An NFL stadium downtown. Frankly it even has some of us hardened Anshutz Entertainment Group (AEG, the company that wants to do this) watchers giddy with excitement.
Perhaps our testosterone has gotten the best of us.
A piece looking at the viability of a stadium next to AEG's Staples Center and LA Live gives it almost no chance of actually happening. What gives?
According to our reading of Jason Cole's piece in Yahoo News (via CityWatch), here are the seven reasons this stadium might not happen:
7. Two to three years of lost revenue for the city and area businesses as this thing is built and traffic is disrupted. Would L.A. put up with it?
6. The cost of moving a team to L.A: Possibly $200 million that apparently hasn't been put on the books for this yet.
5. The prospect of making the economics work when Staples Center honcho Tim Leiweke has said AEG doesn't want to own the NFL team, but NFL teams would take all the money from the venue (tickets, concessions, parking), leaving little payback for AEG under this scenario.
4. Leiweke's self-imposed three-month deadline (by early March) to secure a commitment from the NFL to give L.A. a team. (A pipe dream, sources seem to say).
3. The real cost of building such a stadium (possibly $3 billion instead of the $1 billion or so cited by Leiweke).
2. Location: (Intriguing if you ask us, but …) the NFL has been moving more and more toward open-space, suburban locals with … (you guessed it) … plenty of parking and room for its Superbowl event and TV trucks.
1. Parking: A lack of room for adequate parking and tailgating.
Cole also reiterates previous reporting indicating that Leiweke's stadium doesn't have the backing of his boss, AEG's Phil Anschutz, and that his unheard of three-month deadline might even by a hedge against his bet that would allow him to pull out of an allegedly ill-conceived plan if the ducks don't line up.
The problem with the project is the details. Simple details, such as where will fans park in one of L.A.'s most congested sections? How will they tailgate in the parking garages and underground lots that surround the spot? If you're the NFL, where will you set up shop with all those TV trucks and temporary buildings you need for the Super Bowl?
And the most important question of all for a city and state that sit on the brink of financial collapse: How much will it really cost?
What do you think?