SBD/Issue 5/Facilities & Venues

Wasserman Calls New Stadium The "Ultimate Issue" For NFL In L.A.

Wasserman Believes Team
In L.A. Could Be Successful
Wasserman Media Group (WMG) Chair & CEO Casey Wasserman appeared on ESPN's "The BS Report" with Bill Simmons and said a new stadium is the "ultimate issue for getting the NFL back to L.A." Wasserman: "It requires everybody involved ... to do something they have never really done before. ... The traditional model of rich guy buys team, moves to L.A., spends more money to build stadium is not happening." Since NFL teams share revenues and media rights, Wasserman notes the "economics from a media perspective being in L.A. is no different than being in Green Bay or Houston or Phoenix." Wasserman: "The theoretical value of the market of L.A. is almost 50% driven by the media value. The other value would be what you could charge for things in a stadium. ... The fact that you take 50% of the value of being in a big market off the table is a huge issue." He added, "To gain the benefit of that other 50% of being in a market like L.A. and what you can sell naming rights, boxes, seats, all that stuff, for, you have to take more financial risk than any other NFL owner ever has to get just 50% of the benefit to being in this market." Wasserman contends an NFL team in L.A. could be "wildly successful," but noted an owner would incur "more risk and only gain half the benefit." Meanwhile, the Chargers, Raiders and 49ers also have been trying to build new stadiums, and Wasserman said, "It's not a coincidence that four of the problems for the league in terms of facilities are all in the same state. ... It's a problem which permeates sports in the state of California and with our state economy the way it is I'm not sure that's going to change anytime soon" ("The BS Report," ESPN, 9/16).

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