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October 12, 2010

Rumors and the report of rumors in California NFL stadiums

Lots of news today among the various California locales considering new or renovated NFL stadiums — though actually, "news" might be pushing it. Here, you decide for yourself:

  • Majestic Realty, the developers who want to build an NFL stadium in the City of Industry, now say they'll redesign their stadium to be able to fit World Cup soccer there. "Because we're building a new stadium, we could incorporate anything FIFA could want," Majestic stadium architect Dan Meis told the Associated Press. Or to put it another way: This is still vaportecture for now anyway, but we can change it round if you like.
  • The Oakland Raiders are talking to city officials about a new stadium on the site of the Oakland Coliseum that would be, according to team CEO Amy Trask, "an anchor for, or a catalyst for, an urban redevelopment that provides economic stimulus for the whole region." From the sound of it, this is code for "ballpark village," but Trask didn't provide specifics.
  • NFL commissioner Roger Goodell chimed in that he's concerned about low attendance at Raiders games, and that he'd like the Raiders and San Francisco 49ers to consider a shared stadium. (Oakland claims it can build an $880 million stadium with no public money, though it apparently doesn't count property and hotel taxes as public money.) He also said that the NFL needs to do a better job selling the stadium experience compared to staying at home and watching on HD TVs,, and specifically cited how great it is to watch in person at ... a Raiders game: "It's a great experience being there feeling that passion and excitement. It's something you don't get at home." (Make your own joke about how "at home, it's more crowded.")
  • The city of Pasadena, meanwhile, actually made real news, approving a $152 million renovation of the Rose Bowl to take place over the next three football offseasons. The Pasadena Star News reports that "the project is expected to generate enough revenue to cover the debt service 1.475 times," though it doesn't provide details of whether this is via a more lucrative lease with UCLA or higher ticket prices or added tax revenues or what. The project would also be subsidized by the use of federal stimulus bonds, so taxpayers across the U.S. will each be tossing in a few cents for the Rose Bowl's newly widened access tunnels.


If the Raiders actually come to an agreement with the city to build a new stadium, then you will likely see the A's move out of town (I am sure than any deal will involve the coliseum becoming a football only stadium). One thing will be a given: You will find out one way or another if they get the stadium. Al Davis is 80, and it will be to both the city and the team's advantage to get something done now, rather than waiting and possibly have Davis die, have the team sold because of tax issues, and risk having them move, and be stuck with an aging stadium, with no pro-sports teams 10 years down the line.

Posted by Januz on October 12, 2010 12:56 PM

Gee, Neil, it sounds to me like there is so much demand for NFL in California that they'd better build at least four NFL stadia...

Posted by John Bladen on October 12, 2010 02:07 PM

Or at least a whole lot of publicly funded HD TVs.

Posted by Neil on October 12, 2010 02:20 PM

The Commish is about halfway through his carrot-and-stick routine.

Unspoken here is that the NFL is unlikely to contribute *any* dough to pay for two single-team stadiums. In particular, they won't do that for two of the lowest-revenue-producing teams in the league.

Both the Raiders' and the Niners' front offices know that very well.

(If *you* owned the Pats or the 'Skins - would you give a single red cent to the owners of the Raiders or the 49ers? I wouldn't either.)

As for Santa Clara, the two-team solution is out of our hands: When Santa Clara passed Measure J on June 8th, we handed the exclusive right of sublease to the 49ers, along with most of the money that would earn.

Our City Council, our residents and our Agencies have no control over what the 49ers do.

(You remember, don't you, Stadium Subsidizers? That's in Section 16.1 of *your* Term Sheet.)

So, uh, Al Davis - Say hello to your new landlord: Jed York!

Bill Bailey, Treasurer,


Posted by Bill Bailey on October 12, 2010 03:25 PM

Glad to see they're finally going to give the Rose Bowl a long needed renovation both to modernize it but also to keep it safe structurally. In this case it's money well spent on one of the oldest and most iconic sports structures in the country.

Posted by Dan on October 12, 2010 03:37 PM

I'm wondering when this "plan" from AEG will come out. Does the City of Los Angeles want to risk losing a ton of conventions to Anaheim because they'll be tearing down the biggest part of West Hall of the Convention Center. This will affect the bid for San Diego International Comic-Con.

City of Industry Stadium has a chance if Ed Roski can buy an NFL team to move into his stadium. The only two teams I can see that happening is the Vikings or Bills being sold to Roski's group.

Posted by NFL in Los Angeles on October 13, 2010 04:04 AM


I agree with you on the Rose Bowl. I'm not sure they need to spend that much money, but renovation and improvement of historic old stadia (particularly when the prime beneficiary ISN'T one of the wealthiest sports leagues/extortion practitioners on the face of the earth) is a goal worth pursuing.

Posted by John Bladen on October 13, 2010 01:14 PM

NFL, Anaheim already lost out on Comic-Con. The convention announced last month they're sticking with San Diego long term. Which was the right decision IMO. They're part of the fabric of that city, bring millions to San Diego, and have received some pretty substantial support from the city that gave rise to them. Leaving for Anaheim would have been both ungrateful and would have completely destroyed the character of the convention likely destroying Comic-Con long term.

Posted by Dan on October 13, 2010 04:35 PM

Get lost, Chargers. Move to LA. Or anywhere.

Posted by Charles Oakey on October 13, 2010 06:03 PM

Get lost, Chargers. Move to LA. Or anywhere.

Posted by Charles Oakey on October 13, 2010 06:04 PM

Thanks, Dan. I didn't know that, I'll look it up through Google News. I know the reason AEG wants to build the new stadium on the West Hall is because the Stadium would serve as a convention hall space as well.

They had Los Angeles 2020 meeting at the Marriot yesterday if you look it up on Google News. To me the AEG Stadium is the plan for 2015 to 2020 and I think they would only go through with it if the United States wins 2018 or 2022 World Cup bid.

Personally I think they're making a mistake because if Zygi Wilf can't get his new Metrodome he'll seriously consider selling the Vikings to Roski who could move them to Los Angeles with no penalty to go along with the relocation fee and the Vikings are only valued at $750 million right now I believe.

Posted by NFL in Los Angeles on October 13, 2010 06:35 PM

You really think Roski's going to spend $750 million for a team plus $800 million for a stadium? He'd need to bring in like $150 million a year in revenues — that's net revenues, after payroll and stadium operations and everything — to get any reasonable return on his investment. Even the Cowboys don't manage that.

Posted by Neil on October 13, 2010 06:44 PM


I think Roski would like to do that, except for the part about paying for it. I think he (and the NFL) would really prefer that someone else pay for all of the construction, and maybe some of the team too. Plus, if he then graciously offered to allow the stadium to be publicly owned (while retaining effective control & ownership for, say, 99 years or so), he wouldn't have to pay taxes on it either.

Where's that Elfin magic when you need it most???

Posted by John Bladen on October 14, 2010 11:23 AM

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