Los Angeles and the NFL – The Stadium Game

Posted by on January 27th, 2015  •  1 Comment  • 

Somewhere in the middle of all this lies the truth.  There are rumors here, there and everywhere.
 
The only real part of the LA Stadium storyline is the fact the St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders, and San Diego Chargers, can opt out of their leases and move.
 
Rams maverick owner Stan Kroenke has gone public with his Hollywood Park plan, to build an 80-thousand seat stadium amongst other entertainment buildings in Inglewood.  He has the land, he has the franchise, he has the developer, and he has money..  
 
What he does not have is the NFL’s approval, but what he does have is the historical court case verdict, that gave the Raiders 34M in damages and the right to move to Los Angeles without NFL approval  Kroenke may wind up in court before the first shovel of dirt is turned, but he is farther along that anyone else.
 
Philip Anschutz and his legendary firm AEG, have the resources at Farmer’s Field, but do not have a tenant for his proposed stadium adjacent to Staples Center.  But Anschutz has one thing, others don’t, an enormous track record of getting projects done. Look across the street at the Staples Center.  Look at the franchises he co-owns, the Lakers and Kings.  Look around the country as the facilities he has built.  He is a doer.
 
The third piece of the puzzle is Majestic Realty, and Ed Roskie, a great entrepreneur.  He has the land, all the easements and approvals, but he does not have a tenant, and working against him is the location, away from the city.
 
Dean Spanos runs a money making Chargers franchise the community loves, even if the fans relationship with the family is luke-warm at best.  He has the franchise, but not the resources to build a stadium himself.  He has struggled to find a way to get a deal done with the ever-changing factions of city leadership, plus the antagonists in City Hall.  They must move out of outdated Qualcomm before it falls down around them, but who, how, where and then someone to finance it.  
 
Mark Davis, the Raiders owner, is in an even worse situation.  A rag tag football franchise that has lost 2-of every 3-games it has played since a Super Bowl appearance in 2002.  Added to that is a sewer of a stadium, what was once the Oakland Coliseum, whose nickname really fits everything there, ‘the Black Hole’.  Davis has neither a good product, nor money, and that means he could sell.
 
Kroenke will control his own destiny.  Spanos wants to use his imagined power to get a deal done without his own money.  Davis is the one who could move, sell a chunk of a team or the entire team, and wind up in LA, with a new leader and then a new image, and down the road a better product.
 
And then there’s the hidden elephant in the room, California, LA and San Diego; a near bankrupt state, financially ailing cities, and a mandate from voters, we’re not giving a rich man a stadium
 
Rumors are everywhere.  Tough to sort out fact from fiction when a bunch of people lie, or some don’t know what they are really doing, or you deal with a power broker like the NFL that wants the best deal, their deal, that guarantees them their profits.
 
Will Kroenke have the courage to fight the NFL in court if need be?  Will Spanos up and leave after years of failed attempts to find a partner he trusts, or city leadership that trusts him?  Will Mark Davis give up, as a non football man, and sell a bad football team and allow it to be moved from a dying city?
 
Lots of moving parts, lots of moving targets.  Nobody pinned down yet in the LA Stadium game.

One Response to “Los Angeles and the NFL – The Stadium Game”

  1. Philmphan says:

    California has posted a surplus in budget three years running, so I don’t think you can say it’s bankrupt.

    Spanos could move the Chargers, but no one in LA would recognize the franchise, so that is a very dangerous move. He might move the team to southern Orange County and draw SD/OC fans, but then unless someone builds him a stadium, well, no.

    Earlier in the year the NFL was leaking comments about the Raiders moving suggesting the league would never allow Davis to move to LA because he doesn’t have the real estate acumen, and look! Guess who does have the real estate acumen — Kroenke! This and other leaks make me think the NFL is in on the whole thing, and from the beginning, too. This ‘Champions’ site has plenty of room for NFL West HQ, NFL Films, hell, even the toy division, plus the glitz and glitter of Hollywood will help the NFL sell its product. Do you think St. Louis helps sell the NFL product? No.

    Of course, like everyone outside of the Kroenke (and possibly NFL) sphere, what the frick frack do I know? Nothing. I know nothing.

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