L.A. Threat Watch: NFL cities hitting “panic button”

A nice rundown by San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Tim Sullivan of how the approval of a new NFL-ready stadium in Industry, California is helping NFL teams in other cities leverage new stadium demands of their own:

Every city with an NFL tenant and without an ironclad lease is feeling intensifying pressure from Ed Roski’s City of Industry initiative. Every team within range of an escape clause has been wielding newfound leverage since October, when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneger signed a bill exempting Roski’s project from the California Environmental Quality Act. …

The threat of extortion is always implicit in professional sports. Any business owner has a right to maximize revenue and to seek concessions from the landlord, rights that are obviously accentuated when that business is immensely popular and limited to 32 outlets in 50 states. Still, the shortcut granted Roski has caused a discernible shift in the balance of power, providing NFL owners a tangible relocation threat at a time when public financing is deeply problematic.

“It’s not a coincidence,” said David Carter, executive director of USC’s Marshall buy ativan in mexico School of Business. “I think it’s a combination of the economic environment and the political realities that cities are facing right now (and) the Southern California option that is very real.”

Sullivan goes on to note that Roski still faces some potentially steep hurdles in acquiring a team: He’s part-owner of a casino, a big no-no with sports leagues, and wants to be majority owner of whatever team relocates (and, let’s not forget, pay for it with development rights, not cash). Still, that hasn’t stopped San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders from suddenly devoting attention to building a new stadium for the Chargers, or the Florida Times-Union from running an editorial begging fans to buy tickets to Jacksonville Jaguars games because “Los Angeles doesn’t have a pro football team and doesn’t need one, but Jacksonville does.”

Noting that the Chargers haven’t explicitly threatened to move to Industry, Sullivan rightly proclaims one of the rules of stadium politics to be: “You don’t need to announce a threat that is already perceived.” Still, there are always ways of hinting…


One comment on “L.A. Threat Watch: NFL cities hitting “panic button”

  1. Jacksonville “needs” an NFL team? Hello?

    Time Union guy….a little refresher for you….

    you NEED food, water and shelter. Toilet semi optional. You do NOT need football.