Today esteemed sports business reporter Jon Weinbach of AOL FANHOUSE has plenty of new, specific information about a proposed downtown Los Angeles stadium that could host an NFL team. Or two.
(Where the downtown L.A. Stadium would be located)
As I’ve chronicled here since April, Anschutz Entertainment Group CEO Tim Leiweke and local sports biz mogul Casey Wasserman have indicated publicly that they are interesting in building such a facility.
I suggest you read Weinbach’s entire piece but I did snip some things that caught my eye that have not been previously reported.
Of particular interest to me are the latter points regarding San Diego.
Especially when combined with this story from Matthew T. Hall of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE this week:
An aide for San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders has released a memo defending city staff’s involvement in the late-night legislative deal that lifted a cap on redevelopment spending in downtown San Diego in October.
The deal makes it possible for hundreds of millions of public dollars to be channeled into construction of a football stadium east of Petco Park as the Chargers would like done.
It essentially says the legislation, which took the council by surprise in early October and was subsequently signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger despite some criticism from council members, saved the city time and money, points that had been made previously.
The backroom deal hatched by San Diego Mayor Sanders and a local California State Assemblyman, Nathan Fletcher, provides that downtown property taxes could be available to subsidize a new stadium.
Also, if that downtown development cap had remained in place, the city of San Diego would’ve essentially been allowed to only spend $386 million over the next decade. A downtown San Diego football stadium reportedly could cost up to $800 million.
That cap has now been removed.
Clearly this is a sign that there is heightened awareness on the part of the mayor that if San Diego doesn’t start taking legitimate steps to build a stadium for the Chargers, Los Angeles may now have a shot at a realistic facility that could literally steal the team away with a single swipe of a pen from the Spanos family.
San Diego’s last-second measure could also be a signal that Leiweke and Wasserman have an informal blessing from the NFL that their stadium, if realized, could be the league’s preferred relocated Los Angeles team destination.