Well, the passing of Al Davis already has caused a seismic shift in the Southern California stadium shuffle.
Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times reports that Ed Roski, who hopes to build a new NFL venue in the City of Industry, has dropped his request for a no-cash minority stake in the team that would play there.
Instead, Roski is willing to “hand over the 600 acres” to the team that moves there. The team that moves there would be responsible for financing the stadium, and the team that moves there would sell Roski a share of the franchise at market value.
“I am continuing to work to bring NFL football back to Los Angeles,” Roski told Farmer via email in response to a request for confirmation. “The stadium at Grand Crossing creates a winning environment for fans, for the community and for the NFL now.
“My goal is to bring football back to Los Angeles, create jobs now, and to create an incredible NFL experience every game day for fans.”
Roski’s revised offer creates two dramatically different business models for the two proposed L.A. stadiums. The downtown facility that AEG wants to build would be financed and owned by AEG; the football team would be a tenant. The Grand Crossing project would give land to the NFL team at no cost, with the NFL team responsible for paying for the structure — but also pocketing all revenue flowing from its use.
Fundamental differences also exist in the non-game experiences that the stadiums would create. The AEG project, already named Farmers Field, would be a swanky, multi-use building in the heart of the L.A. Live complex. The stadium at Grand Crossing has enough adjacent parking areas to permit traditional day-long tailgating parties, which could be one of the extra perks needed to persuade fans (and families) to choose to watch games in person and not via their HDTVs.
The league apparently is playing this one down the middle for now, in the hopes of getting the best possible deal by leveraging the two proposals against each other. If that’s the strategy (and indeed it is), it’s working — as evidenced by Roski’s recent revision to his offer.