SBD/October 12, 2011/Facilities

Irsay Says No Discount For Any Stake In NFL Team Moving To L.A.

Irsay said L.A. can't "steal a deal" for an NFL franchise just because it's a big city
Colts Owner Jim Irsay said that "full price is the only way to go," if a team is going to move to L.A., and "several NFL owners echoed his sentiments off the record," according to Sam Farmer of the L.A. TIMES. The downtown L.A. stadium proposal calls for AEG Chair Phil Anschutz to "acquire a minority share of a team at a discount," while Majestic Realty Chair & CEO Ed Roski, "pushing for a venue in City of Industry, has dropped his bid to trade stadium land for a no-cash piece of a team and now is offering to pay full price for a minority share." The sales price "for a minority share matters to Irsay because that helps establish the value of a franchise." Irsay said, "The bottom line is, if an owner's going to go in there, and if he's going to sell 10% or 20%, he's not going to sell it for $5 million a point." Irsay added, "There's been a feeling like we're going to steal a deal because we're L.A., and we're such a big market, and you have to come here ... A team may benefit, but it's not like a team can't exist where they are. It's not like a team in hockey or baseball that's just dying on the vine and so desperate that they have to come. So we'll see" (L.A. TIMES, 10/12).

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS LOOM: ESPN L.A.'s Arash Markazi noted, "Despite dropping his initial ownership demand, Roski's proposal still has plenty of holes for league owners." Roski's plan "still does not answer the question of how the stadium will be financed." In his most recent plan, Roski "wants to buy a minority share of the team and is asking the team to figure out how to finance the stadium after moving" to L.A., which offers no public money for stadiums. Markazi noted the NFL "will not allow a team to relocate to Los Angeles unless financing for the new stadium has been secured, and it would be impossible for a team to secure financing for a stadium in Los Angeles while still in its current city" (ESPNLA.com, 10/11).
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