This is an archived version of a Field of Schemes article. Comments on this page are closed. To find the current version of the article with updated comments, click here.
July 20, 2009
L.A. developer unveils NFL team hit list
Southern California developer John Semcken told Fanhouse.com last week which NFL teams the company is considering for its planned football stadium in Industry, California:
"Jacksonville, Buffalo, Minnesota, New Orleans, St. Louis and the three California teams. Now New Orleans just signed a lease for 25 more years, so they're out. But the other seven are still in," says John Semcken, Roski's vice president at Majestic Reality....
"You know what I think? I think the Raiders and the 49ers are eventually going to share a building in Northern California,'' Semcken says, "and two other teams are going to share a building in Southern California.
"Two teams. Then we'll have 25 weeks of NFL here. Ten preseason and regular season per team -- that's 20. Both teams will be so rich that they'll make the playoffs, that's 22. Then they'll win the second round, that's 24. Then we'll have the Super Bowl, that's 25!"
Uh, okay. You certainly can't say that Semcken isn't ambitious (Roski retained plausible deniability by declining to say which teams he'd target), but projecting two teams doesn't help his leverage any — his best shot at getting an NFL owner to cough up the rent money Majestic would need to build its stadium seems to be to get a land rush going, with the first team inking a deal getting dibs on the L.A. market. (Not that market size matters that much in the NFL, where national TV revenue is the name of the game.)
If nothing else, though, Semcken's public statement has to be stirring up headlines in the cities of teams he mentioned ... come on, anyone? Nobody?
I think he overestimates the chances of the two NorCal teams even getting a stadium, let alone sharing one. But if anything I don't think you'll see the two teams sharing in NorCal even IF the Niners do get their stadium. The Niners would be much better off if the Raiders abandoned the area to them again. Chargers seem dedicated to one or more of their proposed options in San Diego. If Buffalo is moving anywhere it'll likely be Toronto. Minnesota is still working on a stadium in the Twin cities. And New Orleans just got another rennovation of the Superdome out of that city.
Seems to me the best and most likely options are the Raiders and/or Rams. Neither of whom have any stadium plans or talk of plans on the horizon and both of whom aren't married to their current stadiums or cities. (And oddly enough they're the two teams that high tailed it out of LA on a whim 15 years ago).
Don't count the chickens for a Santa Clara stadium for the 49ers yet. A June 2, 2009 survey conducted by SurveyUSA of Santa Clara voters found that an average of 62% of voters said 'no' to a public subsidy of the proposed 49ers stadium in Santa Clara, while 30% said 'yes' and 8 % were undecided. The percent of voters who would agree to a subsidy remains the same, 30%, as in 2007, prior to the slick advertising campaign by the 49ers, prior to over 200 closed door meetings between Santa Clara officials and the 49ers, and prior to the city of Santa Clara spending 2 million on studies. Across all demographics, age, race, gender, political affiliation, the majority of voters said 'no' to a public subsidy of a stadium in Santa Clara. Here's the link:
Oh I know Santa Clara has its issues. (But I believe the local paper did a poll that was more favorable than the one you cite). That said even if Santa Clara fails, or even if it doesn't, San Francisco has not abandoned plans on Hunter's Point either. Odds of the Niners moving to LA are probably on the slim to no chance side.
To further complicate the Santa Clara 49ers stadium issue, it was determined last evening, the State of California will balance its fiscal budget with numerous sources including, the takeaway of RDA funds from cities. This, will throw another wrench into the stadium plans. Much of the project's funding, is in the form of $114 upfront taxpayer subsidies, with $79 million of that coming from RDA debt issued bonds. The prospect of fewer RDA funds available, makes the stadium project more costly for Santa Clara taxpayers.
Dan-yes, the SJ Mercury News did a poll-but it was not limited to Santa Clara voters-anyone could vote. Of course people who don't live here and won't pay for the stadium are for it. So the SJ Merc poll doesn't count,because it is not limited to the people who get to vote. The council chambers have been stacked with people who want the stadium-most of whom do not live in Santa Clara, and many of whom stand to benefit financially (such as tradespeople and restaurant owners). Many people who don't want the stadium don't bother attending city council meetings, because the city council isn't listening anyway.
Out of all the teams that John Semcken mentioned, none of them are on the short list to move to Los Angeles. The only way he will get a team is if the NFL expands to 34 teams.
The only team that might move is the Raiders and that is more likely to be to Las Vegas rather than Los Angeles. Al Davis loves to upset the NFL apple cart. He did it when the NFL tried to prevent him from moving to Los Angeles in the first place because the Rams owned the market. This time around, the NFL will not allow the Raiders to move to Vegas due to gambling issues, but Al never listens and does things his own way.
Football probably makes as much sense as any sport for Las Vegas - it only happens once a week, leaving plenty of time for gambling - but aren't they missing a stadium?
The NFL will never go to Vegas because of the perception that the ever-present gambling culture will compromise the integrity of the game. You can bet on NFL in Vegas, but you'll never see an NFL team play there.
Las Vegas does have a stadium for the UNLV Runnin-Rebels of the WAC. I can't see why Al Davis would refuse a deal to play there for two years while Las Vegas builds him a brand new Mt. Davis, err... stadium right next to the speedway. The reason why I picked the Las Vegas Motor Speedway area is because it is far from the strip and the bookkeeper. Besides, the Raiders would be their team and the main reason why the citizens of Las Vegas set foot in the strip area is to work.
Ok, gang, first off forget Vegas. The Silver Bowl is too small, and no way the owners will approve a move without some withdrawl of NFL gambling - which will never happen. If Commander Senile - erm, Al Davis - heads out it'll be to LA, and only then if another team goes first. Al has this peculiar piss off the comissioner thing going on. Why, if the commissioner ordered the Raiders to go to LA he'd refuse. As for the teams supposedly wanting to move, the only one that really makes sense is Jacksonville, and even then the only reason they're considering it is some lease issue regarding sign revenues. Sad thing is, if Mme Beldam (AKA Ms Frontiere) hadn't had a hissy fit about the lack of development around whatever they're calling Anaheim Stadium these days, we may well still be waiting for a team in St Louis. *sigh*
I would love Chargers to come, since I'm a big fan, but they have a good fan base at San Diego. I think the Raiders are coming since they got like what? 100 fans. Anyways, they suck like * and should just come back home to where they belong.