Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Jerry Jones wants team in LA?

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is very excited about having an NFL team in Los Angeles. Really? Then how come the Cowboys have a brand new stadium in Arlington, Texas instead of Los Angeles? He could have easily made a move.

But I digress.

Jones told the Los Angeles Times that he is supportive of a stadium in downtown Los Angeles, the idea recently floated by Casey Wasserman and Tim Leiweke. (And not to toot my own horn, but I said that when Wasserman folded the Avengers, he would be involved in getting a team back to Los Angeles. Which was scoffed at by somebody who knows who he is.)

But here is what Jones had to say:

“They are so credible and so substantive…. Leiweke has the utmost respect in the National Football League, and I have the most respect for everybody involved,” he said. “With all of that in mind, and with a real passion to have a team in Los Angeles, I like the way this thing is starting to sound.

Jones said that a multi-use stadium “makes sense” and that he can speak to that better today because of his experiences with his own new stadium.

“It makes a lot of sense for downtown Los Angeles,” he said. “It’s what you’re looking for. You’re looking for people that are passionate and interested enough in a team and in sports. You’ve got to have that.”

Let's read between the lines here. Jerry does not care about a team coming to Los Angeles. But Ed Roski's group is so close to putting a shovel in the dirt, the allure or threat rather of moving a team to Los Angeles is losing steam. Teams threatening to move to LA will have to put up or shut up because Roski is ready to make this happen tomorrow.

So Jones is endorsing a site that is still five or six years behind Roski, meaning the threat will loom long enough for stadiums to be built in San Diego, San Francisco/Oakland and Minnesota. But with Roski ready to, moving to Los Angeles is becoming an empty threat.

The NFL is playing competing sites against themselves like it has done if the past. What is going to happen here is that the NFL will -- in the near future -- endorse the downtown Los Angeles site, meaning the Roski group will eventually lose any momentum that it has. So Roski will go away, and then the downtown LA group will spend five years doing studies only to, in 2016, announce that a downtown LA stadium is not feasible.

And those previously mentioned sites will have new stadiums, and the NFL can find a new LA site to force Pittsburgh, Seattle, Tennesee and Cleveland to build new stadiums because its current venues are obsolete. And before you claim, 'but those teams built stadiums recently.' Well, that is how fans in Minnesota likely feel right now. Honestly, we are only a few years away from the Orioles crying for a new stadium.

My advice ... if you want to ever see a team in Los Angeles, back the City of Industry site.

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