Let’s Bring NFL Football back to Los Angeles!

Aug 23, 2010 by Tom Jones

As the success of LA Live, the Third Street Promenade, Pasadena’s Old Town, the Downtown renaissance including Disney Hall, the MOCA and associated new housing, and restaurants close-by; the return of business, commerce, shopping, lodging, and luxury to Santa Monica and Venice, among other city planning renewal successes here–urban economic and development projects are a proven commodity more now than ever here in Los Angeles.

California and Los Angeles are still in the throes of one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression, so it makes a lot of sense to explore an idea which has been bounced around so many times that most are sick to death of it—thus, we need to focus our resources and attention to the problem in a more disciplined manner.

So, what does bringing back an NFL Team to Los Angeles and our fiscal solvency have to do with one other?

Done correctly, with a minimum of tax dollars directly or indirectly, and minimizing the risk of issuing too many public bonds in financial support of both a team and a white elephant building, a mixed used complex can generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually which results in additional sales taxes, tourism, jobs, and growth.

This would be in the form, among other ways, to increase the tax base which provides for more money to schools, and other municipal services, it creates construction and permanent jobs, and with the right planning and concept—a complete destination complex built downtown or somewhere appropriate can be a boon to the city, and our finances.

The City of Los Angeles provides vital public services, those closest to home. And the City charter requires that the annual budget be balanced. So we face a simple but stark choice in closing an estimated $530 million budget deficit: deeply slash municipal services at the time when families and businesses need them most, while pushing thousands of city employees into unemployment?  Or seek fresh ways to live within our means? Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa

Notwithstanding our propensity to support our local Sports Teams,our dedication shown toward them, and our pride toward Los Angeles, proves that it’s a concept whose time has passed the point of ignoring the obvious—we need an NFL Team and complex.

We can afford to build it, the people here want it, we can expand the development to attract other entertainment venues, uses, and other business, and the economic development impact of this cannot be underestimated.

The days of the city taking on unmitigated risk and subsidizing entire sports stadiums and teams reached its Zenith last decade. However, since our entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial spirit, municipal leaders, and last but not least–all of the fans, are eager to both bring new life and attract new opportunities here in the form of an NFL team, why not?

We’ve already transitioned over the last 10 years, into a powerhouse that has attracted many different types of industries that weren’t here just a decade ago; so we have the track record to successfully make new things happen.

Los Angeles is now very much home to the high-tech, finance, fashion, motion pictures arts and sciences, music, medical research, law, education, digital entertainment, the culinary arts and foods, and other industries–so we’re a proven commodity.

History of the Rams

In 1946, the defending NFL champions, the Cleveland Rams moved to Los Angeles.

The Rams played home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which had originally been built to host the 1932 Summer Olympic Games and which was also the home of the USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins.

The Rams made history their first season in 1946, when they signed the NFL’s first African-American players since the early 1930s–former UCLA stars Kenny Washington and Woody Strode.

The Rams quickly became established as an NFL power, with top quarterbacks like Roman Gabriel and the legendary Fearsome Foursome defensive line of the 1960s.

After their owner Carroll Rosenbloom died on April 2, 1979, the ownership of the Rams was turned over to widow Georgia Frontiere. Seen as an opportunist by most, she seized upon the first serious opportunity to move the Rams to St. Louis in 1994.

The Rams were one of the most successful teams in NFL history and they set many NFL records that will most likely stand forever.

Since 1995: Major developments

Shortly after the Rams got the okay to move to St. Louis, the City of Los Angeles would be rocked again when the Raiders moved back to Oakland leaving the second largest television market without an NFL team. Immediately plans were made to bring an expansion team to the area. However squabbles among ownership groups and the city delayed plans, in 2002 the NFL was all set to return to Los Angeles, and had planned to award an expansion team to the city in 1999.

However the squabbling and the bickering had prevented the city from presenting a sturdy stadium plan for the new team and the NFL decided to award the expansion team to Houston who lost their team in 1996, but presented a much strong plan.

This left Los Angeles without a team and without a window for expansion as the NFL now with 32 teams likely would not be expanding again soon, so the city turned to trying to get an established team to move to Los Angeles. Since then they have been used as a bargaining chip for team like the Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, and New Orleans Saints to try to force their cities’ into building new stadiums.

Los Angeles still does not have a new stadium and likely won’t begin work on one to they get one of those teams to finally move there, until then the second largest media market will continue to wait as they have so for more than ten years now, longer than anybody ever expected them to be without a team.

It’s obvious from the history we have had subsequent to the Rams leaving town–ranging from the obnoxious and unscrupulous Oakland Raider team owner, Al Davis, to the mostly rejected and unfeasible plans to build in Irwindale—completely a waste of time, effort, and money, to the Coliseum, and the Rose Bowl, it’s obvious fresh thinking and a new approach is necessary.

To offer your insight into Bringing Back the Rams, they have a Facebook Page where you can share and read others opinions, announcements, plans and ideas of where the initiative stands. (There’s a lot of action and opinions there so you gotta be hard core about it!)

Is Downtown Los Angeles a potential site for a massive Football and mega destination Center?

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.

It is suggested as a fitting place to stage large national events, such as the Super Bowl, Final Four, etc. July 2010, reports in the Los Angeles media, states that lobbyists for AEG has contacted members of the California state legislature in hopes of gaining Environmental Exceptions, just like the City of Industry stadium, for a new stadium in the L.A. Live! Area.

However, there’s a plethora of sites in the CRA redevelopment areas that can be considered as a starting point for concept and initial vision, which could be part of an overall strategy to eventual movement from want and desire to change and execution that would bring back the Los Angeles Rams and create jobs, revenue, income and a time and place where the concept will help us in these tough times.

For technical details on how we could finance and build this without spending an inordinate or even high taxpayer funded basis, look no further than the success of Stapes Center which started out as a public-private partnership to many advanced concepts including 100% direct investment, subdividing the complex, pre-selling corporate and season luxury and other suites, and a plethora of creative financing:

1.The prime owner would put up an amount up to $50 million (but might not have to)
2. $25-50 million* by the public for infrastructure (i.e., state costs: land and site prep, streets and sewers,
etc.)
3. $100-200 million by bonds backed by ticket and parking revenues
4. $350-450 million by investors
5. $25-75 million by a one cent or less tax for a set period in return for profit cut
6. $150 million from lease bonds backed by state income tax on players‟ salaries
7. $25-50 million plus from “anchors” & others in non-stadium part of complex
8. $25-50 million from interest of monies waiting to be spent
9. $800 million to 1 Billion – total potential for the construction of the stadium complex
10 $50 million — one time, by the owner/ownership group (but might not have to
11. depending upon yield of #1 above)
12. $25-50 million — one time, by the public for infrastructure (i.e., state costs: land and site prep, streets and sewers, etc. Amount to be determined by final design. Amount is capped at $50 million. Team covers all costs above $50 million.
13. $100-200 million — bonds backed by ticket and parking revenues over time.
14. $450-850 million — up front, by investors. Could also be tailored to include public investment participation to share the wealth with others (fans, community), in order to take the sting off the notion that teams are wealthy and therefore unfair recipients of the money earned. Note also: There are numerous investment funds set up that are trolling in the Far East with big funds to buy up companies that tanked during their downturn; their turn-a-rounds, generate enormous returns on their investments, requiring them to find investments like well conceived stadium complexes to soften their tax burden.

Travelin’ Local is a leading proponent of bringing back the Rams to Los Angeles, We’re confident that that will help help save our city’s finances and long term budgetary health–while creating a viable and superb sports, entertainment, and mixed use mega-complex for the people of our great city.

Not to mention that we’ll finally get to have an NFL team back where we should never have lost one.

It’s about time we take action away from the bureaucrats and take matters into our own hands!

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Entertainment, Los Angeles, Recreation, SoCal

One Response to “Let’s Bring NFL Football back to Los Angeles!”

  1. rick ray says:

    Breakin’ it down nicely, my friend – bang-up job on this piece!

    [Reply]

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