Saturday, October 11, 2014

The NFL back in LA?

It's been quite a while, actually 20 years, since the National Football League had a team in Los Angeles. The Rams were there for decades, but they finally left to play in St. Louis. The Raiders moved south for a while to LA-LA land, but even they eventually returned to Oakland.

This seems odd. Los Angeles is arguably the biggest sports market in America. St Louis boasts their famous arch and the baseball Cardinals are perennial contenders. Plus it's the home of the Budweiser clydesdales. Other than that -- not too much. Oakland boasts of -- well -- yours truly has been there a few times and can't think of anything they could possibly crow about. But it's the home of Hell's Angels. At least it's something.

Nevertheless, both St. Louis and Oakland are considered "small market" cities when it comes to professional sports.

But the question remains. How come there's no NFL team in LA? Good grief, lots of other much smaller markets have landed them. The smallest of them all is likely Cheesertown. But Green Bay is Green Bay. That's tradition, and they support their team like it's the only thing they have -- which is pretty much true. But how can it be that towns like Jacksonville, Tampa, and Charlotte have NFL franchises while LA remains without? Even the "New York" teams have moved to New Jersey. And whoever heard of Foxborough until the former Boston Patriots moved there? Buffalo is great -- if you're in the snow removal business, but what else do they have going on?

Yet a major obstacle in LA remains. They need a new stadium. If we can safely rule out any more NFL"expansion" teams in the near future -- a pretty good bet --  no current owner is going to pack up and move to LA, only to have his team play in the ancient coliseum. And no owner is going to shell out a billion or two to construct a magnificent football palace in a different city before his team even plays there.

Compounding the problem is LA mayor Eric Garcetti says the taxpayers in the Los Angeles area want nothing to do with building a new stadium on their dimes. They've already got enough problems with droughts, wildfires, and an occasional Bieber sighting. While the huddled masses yearning to be free lance porno stars would welcome another NFL presence -- they're not about to pay for it. Bring it on, they say, but build your own damn castle.

So it appears all parties potentially involved are stuck on the horns of a Mexican standoff -- or something like that. In order for LA to get another NFL team, something's gotta give.

This is the time for out-of-the-box thinking. The Los Angeles area has an untapped gold mine right under their noses. Movie and TV stars. There's at least hundreds, perhaps thousands of them living in the burbs of LA proper. And they all make countless millions. Leave the common folks alone, and have the glitterati pay for a new stadium. How could this be done?

Elementary, my dear reader. Construct a new stadium that consists of nothing BUT super-posh luxury suites to view the games. Any celeb or other big shot can buy into one for life -- for the low-low price of only a million bucks. Plus an annual "maintenance fee" of, let's say, a paltry $100,000 to pay the "sanitary engineers" to clean up after them. The high-rollers would likely be climbing all over each other for a chance at such an opportunity. And imagine, if only 2000 of them signed up for the original $1 million price tag -- do the math. That's $2 billion bucks. It would be by far the most ever spent on the construction of a new stadium. How fancy could THAT be?

Consider the top 3 most costly stadiums.

1. Met Life Stadium which houses the NY Giants and NY Jets, though these "New York" teams actually play in New Jersey, cost $1.6 billion.
2. The new Yankee Stadium had a price tag of $1.5 billion.
3. Cowboys Stadium, the lovable Jerry Jones' coup de grace, checked in at roughly $1.3 billion.

A $2 billion dollar facility in LA could put them all to shame.

That's the beauty of it. No more of those super-hard sardine grandstand seats, and no more of the end-zone lunatics as well. No more having to traipse to concession stands for nasty food or filthy restrooms, only to get in line. For a million bucks, every suite could be outfitted with a full bathroom, even a shower stall. Fine food and drink could be catered at the push of a button -- for a nominal surcharge, of course.

And remember the $100,000 annual maintenance fee. Multiply that by 2000 suites and presto, that's $200 million bucks a year. That will make team payroll with a bunch left over.

But what of the ordinary football fans, you say? There's no place in this line of thinking to accommodate them at such a stadium?

Tough. If they'd supported their past teams in the first place -- they wouldn't continue to be without one. There's a reason the Rams and Raiders departed, and it starts with fan interest, which translates to revenue. Owners are big on revenue.

Granted, if all the seats were enclosed luxury boxes, the stadium itself would be quite silent during games.

But who cares? Chances are they couldn't attract a winning team anyway. And when losing teams are playing at home and getting blown out, their crowds get Elmer Fuddishly vewy, vewy quiet.

Besides, the celebs and honchos likely couldn't care less about who won or lost a dumb football game anyway. They'd be there for the party, the "networking", or just hanging out between gigs.

It might be worth a shot just to see how it worked out. If nothing else, an all-luxury stadium catering only to the filthy rich would definitely be something new. And what better place than LA to try out the concept?


  1. Catering to the rich will only piss off the working-class and middle-class football fans.

    1. True enough in the real world, anon. But I meant the whole thing as a spoof.

  2. Since when is LA the real world? lol