departures last year ahead of the firm’s IPO. Since then, though, the brokerage has made a number of splashy moves, particularly in the Chicago market.

Cushman added the multifamily institutional investment sales team of KIG CRE, hired away CBRE’s Chicago office broker team and poached Newmark Knight Frank’s top retail broker, Gregory Kirsch, to run Midwest retail operations. [Crain’s] — John O’Brien