Thursday, October 22, 2009

LA Football: Stadium, Ibsen and Shopping

Why are California State Representatives, and the Governator weighing in on a dispute between two cities, one of whom wants to host a massive building project, while a neighboring city is concerned that a real environmental review wasn't done?

Because the building project is an $800 million NFL Stadium.

You might think that with California handing out IOU's instead of paychecks that they have bigger fish to fry than mediating an environmental studies dispute between two cities. But apparently, they feel like announcing no state roadblocks to an NFL stadium is important.

Building shit so other shit comes and hangs out works in movies, but it is hard to believe that even Schwarzenegger's California (a national joke when it comes to financial management) would build a stadium that might have no tenants.

So who do the builders think it could be? A new team? Probably not. They are looking at a few existing franchises: "the San Diego Chargers, the Raiders, the Rams, the Minnesota Vikings, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers."

First off, those builders (Majestic Realty) are either purposefully inflating the ranks of eligible teams or they are possibly just straight up high. The following teams on their list are nonstarters: Chargers, Raiders, Rams, Bills, and 49ers. No way any of those teams leave where they are for the reservoired, irrigated green grass of Industry City.

The Vikings? Maybe. Enough that the Star Tribune pricked up its ears and delved into it a bit: "Though the Southern California stadium still faces significant financial hurdles, Thursday's developments were being watched intently in Minnesota, where the Vikings' lease at the Metrodome expires after the 2011 season. With the Legislature facing a significant state budget deficit and a governor's race in 2010 -- and with most of the state's leading politicians shying away from the issue -- the team will face an uphill political struggle next year."

The Strib also points out an obvious, weird aspect of this--Viking Ownership seems convinced the only way to build a new stadium is with public money. California is attempting to prove them wrong; says the Governator: "It won't cost the taxpayers a dime...In California, we don't build stadiums with public money."

So I think every right-thinking taxpayer and legislator in Minnesota will be asking the Vikings the same question--why is it cheaper for you to move and reestablish your brand in LA, where NFL franchises last, on average, half a decade, than it would be to put in the work and get a stadium built with private money here?

That's a good question, and I don't see a particularly sensible answer coming, should the question ever be asked.

Back to LA (OK, Industry City)--What goes best with football? Orthopedic care, Ibsen, and shopping: "[The plans include a] 75,000-seat, 3 million-square-foot stadium complex that would also feature an orthopedic hospital, a movie and live performance theater and office and retail space."

Let's be real here. Can I be really real? No way the Vikings are going anywhere. Not when they are 6-0, not when they would be leaving for a stadium that didn't have any public dollars (proof that it could be done) and not when they are selling out the Metrodome (as winning Vikings teams always do). The team in the crosshairs is the Jacksonville Jaguars. In 2011 or 2012, get ready to cheer or boo the City of Industry Polecats.

1 comment:

The Black Freighter said...

I couldn't agree more. Although the Vikings would be an ideal choice for LA in that they have bonafide stars in Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Steve Hutchinson that will still be around and young studs like Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin and Chad Greenway, LA is going to have to settle for Jacksonville. But hey... they can cheer on Troy Williamson!

There is just no way that the NFL sacrifices a market like the Twin Cities with a storied history, numerous sellouts and rabid fanbase. It will take a Cleveland midnight move to make that happen.