USA Rugby

MLR Announces Name, Branding For Past Rugby ATL Club: Rugby FC Los Angeles

MLR Announces Name, Branding For Past Rugby ATL Club: Rugby FC Los Angeles

Formerly known as Rugby ATL, the relocated club will play home matches at Dignity Health Sports Park — the home of LA Galaxy of the MLS — in 2024.

Dec 22, 2023 by Briar Napier
MLR Announces Name, Branding For Past Rugby ATL Club: Rugby FC Los Angeles

Major League Rugby unveiled Thursday that the club formerly known as Rugby ATL — which was announced in the offseason to be relocating to Los Angeles for the 2024 season — now has a name, branding and home venue in time for the upcoming campaign.

Rugby FC Los Angeles will be the second Los Angeles-based MLR club in league history after the LA Giltinis, and its participation in the 2024 MLR season was confirmed by the league via a news release Thursday. 

RFCLA will play its home matches at Dignity Health Sports Park in suburban Carson, California, a 27,000-seat venue that also is home to Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy. 

The club, originally founded in 2019 by Atlanta’s Calloway family, went through an ownership change coinciding with its relocation earlier this year with a group “composed of leaders in the sports and entertainment space with deep roots in Los Angeles who are looking to strengthen an already robust rugby community and fan base on the West Coast,” per the league’s release.

Stephen Brett, a former Maori All Black who played professionally in France, Japan and New Zealand, will remain on as head coach of the club after leading Rugby ATL over the past two seasons. 

The club’s best finish in MLR while in Atlanta was in 2021, when it won the Eastern Conference, before losing the playoff final to the Giltinis.

“We are excited to bring Major League Rugby back to Los Angeles,” Pete Sickle, the CEO of RFCLA, is quoted as saying in the release. “Under the head coaching leadership of Steve Brett, RFCLA will serve as another incredible professional sports asset to the West Coast. We look forward to partnering with AEG and others to foster the growth of the game of rugby on a more elevated level in the Greater Los Angeles community.”

The club’s updated logo got a makeover from Rugby ATL’s design, featuring new colors of “various hues of blue and yellow to embrace the energetic Los Angeles community and its vibrant culture rooted in sea and sun.”

An “L” is incorporated into the “A” of the logo, as well, which, per the release, is paying tribute to Atlanta. 

In MLR’s 2024 schedule release earlier this week, it was announced that RFCLA would be playing its first match of the year against the Utah Warriors at home on March 3 at 10 p.m. Eastern. 

Further details about the club, such as the roster and full coaching staff, will be announced prior to the start of the season, per the release.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Rugby FC Los Angeles to Major League Rugby. Los Angeles has a long and rich history in our sport and one of the most robust grassroots programs in the country, and a return to L.A. is a significant step for our league as we prepare to embark on the 2024 season,” Nic Benson, CEO of MLR, is quoted as saying in the release. “We’re grateful for the vision and leadership of Los Angeles’s new ownership group, as they seek to grow the game in one of our nation’s most iconic cities.”