John Moag – A Pro Bono Lawyer and a Sports
A pro bono chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority, John Moag helped bring an NFL franchise back to Baltimore. He subsequently launched a sports investment banking firm, Moag & Company, that specialized in relocation and expansion of professional teams.
On July 28, 1995, Moag sat down with Al Lerner aboard an aircraft heading for Baltimore-Washington International Airport. The pair discussed Maryland’s new stadium deal in broad terms.
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The Baltimore-born Moag has spent his career helping sports teams. In his early years, he worked for a handful of NFL teams as an attorney.
He later established a sports investment banking practice that now handles transactions in the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball. He’s also a member of the NFL’s board of directors.
During his tenure as chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority, Moag cleared the way for the Cleveland Browns to move to Baltimore. In his latest assignment, he’s working to bring an NFL team to Pasadena.
When he’s not busy running his firm’s sports investment banking practice or consulting on team relocation, Moag can be found at his office on Murray Hill. He’s getting ready to fly to Baltimore for what is likely to be his biggest deal yet.
Achievements and Honors
John Moag is widely credited with bringing a National Football League team to Baltimore and has been recognized for his achievements. He is also a member of Washington College’s Board of Visitors and Governors and chairs the city’s bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics.
The former chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority began his career as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., at Patton Boggs LLP where he served as a partner and a member of the firm’s Executive and Management Committees. He opened the firm’s office in Baltimore and served as director of the firm’s Denver, Dallas, Greensboro, Raleigh and Seattle offices.
After joining Legg Mason in 1998, he was named managing director and leads a multi-disciplinary team devoted to the sports industry. His team is a major part of Legg Mason’s business and provides advice on stadium and arena financing, the sale of franchises and financial reorganizations.
John Moag’s professional life took a major turn when he started working behind the scenes to coax the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore. He subsequently launched a sports investment banking practice that handled relocation and expansion transactions in the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball.
He had always been a fan of pro football, and the Colts were his favorite team when he was growing up in Chicago. When he moved to Baltimore in 1965, he lived within walking distance of Memorial Stadium, home of the Colts.
Then in July 1995, Moag and the governor wrote a letter to NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue requesting that the league pass a resolution guaranteeing Baltimore an expansion or relocated franchise. They thought that this would buy them time to negotiate with the Browns or another team.
A pro-bono lawyer at the Maryland Stadium Authority, Moag is credited with brokering a deal that brought the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore. He has since shifted his focus to high finance, becoming the first managing director of Legg Mason Inc.’s new sports industry group.
He estimates his net worth to be around $770 million. That’s a lot of money, even by the standards of the world’s richest people.
When he left his pro-bono position at the stadium authority, Moag turned to the law firm Patton Boggs, where he eventually became a partner. At Patton Boggs, he specialized in sports, nonprofit and corporate law. He supervised operations at five of the firm’s offices and was a member of the firm’s executive and management committees.