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Lack of trust infects L.A. stadium process, too

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As if the NFL didn’t have enough trouble with trust, or a lack of it, keeping the league and the players from working out a win-win labor deal, the effort to put a stadium in L.A. also has been marred by mistrust.

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times recently explored the manner in which this dynamic could be making it harder to put an NFL team back in L.A. for the first time since the Rams and Raiders left after the 1994 season.  Tim Leiweke of AEG (pictured) told Farmer that a stream of false starts over the past 16 years has made each side leery of the other.  As a result, Leiweke said the owners “don’t have a lot of faith” in L.A., and that L.A. “doesn’t have faith in the NFL, either.”

Leiweke fears that folks in Los Angeles will simply assume the worst about the proposal to build a downtown stadium, near Staples Center and as part of the L.A. Live entertainment complex.  If the powers-that-be in L.A. ever plan to see the light when it comes to the AEG plan, the light possibly needs to be seen soon.  Leiweke told Farmer that AEG has established a deadline of July 31 “for the City Council to approve the framework of a downtown stadium deal.”

It could still be an uphill climb, especially since Leiweke thinks it will be easier to attract a team to the stadium than it will be to actually build the place.

“There are 32 teams, and six or seven of those currently don’t have a home that economically works,” Leiweke said.  “Are all six or seven of those going to solve their problems in their current marketplace?  No.  We’re confident that it’s not just going to be one team.  I think there are going to be at least two, probably more, that are going to have to look at moving in order to remain competitive within the league.”

At the top of that list are the Vikings and the Chargers.  Even though the recent meeting between Leiweke and Vikings officials supposedly was aimed only at helping the Wilfs engineer an L.A. Live-style destination in Arden Hills, Minnesota, Leiweke’s comments make even more clear the fact that the Vikings are one of the teams in the center of AEG’s radar screen.

Indeed, it makes far more sense for AEG to target a non-California team initially for relocation, since it will be easier to pull political strings if, in the end, the state will be increasing its total NFL teams from three to four.

As to AEG’s July 31 deadline, we’ll believe that it’s really a deadline if the plug is pulled on the process as of August 1.  We doubt that will happen; there’s simply too much money to be made and there’s been too much time and effort invested to give up based on a completely artificial timetable.

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32 Responses to “Lack of trust infects L.A. stadium process, too”
  1. WingT says: Jun 5, 2011 3:08 PM

    Can someone explain the basic business relationship that will have to be in place in order for a team to move? How will they “share’ the stadium?

  2. vikefan says: Jun 5, 2011 3:15 PM

    How can u have a deadline with no support? This just gives the MN legislature more time to tell the Vikings no to a new stadium with no reprocussions.

  3. buhbay1c says: Jun 5, 2011 3:18 PM

    I read that article yesterday and the reader comments were all negative (for the record there were only 11). Most were chastising Leiweke and AEG owner Phil Anschutz and the burden that would eventually fall on the taxpayers via the $350 million infrastructure bond. With all the comments ripping the owners and the taxpayer burdens I thought I was reading the Minneapolis-St Paul newspapers.

  4. dempsey63 says: Jun 5, 2011 3:33 PM

    Leave the current teams where they are. Build the L.A. stadium, then schedule eight guest games a year there featuring each conference in alternating years.

    Designate Los Angeles as the permanent Super Bowl site as well.

  5. hail2tharedskins says: Jun 5, 2011 3:35 PM

    Even if AEG is serious about their July 31 deadline and pulls the plug on their proposal, Roski is still waiting in the wings with his stadium that already has all the approvals to begin construction tomorrow – he is just waiting on a team. I strongly believe the Vikings will be relocating to Los Angeles after next season (with the Chargers probably following a year or so later). The only questions are where will the permanent stadium be located and whether their temporary home will be the Rose Bowl or Coliseum.

  6. hboilers24 says: Jun 5, 2011 3:45 PM

    dempsey you are 100% right and thats an awesome idea.

    LA is and would be a FAR better venue then Canada and England like we have been doing. they could easily have multiple games at the LA stadium, the NFL would be in LA, and teams could still use the threat of moving to LA to build new stadiums or have the team leave to take the stadium full time.

    great idea.

  7. tiffybean says: Jun 5, 2011 4:07 PM

    This is not about lack of trust! AEG is trying to turn this into a trust issue, when instead it is simply about a bad stadium design. The AEG stadium would be amongst the smallest in the NFL, with a closed roof and fake grass, without adequate parking, without a place to tailgate, in a terribly traffic congested spot, and with a complex city tax financing scheme.

    What do all those shortfalls have anything to do with “trust”? If I try to sell someone my car with a blown up engine and they don’t buy it, do I then claim that they don’t trust me?

    Roski’s competing plan for Grand Crossing is far superior – and that is where LA can take pride in a stadium built for a world class experience.

  8. boltfaninfalconcountry says: Jun 5, 2011 4:11 PM

    Send the Rams back to LA and the Cardinals back to St. Louis and move the Jags to Phoenix. Sorry J-Ville but you are a tiny market and rarely sell out games. Most of the Jags games have tarps around the upper level seatings.

  9. cosanostra71 says: Jun 5, 2011 4:14 PM

    dempsey63 says:
    Jun 5, 2011 3:33 PM
    Leave the current teams where they are. Build the L.A. stadium, then schedule eight guest games a year there featuring each conference in alternating years.

    Designate Los Angeles as the permanent Super Bowl site as well.
    —————————————————-

    that’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard

  10. dempsey63 says: Jun 5, 2011 5:01 PM

    cosanostra71 says:
    Jun 5, 2011 4:14 PM

    that’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    …and install Matt Millen as the general manager of cosanostra71’s favorite team.

    (There. Did I redeem myself?)

  11. thetooloftools says: Jun 5, 2011 5:02 PM

    Some things LA doesn’t deserve.
    An NFL team is one of them.

  12. krow101 says: Jun 5, 2011 5:06 PM

    Economically ‘working’ in NFL terms means a huge handout from the taxpayers.

    Outside of GE and Exxon NFL teams are the biggest welfare queens in the country.

  13. hail2tharedskins says: Jun 5, 2011 5:07 PM

    demsey63,

    That is a great IDEA. But that’s all it is is an idea. How would put up the money for a stadium in that scenario? Do you think all the teams in league are going to contribute to build a stadium in L.A. for shared use? There is no way a stadium gets built in LA without a permanent team.

    WingT,

    Stadiums can be shared in many ways. The Giants and Jets co-own the current stadium they share now. There have been situations previously where one team owned the stadium and another team was simply a tenant. You can also have a situation where both teams are tenants as was the situation when the Rams and Raiders shared the Coliseum.

    As for what has to happen for a team to move. The big issue is what legal commitment a team has in their current city. How long is the current lease and what penalty is there if they choose to break the lease early? In the Vikings case their lease is up after this season so they can leave by just saying we are gone (its that simple, well they would have to pay the moving company but you get the point). In the case of the Chargers they are still under lease for a few more seasons but they have opt out clause in their lease and the fee is pretty small (somewhere around $25mln I believe) and it decreases sizeably each year. For the city a team would move to, it wouldn’t cost the team anything as the city (and stadium owner if not owned by the city) would provide many financial incentives and tax breaks to lure them in because of the added revenue it brings to a city to have a professional sports team. The team would of course have to sign a lease and make a commitment to stay a minimum number of years to ensure that they don’t leave the new city and stadium owner with a empty building they are still paying for. (hope that answers your question)

  14. marty2019 says: Jun 5, 2011 5:19 PM

    Boltfaninfalconcountry,

    You say, “Send the Rams back to LA and the Cardinals back to St. Louis and move the Jags to Phoenix. Sorry J-Ville but you are a tiny market and rarely sell out games. ”

    The Jags sold more tickets per game than the Cardinals last year. So what justification could there possibly be for moving our team to Phoenix?

    And by the way, the Cardinals sold more tickets than the Rams, so what justification could there be for moving the Cardinals back to St. Louis?

  15. jimmysee says: Jun 5, 2011 6:52 PM

    Wait a minute — send the Cardinals back to Chicago!

  16. dontouchmyjunk says: Jun 5, 2011 7:01 PM

    The Rams moved out of LA in 1980, not 1994. For the last time, ANAHEIM IS NOT LOS ANGELES!!! Nobody in LA thinks of Anaheim as Los Angeles, and nobody in Anaheim considers themselves to be even remotely connected to LA.

  17. nahcouldntbethat says: Jun 5, 2011 7:39 PM

    All the LA folks have to do is wait. Either Al Davis or Ralph Wilson is going to go at some point in the relatively near future and that’s the new LA team.

    Both teams are where they are because that’s where the owner wants to be, not because being there makes any economic sense.

  18. mediasloppy says: Jun 5, 2011 7:50 PM

    I don’t see the Vikings or any team moving to LA unless the current owner is selling the team. Roski wants whoever moves there to be his baby. I don’t see Wilf selling the Vikings. He’s put too much into the team making up for the cheap owners before him. If Roski can build a stadium and hand over a billion dollars to Wilf for the Vikings kudos to him…

  19. mediasloppy says: Jun 5, 2011 7:54 PM

    I don’t see the Vikings or any team moving to LA unless the current owner is selling the team. Roski wants whoever moves there to be his baby. I don’t see Wilf selling the Vikings. He’s put too much into the team making up for the cheap owners before him. If Roski can build a stadium and hand over a billion dollars to Wilf for the Vikings kudos to him…
    ————————–
    I suppose AEG is different than Roski… oops

  20. rajbais says: Jun 5, 2011 8:08 PM

    There mistrust is understandable. All of the “potential teams” should not be used as mirages for L.A. football fans or taxpayers.

    Get the team into town and then the stadium!!! Where did this scenario work???

    Baltimore

  21. seals1 says: Jun 5, 2011 9:26 PM

    I think they should move 5 or 6 teams to LA. I’m sure since they have not been able to support one team multiple teams should work much better.

    NFL is turning into a Joke,,,,,,,Maybe Spurrior is correct and we should start paying college player and scrap the NFL.

  22. goombar2 says: Jun 5, 2011 9:51 PM

    Ziggy put so much into the vikings? Huh?

    Ziggy isn’t from Minneapolis, he has no roots here, he lives in NYC… He’s not getting a 1 billion dollar stadium for a 200 mil price. Not going to happen!

    I just think viking fans have dreamy visions of their owner that just aren’t true. He has no real love for Minneapolis or Minnesota. He loves football, but in a Dan Snyder way, but the dude loves money the most. Moving to LA, the #2 market makes a lot of cents!

  23. Soulman45 says: Jun 5, 2011 9:55 PM

    LA is a city that is broke (no income) holes in the road,
    half the people are on welfare half the people that work don’t pay tax should not be in the country but are getting aide.

    The city is getting handouts from the state and the Feds. and talk about building a stadium with what?

    Build it for the people in the suburbs they will come that where the money is at.

    Most of the people that live in LA can’t afford to go to a game.

  24. purdueman says: Jun 5, 2011 10:10 PM

    The model for 2 NFL teams sharing a stadium has been successfully implemented in the Meadowlands in New Jersey, where both the Jets and Giants call the same new stadium home.

    Thanks to technology, the stadium lighting scheme can be simply changed with a flip of a switch.

    The Lakers and Clippers also successfully share the same home arena; all that’s required is to change the floor out in between games.

  25. fthrvic says: Jun 5, 2011 10:13 PM

    @boltfan…

    Where are you getting your numbers about ticket sales? The Cards sold out every home game last year including a monday night game against division rival San Fran and a Christmas night game against Dallas (standing room only tix???)

  26. 49erman says: Jun 5, 2011 11:14 PM

    LA couldn’t support both the Rams and Raiders so why do they deserve another chance?

  27. valman61 says: Jun 5, 2011 11:33 PM

    The arrogance of you LA people to think you should have the super bowl every year. Since you can’t seem to sellout a stadium for a regular season with your own team, despite being the second largest market (2nd to my home) in the country, you think it’s great to have the superbowl there annually? Why? The media travels to the superbowl, it sells out regardless. Cities across the country do the best they can and energize their economies when they get the superbowl. Its a reward given to the successful teams and owners. If they put Jerry jones palace in the middle of NYC and closed the roof, NY still wouldn’t deserve it every year. And NY is a better football town then LA in every measurable and imaginable way. Leave the SB as is, and LA needs to figure out how to male s team work on their own. No nonsense of giving them the best games every week and the superbowl annually. The NFL doesn’t need LA, look at their growth since 1994 and that fact is quite clear.

  28. huthuthut says: Jun 5, 2011 11:39 PM

    I live in Los Angeles and was a season ticket holder when the Rams were at the Big A. (Yes, I drove to Orange County and back to enjoy the pleasures of seeing the game live instead of on TV.)

    And as much as I love football, getting an NFL team just doesn’t make sense these days for the city or its taxpayers. When the Rams left LA it was simply because St Louis offered them a whole lot of money in terms of tax deferments and free infrastructure. At some point the Rams will get a better offer and the city elders of St Louis will have to decide if it wants to raise taxes to fund its football team.

    Again, I’d love to see NFL football – especially the Rams – return to LA. But its got to be a good deal, and not one where the public assumes the risk.

  29. brewdogg says: Jun 6, 2011 2:07 AM

    goombar2 says:
    Jun 5, 2011 9:51 PM
    Ziggy put so much into the vikings? Huh?

    Ziggy isn’t from Minneapolis, he has no roots here, he lives in NYC… He’s not getting a 1 billion dollar stadium for a 200 mil price. Not going to happen!

    I just think viking fans have dreamy visions of their owner that just aren’t true. He has no real love for Minneapolis or Minnesota. He loves football, but in a Dan Snyder way, but the dude loves money the most. Moving to LA, the #2 market makes a lot of cents!
    —————————————

    Once again, your argument is short on logic…..

    How much “cents” does it make to move the team to a location where he wouldn’t own the stadium or the surrounding development? Hmmmmm……. That sounds like a short-sighted businessman to me.

    Try to pay attention while I say this yet again. Zygi will not move the team. If he doesn’t get his Minnesota stadium, he will sell the team. Got it?

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you goombar, a Packer fan and Wisconsin native living in Minnesota, who thinks he can single-handedly block a Vikings stadium with spurious logic and contradictory claims. Don’t argue with him, though…. he doesn’t believe anything he didn’t hear from another Packer fan over a couple Hamm’s Lights.

  30. purpleguy says: Jun 6, 2011 10:59 AM

    Four years from now, the Vikes will have a new Stadium in Arden Hills, and LA will probably still be dinking around with the same old stadium gibber-jabber. Anyone who’s paid any attention to the last Minnesota legislative session and otherwise has half a brain (meaning about 25% of the cheeser fan base), is aware a stadium deal will be completed. The teams most likely to move in one form or another are the Bills, Jags or Bolts.

  31. locutus says: Jun 6, 2011 11:14 AM

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you goombar, a Packer fan and Wisconsin native living in Minnesota

    Yes, I surmised as much from reading his bilge. Funny thing is that this loser just can’t see the hypocrite that he is. Wisconsin being so great that they have to send off their losers to the neighboring states in order to find work.

  32. goombar2 says: Jun 9, 2011 10:48 PM

    Wow, so worldly… So the excuse you use locutus for why you’re still in that trailer park is that you were born there? Don’t wanna make anyone think you’re better than that! No worry, we don’t!

    I’ve been all over the country. This is just the latest spot. I looked it up and it turns out, there’s no state law forcing me to hold my nose and wear purple.

    As far as the vikes moving, you guys keep acting like they’d have to sell the team. Not true. AEG isn’t looking to purchase a team. Obviously a deal could be struck dividing profits if Ziggy makes the move to the AEG facility. Ziggy doesn’t need to own a stadium to make a profit. That’s just urban legend.

    And judging by the how defensive and belligerent you’re all getting, I’m thinking you guys aren’t believing your own baloney.

    And it’s not just me against higher taxes so a billionaire can get richer with a bad product… It’s 75% of Minnesota. You gonna kick all of us out? Ha ha ha!

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