Ed Roski and Majestic Reality have made progress in their efforts to build a stadium in Los Angeles, and sound confident in their ability to get a team there soon. Perhaps overconfident.
“I strongly believe an NFL franchise will play in Los Angeles for the 2011 season,” Majestic vice president Semcken told Albert Breer of the Boston Globe. “I’ve been working on this for 14 years, and it’s been a long road. I know we’re very, very close.”
Semcken’s group has a “shovel-ready” site in the City of Industry, but he’s missing a key component: a team. The group isn’t going to build anything until a team commits.
What makes him think that’s going to happen by next year?
I spoke with Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times about this issue in Fort Lauderdale and admittedly don’t understand all the complexities. Still, it seems highly unlikely anything happens before a new collective bargaining is reached.
Commissioner Roger Goodell answered Farmer’s annual L.A. question like so at his annual press conference:
“The good news I think is that at least clearance has been given to getting a stadium built,” Goodell said. “But you point out the key issue, which is the challenge of financing a facility in this kind of an environment. And with the labor agreement that we have, the cost of building that stadium is almost entirely on the ownership, and that is a big burden to pay, particularly in this kind of environment.”
The NFL put off doing a second game in London in 2010 largely because of economics and labor uncertainty. Endeavoring to move a franchise doesn’t seem like a challenge the league needs in 2011.