Field of Schemes
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April 16, 2010

Let a thousand L.A. stadium plans bloom!

What's better than a stadium plan with no team and no clear funding source? That'd be two of them, of course! According to today's Los Angeles Times:

[Los Angeles businessmen Casey Wasserman and Tim Leiweke] are investigating the possibility of building a stadium behind Staples Center, where the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center now sits, with the idea of replacing that convention space elsewhere in the general area.

The Times rightly observes that "it's hard enough to build one stadium in the L.A. area, and there aren't going to be two," so any Wasserman/Leiweke plan would be in direct competition with Ed Roski's City of Industry plan, which has government approval but no team and no funding source beyond stadium revenues — which will be tough for Roski to come up with on top of paying top dollar to acquire a team.

And that's without even getting into the other other Los Angeles NFL stadium plan. Isn't this where we came in?


As an L.A. resident, it seems to me that the city is doing just fine without an NFL team. USC/UCLA football is extremely popular and I haven't noticed any kind of groundswell clamoring for an NFL franchise.

I really hope they don't go forward with the McCourt plan though. I would hate it if Dodger Stadium's great sightlines in Elysian Park were ruined by some 80,000 seat monstrosity. Not to mention that the City of L.A. is basically broke (not sure what the City of Industry or Walnut's finances are like).

Personally I would advocate for a site in the Inland Empire. Western Riverside County and southwest San Bernardino County are both extremely close to the major population centers in L.A. and Orange Counties. They also have more land than they know what to do with and they could really use jobs - but I'm sure the NFL would consider those locations too remote and potentially not lucrative enough. Westsiders might not want to drive an hour and a half to get to a game.

Posted by Angeleno on April 16, 2010 09:56 AM

Dude, you messed up your html, please correct it

Posted by marty on April 16, 2010 01:29 PM

Woo, that was ugly. For want of a double-quote...

Thanks for the heads-up, Marty.

Posted by Neil on April 16, 2010 02:44 PM

update on the proposed nfl stadium in downtown LA:

apparently the stadium, if built, would have a retractable roof so that it could host a variety of high-profile indoor events such as the ncaa final four and major conventions in addition to outdoor events like local nfl games, super bowls, the world cup finals, etc.,0,5949677.story?track=rss

Posted by paul s. on April 17, 2010 06:19 AM

As has been mentioned in recent weeks and in the past, Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has strong ambitions to build a state of the art football only facility in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium at Chavez Ravine. Given his existing and probable future circumstances, this is probably largely a pipe dream.

Posted by George on April 17, 2010 03:01 PM

I totally agree with Angeleno. As a Long Beach resident (which not too long ago was floated as a potential NFL site) there isn't much support for another team. LA residents have a take-it-or-leave-it attitude towards the NFL. That is, they'd probably support a team if one came but there's no real clamor for it. And with both local, county, and state government agencies totally broke no one wants public funds to be used. That will always be the standoff between the NFL and the LA region. Unless private investors come forward there won't be enough capital. Angeleno hits it right on the head - the IE has enough space to build a new stadium and make the infrastructure changes. Anywhere else would be a nightmare.

I think this claim is farcical. Behind the Staples Center? Really? There would be no parking and the freeway access would be a nightmare. Not to mention, an NFL stadium would squash the rest of the LA Live Complex that the Staples Center anchors - there'd be too many other developers fighting the stadium because of that.

One more question - why doesn't he NFL at least hold the Superbowl in LA anymore? We have the Rose Bowl and the Coliseum, LA would be a perfect city to host the game, and it would drum up support for the NFL in the region. Or is the league too hard-headed and butthurt to engage in such a commonsensical move?

Posted by Ian on April 17, 2010 07:56 PM

Good points, all. I wonder if the reason the NFL doesn't hold a superbowl in LA is that they fear a lukewarm reception from the locals, thus making future extortion attempts more difficult?

If you don't have something at present, it's easy to claim how wonderful it will be... if you've already got it and no-one cares, well...

Re: McCourt, he didn't really have the money to buy the Dodgers either, but managed it (thanks to an economic system with a real interest rate of near zero and no requirement for actual equity or proof of worth). It's true, times are different... but of all the folks in the world without the money to do it, I'd put him at the top of the "most likely to" list... for what that's worth... I suspect you are right, Ian. He can't make it happen, especially with the asset split that seems almost certain to occur in the near future. But I've underestimated him before...

Posted by John Bladen on April 18, 2010 08:18 PM

And they want to do this on or near the site of their Convention Center? The same one they're trying to sell as a future location for Comic Con (CCI/SDCC)?
Well that little flirtation was brief.

Posted by AgentofChaos on April 19, 2010 04:59 AM

The Rose Bowl cannot currently host a Super Bowl -- the NFL will not hold the game in a city that does not have an NFL club. The Coliseum is ancient by NFL standards.

As to the Field of Schemes motive? Go 2 1/2 hours south on I-5. Should the Chargers decide to leave San Diego they just might find their new home in the City of Angels. The Chargers have been a fixture on Los Angeles TV for at least 10 years.

Posted by Chucky on April 19, 2010 12:03 PM

Chucky, the NFL has held the Superbowl in Pasadena even when no NFL team was there. Plus, they hold the Pro Bowl every year (well, except last year) in Honolulu. They've also played regular season games in Mexico City and London, presumably to gauge local support. It's not like the NFL has never done this sort of thing, and even then the league under Goodell has been willing to change things up (Pro Bowl, the Draft). Plus, they play in New Orleans and San Diego, even though those teams' stadiums are older than when the Coliseum got its major renovation in 1984. This is without even mentioning Anaheim Stadium, which could be converted for a Super Bowl site. All I'm saying is if the league insists on the Super Bowl only playing in warm climates (with the occasional cold weather city with a brand-new dome) and is serious about returning to LA then it should entertain the possibility. The league could easily make it work, the teams and players would love it, and it would be a built-in storyline in the hype leading up to the game. The NFL's letting politics get in the way of a smart business decision.

Posted by Ian on April 24, 2010 05:03 PM

First off, any notion that IE or SB or even OC is a good place for a football team is absurd! Second, the Coliseum and Rose Bowl are no longer good solutions for Super Bowls. Third, LA does not have a team for many reasons. In order for us to re-enter the football market LA must address those reasons and become competitive to not only lure NFL teams here, but also to become a viable solution for sustaining a team. For the record...I think two teams in this market is a bad idea. Case and point, I hear that we have a professional basketball team in LA other than the Lakers. The bottom line is even if we are able to cut through all of the political red tape to get our team; the team will have to be good enough to gain support and interest. LA is just that type of place. We are into whats hot and neglect what is not. We need the NFL and the NFL needs LA, but only under the right set of circumstances.

Posted by Rafael on May 12, 2010 03:35 AM


Posted by george mosqueda on October 8, 2010 12:10 AM

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