L.A.: New Home for the _____?

26 10 2009

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed a bill permitting the construction of a new professional football stadium in L.A. 

LosAngelesFootballStadium.com insists that the National Football League stadium will take only two years to build, and could be completed in time for the 2011 football season.  Outside sources, however, estimate a 2013 season opening.

But one big question still lurks: what team will play in this $800 million stadium?

The NFL has made two things clear: Number one, they want a team in Los Angeles; Number two, they will not be expanding.  Without the addition of a new team to the league, that means that L.A. will be hijacking another city’s team.  But who’s?

Proposed L.A. Football Stadium (http://tinyurl.com/ygx954y)

Proposed L.A. Football Stadium (http://tinyurl.com/ygx954y)

The developer of the stadium, Majestic Realty Company, cited seven teams as possible contenders for L.A.’s future football team: the Oakland Raiders, the Minnesota Vikings, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the San Francisco 49ers, the Buffalo Bills, the St. Louis Rams, and the San Diego Chargers. 

Right now, it looks like the Jacksonville Jaguars are leading the pack; the team, which is currently ranked the 29th (out of 31) most valuable NFL team on Forbes.com, has had a rough few years. 

Revenue for the Jaguars has been dropping due to decreasing ticket sales and a number of black outs for home games, and “Team owner Wayne Weaver has been hunting for months for investors but unless he gets a better stadium deal it is unlikely he will find a buyer at a decent price, especially during the recession,” said Forbes in its Jacksonville Jaguars Team Valuation.

The L.A. Jaguars? (http://tinyurl.com/yzumnkz)

The L.A. Jaguars? (http://tinyurl.com/yzumnkz)

If the team makes the move from the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium to the Los Angeles Football Stadium, it will be a big step up for the struggling franchise.  Their current stadium has a capacity of 67,164, and cost $145 million to build.  The L.A. stadium is projected to have 75,000 seats and an expected cost of $200 million. 

According to LosAngelesFootballStadium.com, the stadium will become the new standard for “cutting-edge design” and environmentally green technology.  The current proposal includes plans for the stadium to be built into the ground, which will save construction costs and materials, and will also feature easy access for public transportation and water conservation fixtures.  The stadium, which will be financed by private investors only, is expected to create over 6,700 permanent jobs and $762 million in annual revenue. 

But will all the work be worth it?  History points to no.  Both the St. Louis Rams and the Oakland Raiders were previously L.A. teams who left the city to increase the size of their fan bases.  And, as Richard Sandomir pointed out in the NYTimes Baseball Blog, despite being the nation’s second largest market, L.A. had a comparatively small fan base to cheer on the Dodgers in the start of the Major League Baseball playoffs.

The stadium’s future doesn’t seem so rosy.  “In order to privately finance and operate a new stadium, it would have to generate more in-stadium revenue than virtually any team currently existing in the NFL,” said Mark Ganis, president of the consultant group, SportsCorp, in Adelman’s ‘Gov. signs LA-area football stadium waiver bill’ on Yahoo.com.  “That is a monumental task.”

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One response

11 12 2009
doolledeLep

True words, some authentic words dude. Thanx for making my day!

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