For several years, it appeared that Ed Roski’s group had the inside track to luring the NFL back to Los Angeles, via a new stadium to be built in the City of Industry. But the shovel-ready project recently has been buried by momentum accumulating for a downtown venue backed by Tim Leiweke of AEG and Casey Wasserman.
Now, Roski’s group has decided to fight back.
John Semcken, Roski’s right-hand man, tells the Orange County Register that the downtown project is a “pipe dream . . . that is confusing people.”
It gets better. Semcken, who worked with Leiweke to build Staples Center in L.A., also attacks Leiweke personally.
“Tim’s a bad guy,” Semcken said. “He can’t build the building.”
Semcken also focused on the merits, arguing that traffic, construction problems, and the costs to make earthquake-proof a retractable roof doom the downtown idea. “At the end of the day, I don’t know why they’re doing it. It can’t be done,” Semcken said. “We can break ground tomorrow.”
Semcken thinks that the NFL has encouraged AEG to produce a plausible proposal, in the hopes of creating competition between the two projects — and thus leverage for the league.
“I think it’s smart what the NFL is doing,” Semcken said.
In our view, it’s not smart what Semcken is doing. His comments come off as desperate and his attacks on Leiweke as petty. Our guess is that Semcken knows the ship is sinking, and so he’s firing off as many shots as he can while it goes down.