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SBD/January 28, 2011/Facilities
Majestic VP Predicts NFL Team Will Be Playing In L.A. By Sept. '12
Published January 28, 2011
NO FOREGONE CONCLUSION: ESPN L.A.'s Arash Markazi wrote the problem facing an NFL stadium in L.A. is that "virtually every new sports venue in the country includes some form of public financing, which is almost impossible to achieve in California." Former California Gov. Gray Davis: "Even in boon times, Californians are very suspect of allocating public money to build a stadium. In bad times, it's simply impossible. The state has a tradition of not spending public money on stadiums or arenas. For example, 1999 and 2000 were good years in California and even in those good times there was no appetite in spending public money." Markazi wrote the "biggest misconception when discussing Los Angeles' attractiveness as a market is thinking every NFL owner would salivate at the prospect of having a team in the second biggest media market in the country and the entertainment capital of the world." That is "simply not the case in the NFL's egalitarian model, in which all national revenues are equally divided among the 32 teams." In the NFL, the "amount of money a team can generate from its stadium with as little risk as possible is what NFL owners are after." If they "can get their state, city or county to completely subsidize the stadium while giving 100 percent of the revenue to the owner, as is the case in many NFL cities, that's the best possible deal." That "would never happen in Los Angeles." Also, the "age-old belief that the NFL needs Los Angeles more than Los Angeles needs the NFL has been debunked over the years." The league's TV contracts "went from $900 million per year when they had to two teams in Los Angeles to $3.1 billion per year with no teams in the market," and that figure is "expected to double after the current contract runs out following the 2013 season." Still, Davis said of the NFL's return to L.A., "I think it will happen someday. Whether it happens in my lifetime or your lifetime, I don't know, but I think one day it will happen" (ESPNLA.com, 1/27). ESPN L.A.'s Markazi broke down AEG's proposal for an NFL stadium in L.A. (ESPNLA.com, 1/27).