Dodger's Win More Fans in the City
Since the Dodgers have been doing such an incredible job of PR with the city, it shouldn't be a shock to read the following headline in the LA Times:
Dodgers, NFL Had Meetings -- The idea of suggesting a football venue at Chavez Ravine angers those who back the Coliseum plan.
Um yeah, you think? Here's some choice quotes from the story:
- "We told the McCourt group we were not interested in proceeding unless we're unable to close deals with the Coliseum and Anaheim," Aiello said. "There are no further discussions planned. There are no next steps. We're not negotiating with them."
- "I've got to believe he [McCourt] didn't understand the depth and the extent of the community consensus behind the Coliseum as the site for an NFL team in Los Angeles," Villaraigosa said.
- Yaroslavsky said the Dodgers had "broken ranks with what has been a united community — the business, sports, political and environmental communities, all of them behind the Coliseum project."
- "If he's making these overtures, it's a big blow to the folks who are building a level of trust with him," Reyes said. "That's important when you're dealing with issues of that scale."
- "Mr. McCourt has been sensitive enough to meet with us. He has shown concern about our community," Brown said. "He said, 'If a stadium should ever come into the discussion, you would be the first to know.' "
Walter O'Malley has chimed in with his opinion in the comments below. It is worth promoting up top to the post itself. See below:
Here's one other quote from the article: "The Dodger Stadium site is arguably the best site for the NFL in the entire Southern California area. Politically, it's D.O.A," Ganis said.
Can't LA politicians just be honest for a minute? While it's admirable that after 10 years, all of LA has rallied around one plan, the Coliseum, let's just admit that it's not actually the best plan.
At Dodger Stadium, you have an enormous open plot of land. It has some of the best views in Los Angeles. There's plenty of parking. And it's right by three freeways (5, 110, 101) and Sunset Blvd.
While the Coliseum area has gotten better, it's still lousy. The NFL hates it. The NFL owners fear it. Parking is a nightmare. Traffic leaving the Coliseum is five times worse than Dodger Stadium. It's less accessible than Dodger Stadium. There's science museums and other entities down there which get in the way of football, and lose all customers because of football. State governments and city governments have to be placated.
The Coliseum Commission's past problems have driven away the Rams, Raiders, the Chargers, UCLA football, and NFL expansion efforts five years ago (see: Houston Texans).
Ten years ago, my son Peter wanted to build a football stadium at Chavez Ravine. The NFL wanted him to join their fraternity. They loved the Dodger Stadium location. And Peter would have arranged shuttle transportation from downtown parking lots to alleviate traffic concerns.
If local leaders hadn't been so quixotic in killing that plan, then Peter O'Malley would still own the Dodgers and LA would have a football team in a gorgeous hillside stadium. Chalk one up for short-sightedness.
So now Frank McCourt has the temerity to bring forward the same plan, one of the few sensical ideas he's had (although don't ask me how he would afford an NFL team or NFL expansion fees), and the political climate is so warped that we're stuck supporting this inferior plan which will be a mess if it ever comes to fruition.
Anyone with a basic understanding of LA's economy and land planning knows that Chavez Ravine is the perfect site for the NFL to return. It's a shame that Zev Yaroslavsky, Mark Ridley-Thomas, and co have been supressing that reality for a decade in the name of their own private interests.