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Downtown L.A. stadium far from a sure thing

ProposedLAStadiumHKS

Coincidentally (or not), with the Metrodome collapsed under a load of snow and TCF Bank Stadium being unearthed from the same snowfall that killed the Metrodome, the folks behind a proposed NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles released on Wednesday three potential designs for the venue.

But behind the glitzy images of what may eventually be lies the reality that it may never be.  Tim Leiweke of AEG admitted to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times that Philip Anschutz, the owner of the company, has “not yet” gotten fully behind the project.

It’s a chicken-and-egg dilemma, with AEG not willing to make a significant financial commitment until it’s clear that the investment of time and money will result in the construction of a stadium in which an NFL team will play.

“That’s Mr. Anschutz’s decision and risk, and if he gets comfortable we can do it,” Leiweke said. “We’ve done that before — we didn’t have anybody booked in the [new high-rise] hotel [next to Staples] when we decided to build that, either.”

Right, but the stakes are a little higher here, as is the price tag.  And with Leiweke recently saying that he needs to know within a few months whether the project can move forward, and with the NFL not inclined to get serious about L.A. until it resolves the lingering mess with the C.B.A., there’s a chance that the recent criticism from Ed Roski’s group was accurate.

“Tim’s a bad guy,” said John Semcken, Roski’s right-hand man.  “He can’t build the building.”

We don’t know whether Tim’s a bad guy.  But we do know that, if Anschutz (like Roski) is adopting an “if they come, we will build it” mentality and if Anschutz needs an answer sooner rather than later, the league may end up saying “see you later” to AEG.

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12 Responses to “Downtown L.A. stadium far from a sure thing”
  1. andyprough says: Dec 16, 2010 9:16 AM

    San Antonio can tell you – don’t build a domed football stadium based on a wink and a nod “promise” from the NFL

    Except for car and boat shows, some high school playoff games, and the ever popular “Alamo Bowl” college game, that giant waste of tax dollars sits empty about 350 days a year

  2. cometkazie says: Dec 16, 2010 10:02 AM

    Bring football to LA? What a concept!

  3. lebronsinsecurity says: Dec 16, 2010 10:04 AM

    @andyprough

    Wow..that’s crazy that tax dollars pay for a stadium that was built on an assumption. That sounds nuts! The one positive in LA is that the city is broke as h*ll and no way taxpayers are going to agree to pay for a stadium on speculation..

  4. monkeesfan says: Dec 16, 2010 10:22 AM

    Here’s the reality – there is NO market for a team in LA, there is no interest in building a new staidum, so the league needs to forget about LA altogether and get busy on the teams in their present locations.

  5. importantpftcomment says: Dec 16, 2010 10:39 AM

    Why is it that people seem to think NFL football in LA is an automatic thing, even once a stadium is built (or even planned).

    No matter what the reasoning is, the colesseum, a crappy owner, earthquakes, sand fleas, whatever. The fact remains that no team has been successful in LA.

    The NFL needs to find a team (read owner) that wants to move or needs to expand the league to accommodate.

  6. lanjoith says: Dec 16, 2010 11:13 AM

    I could write an essay on why football won’t come to LA but the main reason is that it takes years to get anything approved in CA. Wither the environmental studies, red tape and frivolous lawsuits a project would never finish on schedule. Petco Park was like 4 years behind schedule. In all honesty I think an expansion team is the only way a franchise in LA will work because the window for a team to move is small and they can’t wait around for a stadium to be built. Plus it would allow the fans to be there from the start and identify with the new team. The Chargers would he a disaster in LA because its a Raider town and the Vikings and Jags would get a lukewarm reception.

  7. recon163 says: Dec 16, 2010 5:38 PM

    For lanjoith:

    “I could write an essay on why football won’t come to LA . . .”

    Maybe, but would it be worth reading?

    ” . . . but the main reason is that it takes years to get anything approved in CA. Wither the environmental studies, red tape and frivolous lawsuits a project would never finish on schedule.”

    See Ed Roski, Industry Stadium. All approved in about a year.

    “Plus it would allow the fans to be there from the start and identify with the new team.”

    Yeah that was a real issue with Ravens and Titans fans. Those towns barely accepted their new teams.

  8. recon163 says: Dec 16, 2010 6:04 PM

    For importantpftcomment

    “Why is it that people seem to think NFL football in LA is an automatic thing, even once a stadium is built (or even planned).”

    Oh I don’t know, maybe has something to do with 17 million people, a burgeoning Latino and Asian market, billions of dollars in economic power, and thousands of companies to buy expensive seats.

    “No matter what the reasoning is, the colesseum, a crappy owner, earthquakes, sand fleas, whatever. The fact remains that no team has been successful in LA.”

    Yeah the Rams really should have left in 1956 instead of struggling for over 48 years in LA.

    The Rams only won 5 games in 1990 and an average of 60,000 Ram fans were there. Stadium capacity 64,593. That equates to 93% of the stadium being filled.

    For their last season the Rams drew over 42,000 a game.

    The Raiders drew 70k between 1983 and 1987 in a 100k seat stadium. Yep, pretty unsuccessful.

  9. granadafan says: Dec 16, 2010 7:08 PM

    Look. No one wants a stadium 20 plus miles away from LA in the wasteland known as the Inland Empire. The downtown area is revitalized and is a fun place to go. The City of Industry is a craphole.

  10. fpbear says: Dec 16, 2010 8:43 PM

    The AEG designs are ugly and why does AEG want to use a retractable roof and astroturf ? The downtown LA plan seems to be thrown together at the last minute and they are bumbling around with sub-par ideas. Roski’s Industry stadium site went through a lot more planning and careful thought, and is far superior in just about every way.

  11. chuckie1904 says: Dec 17, 2010 3:41 AM

    chargers arent moving to l.a….no way the city lets our only hope of winning a championship slip away..IT WILL get resolved in the city of SAN DIEGO not L.A…do they really expect parolee faider fans to go watch chargers games hahahahaaa you can have the bills LAMES

  12. recon163 says: Dec 17, 2010 7:11 AM

    For granadafan:

    “Look. No one wants a stadium 20 plus miles away from LA in the wasteland known as the Inland Empire.”

    Anytime someone begins with the word ‘look’ it means they are trying to tell you what is best for you. And you got the ability to do so from who again?

    Plenty of folks will be happy to go the Industry. Just because you are incapable of seeing anything beyond your very small world, does not mean everyone is like you.

    “The downtown area is revitalized and is a fun place to go. The City of Industry is a craphole.”

    Gee I remember when downtown was not the nice place it is now. But development made it nice. Hold on……aren’t they developing Industry to make it a nice place?

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