I hate to tell you I told you so but I did over and over: The deal to enrich right-wing extremist billionaire Phil Anschutz and his minions like Tim Leiweke stinks as far as the NFL and its greedy owners are concerned.
Roger Goodell told Los Angeles Councilwoman Jan Perry and political aide
Bernard Parks, Jr. that neither the league nor any team interested in
moving there would agree to the business proposal set forth by Anschutz
Entertainment Group, according to three sources with knowledge of the
conversation,” Jason Cole at Yahoo Sports reported today in the latest in his series of excellent articles. .
One source said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear that significant changes must occur before the league would be interested. Another said: “He was very complimentary of a lot
of the project, so it wasn’t all negative. But he laid out the problems the league sees.”
What it boils down to is money.
With the costs of domed stadium so high — far higher than AEG has publicly said in estimating it at $1.2 billion — the average ticket price is expected to run between $250 and $300, pricing football out of the reach of a region with one of the highest unemployment and poverty rates in the nation.
By the time AEG takes its cut — far more than the less than 6 percent profit margin they claim in city documents — even teams in small markets like the Buffalo Bills or Jacksonville Jaguars are better off staying where they are.
With dramatically lower costs of construction and operation and 40 times as much space for a stadium in the City of Industry, Ed Roski’s “Grand Crossing” stadium is far more attractive to the NFL and teams than Farmers Field downtown.
“What’s interesting about that site
is that it’s a 600-acre site which would be totally devoted to
football,” NFL insider Charley Casserly said on CBS last Sunday. “In other words, you’ll have plenty of room
for the stadium, parking, entertainment, the ‘NFL experience.’ Sounds
like a Super Bowl site to me.”
Another problem for AEG is that it wants a landlord-tenant relationship with the two teams that are expected to come to LA or Industry to make the deal work, which would mean Anschutz ”sells the tickets, advertising and sponsorship deals for those teams,
takes a cut and then pays the teams.”
“You’re talking about a team being disconnected from season
ticketholders and rights holders,” said a team executive, reflecting what five other executives have told Cole recently. “There’s no team that will do that and I don’t think you can get
approval from the rest of the owners for an arrangement like that.”
“The NFL is in a position to demand what it wants, not take what it
gets,” another team executive said. “When you look at the analysis of the
revenue that could be made, it looks great. You’re talking about some
of the highest revenues in the league. The problem is that when you
start to look at the expenses and how much has to be divided among all
the competing interests, you have to wonder how much is going to be
there for a team.”
You can be sure that the ultimate target of the NFL isn’t the billions in direct and indirect profits Anschutz is going to take out of LA to support his assault on immigrants and gays back in Colorado. It’s the fact that AEG is putting up money to rebuild the eternally losing LA Convention Center and sharing a trickle of its profits with the city, perhaps enough to cover $7 million of the $45 million a year the city pays in debt service already on the Convention Center.
What the NFL wants is the public’s money. The deal AEG and the city, inadequate as it is from the taxpayer’s standpoint, will be rewritten to provide greater costs to taxpayers and greater benefits to the league, the teams and, of course, Anschutz.
Do you think the mayor and the Council will protect you and your interests?