SBD/7/Facilities Venues

STATE OF THE STADIUMS: A REPORT ON FOOTBALL'S INFRASTRUCTURE

     Last Sunday, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue floated the
possibility of the league helping finance a new stadium in the
Los Angeles area as a way of keeping the Rams and Raiders from
leaving the nation's No. 2 media market.
     In an interview with THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY, Marc Ganis,
president of Sportscorp, Ltd., and an expert on football
facilities, says that while the Coliseum is a better-than-average
facility, the Raiders are at a disadvantage compared to
franchises in smaller markets.
     THE DAILY:  Tell us about the state of stadium
infrastructure in the NFL.
     GANIS:  Generally, it appears the smaller market locations
have new, better revenue-producing stadiums than the larger
markets with the older stadiums.  You've got two of the best
markets in the country, Los Angeles, the No. 2 market, and
Washington, the No. 6 market, and those are the only two
locations in the NFL that don't have any luxury suites. ... After
the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars go through their
three years with only a portion of the television revenue, they
are going to be better off financially than the Giants, Jets,
Bears, Raiders, Rams.  That is an anomaly that is a very strange
situation.
     THE DAILY:  Why is this?
     GANIS:  You have municipalities that desperately want NFL
football, want to secure it or retain it, and will step up to the
plate and put up some serious tax dollars to help a stadium be
built.  In other instances, you have a city like Chicago.  The
Bears are an incredibly hot property, but there is no credible
threat that they will move out of the marketplace. ... There is
no incentive to get the public sector to act -- and that is part
of the problem in L.A.  In Southern California, and the L.A. area
in particular, there is a lot to do.  Football is not the be-all-
and-end-all. ... The idea of spending money on a sports stadium
is considered laughable to many political leaders. ... So then,
the league is left in a difficult situation where you have teams
that are at a financial competitive disadvantage, like the
Raiders and the Rams, but they are playing in large markets that
are needed to keep the national TV revenue up.
     THE DAILY:  What about Tagliabue's L.A. idea?
     GANIS:  The NFL proposal is realistic.  You may just have to
look down the road, it is not like in Jacksonville where the day
after they got the team, they started reconstruction of the
stadium. ... [But] I have heard from some of the owners that if
you start helping one financially, where is mine? ... You can
certainly see Robert Kraft, who paid something like $150 million
for the Patriots, playing in a stadium that is acknowledged by
Paul Tagliabue as being poorly located and a poor facility,
saying, "It's nice you are helping L.A., but when you are done
can you help me please?"
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