"Los Angeles, ...the future home of the NFL’s 32nd team."
--Paul Tagliabue, NFL Commissioner, standing in the Los Angeles Coliseum, 1999

"No."
--Paul Tagliabue, when asked if an NFL team would play in the Coliseum, 2002

Welcome to Our Solution

Now is the time to bring the NFL back to its earlier position. That is the goal of www.LAColiseum Stadium.com, to support the efforts of the private and public sector to bring NFL football back to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is more than just a landmark or an historical building designation. It is the home of millions of memories over the past 75 years. It is ready to again become home of an NFL team and their fans, and thus the home of many more wonderful memories.
We at www.LAColiseumStadium.com are answering the call for creative solutions to the L.A. Stadium issue, to attract an owner with a plan that will satisfy both the team and the City without requiring new tax dollars.

QUITE SIMPLY: WE DON'T WANT TO LOSE ANOTHER BID FOR AN NFL TEAM. But as Bob Dylan sang, "The times, they are a changin'." Even so, we can gain a team if we all work together to make it work.

We at www.LAColiseumStadium.com are 100% NFL Football fans. We are totally independent of the Coliseum or any NFL team and any of their organizations. However, as we want to work with both any prospective team and the city, we invite them along with the citizens of Los Angeles to join with us in working out a solution together which will work to the benefit of all the people (local fans who are the taxpayers) of Los Angeles, large and small businesses impacted directly and indirectly by the presence of an NFL team, the Mayor, the City Council, and the fans of Los Angeles worldwide. We are available to consult to whoever wants us to take further the work we have already completed.

Los Angeles is a special place. Game 7 of the Lakers – Sacramento pulled a higher TV rating in L.A. than this year’s Super Bowl. L.A. is a sports town. And no sports town is complete without an NFL team. Who will forget the outpouring of fans and cheering an chanting for the Three-Peat Champion Lakers. We need more parades. We need more outlets for what J.A. Adande reports City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas calls our "psychic income", to help focus our "civic energy". And we especially need one for an NFL team championship, a team in the biggest and most exclusive club in sports. As City Councilman Ridley-Thomas also said, "The larger a city is, the more it needs things that helps them come together and be a city. Teams do that like nothing else can." So lets stand up for city and its needs. Planning issues are merely details. Together, we can deal with them.

The Memorial Coliseum is a special place. It is the only stadium in the world to stage opening ceremonies for two Summer Olympic games, 1932 and 1984. It played host to the first ever Super Bowl. It is where, when it was home to the Dodgers before their move to Chavez Ravine, where 93,000 fans illuminated it with lit matches in a tribute to Roy Campanella, who had been disabled in a car accident. The Coliseum has hosted a variety of globally important events, including the 1988 Amnesty International Tour, 1987 Papal mass (the first-ever papal visit to L.A.), and the Billy Graham Crusade, which set an all-time attendance record of 134,254.

Pro Sports Realities: The NFL is run by bright, creative, highly savvy people. As a popular movie has stated, its not how you play the game that counts, its how the game plays you. The NFL is not run by fools. They wanted downtown and had every right to position it as best. But now that it is gone, that leaves the Coliseum. The Coliseum worked it out with the NFL before and can do so again. Both need each other. Lets help them make a deal. And we must not forget that the AEG folks had initially proposed renovating the Coliseum. It is the right place. This is the right time. This is also the conclusion of various leaders and leadership groups in the city, including business and government leaders, and including historical preservationists, the construction people, the architects, and the Community Redevelopment Agency. So lets stand up for this prime asset of our prime city. Planning issues are merely details. Together, we can deal with them.

Thus, the reality is that both L.A. and the NFL need each other. Who needs who the most is immaterial. What is material is that the NFL will only have 32 teams for the foreseeable future. No more expansion. That means the next team that will be moving will move to L.A. Neither the NFL nor L.A., the 2nd largest market in the United States, can continue to deny each other. Six teams mentioned as candidates have been mentioned because they are having a hard time making ends meet, as discussed below. The Memorial Coliseum, with a mixed use real estate development/coliseum renovation plan, can be profitable for both city and team.

The previous NFL teams, as well as the teams of the University of Southern California and other college, and high school sports teams, have always been part of the "common community ground" that we have all shared together in Los Angeles. Most of us, when we get together, begin with our common enjoyment of our teams, "breaking the ice" with our takes on the Lakers and, oh that’s right, we don’t have an NFL team, and other favorite teams, and then we get on with the rest of our stories about other things we have to do (work, family, projects, neighborhood, etc., whatever it may be.

The Coliseum is home to one of the best football programs in the nation, that of the University of Southern California. USC officials count their campus among the 10 safest in the country.

NFL teams have NOT changed. Football has NOT changed. The enjoyment and community camaraderie we get has NOT changed. The many common community and business and personal benefits we get have NOT changed. BUT! THE FINANCIAL ENVIRONMENT and related to that, the THE PHYSICAL PLAYING FIELDS (now called "venues"), HAVE changed. For a crisp analysis of the situation that best explains why cities like Los Angeles have lost their teams, see the cover story on the financial environment of the NFL and the crucial role played by the stadiums, in the September 20, 1999 Forbes Magazine. We regret the teams that left Los Angeles. That need not happen again. There are lessons to be learned from mistakes made. We believe the Coliseum Commission as well as representatives from the city, county, and state, have a better understanding now of what needs to be done to make it happen and will be able to exercise that understanding positively for a public-private partnership that will work joyfully for everyone.

If we want to keep the an NFL team, we have to adjust to the new reality that professional sports is now both big business and big entertainment.

BUT! It can still be a happy public-private partnership, just as the ones that exist in many cities and which exists in many areas of Los Angeles today. A workable model for the Coliseum can be developed that will serve the city and a new team without having to raise any new taxes.

We want to have a great season every year. Both national magazines and our own local newspapers have underscored the fact that older stadiums limit teams’ ability to do two critical things, FIRST, run their business franchise profitably, and SECOND, field a competitive team -- the kind of team our fans demand and we know a new team would be committed to putting on the field. And in Los Angeles, we have the quality of life many players would like to enjoy for themselves and their families.

But the fact still remains that the business of professional football is changing, and, as stated by the NFL and every team in the NFL, teams need stadiums configured to enable them to keep pace with the rest of the league. Without either a new stadium or additional renovations to the Coliseum in order to facilitate additional revenue sources other teams enjoy, a team cannot move here and survive.

Teams in the NFL are fortunate to play in a financially healthy league with no labor problems, a league that works to ensure smaller-market teams like San Diego have a chance to compete just as the larger market teams in San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles. And although the bulk of shared revenues come from national broadcasting rights, and each NFL team gets the same amount each year, additional revenues are needed to keep pace with the escalating operating costs, which can only be achieved with a stadium that enables new revenue, either by renovating an existing stadium or building a new one. The shared revenue scheme has not leveled the playing field. The larger markets have built stadiums which can generate home town revenues for the team. Prior Los Angeles teams were unable to make their case well. And so they moved to where they could get a stadium that would enable them to compete. To field any team and win, teams have to have stadiums configured to enable that to happen. To return to the glory days of the Rams of old, we need to replace or renovate the stadium so a new team can play and compete.

Completing the Figueroa Corridor. A renovated Coliseum will benefit downtown as much as the other one would have. The Coliseum will be good for both L.A. and the NFL. The L.A. Coliseum Stadium is more than about football and NFL. It is also about a decades long attempt to complete the Figueroa Corridor.

The AEG Group wanted to build a stadium at the other end of Figueroa. As that plan has been withdrawn, we now focus on the Coliseum end of Figueroa. Our goal is an NFL team. We don’t care which end of Figueroa it is on. But as one end is gone, lets now all pull together to make it happen at the Coliseum end.

It is our Coliseum. We at www.ColiseumStadium.com believe that by working together, we can develop a new financial model which will satisfy the owners who need to make a profit, the taxpayers who don't want to subsidize millionaires with new tax dollars, the small businesses and others who profit from the games, and, of course the fans for whom NFL teams have long been a cherished part of their lives. We are inviting all the key players in the debate to work hard to put their heads together to create a new financial paradigm that works for Los Angeles, and which in turn works for the new NFL team. As it does all of that, it will also work for the fans.

Located in the heart Los Angeles, the Memorial Coliseum is centrally located and easily accessible. The Stadium can be reached by any one of four freeways: the 805, 163, 15 and 8. And the San Diego Trolley runs between the Stadium and Old Town. The stadium is for the ages: it received the First Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects. There are over 19,000 parking spaces, as well as bus service to and from the Stadium, a Trolley that runs between the Stadium and Old Town. It has seven different entrances into the Stadium, that ensure that convenience is added to every visit.

Near the Harbor Freeway, there are six lots servicing the Coliseum and Sports Arena on Menlo and Vermont Avenues, between Exposition and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and on MLK between Menlo and Figueroa. A total of 20,000 parking spaces are available in the Exposition Park area, at USC, the Shrine Auditorium and private lots within walking distance of the complex. Any renovation will have to take into consideration expanding parking.

REVENUE
Unfortunately, shared revenue is only one part of the stadium equation. 21st century profitability will be based on Non-shared revenues which will come primarily from stadium sources such as concessions, parking, suites, club seats, advertising and any other activities which a team can develop and use to generate revenue. In 2002, these revenues will vary greatly from team to team. To give you an idea, we will compare the team that has been the two leading candidate to make the move, The Minnesota Vikings and the San Diego Chargers, because their cities, it is said, are unable to work to resolve their stadium issue. The Vikings and the Chargers rank near the bottom of the league. The Vikings are openly in the process of seeking another city where it can obtain a stadium.

The San Diego Chargers are a privately owned team and so specific information is not available. However, we can provide approximate numbers for the Chargers and specific numbers for the Vikings:

 

RANKINGS
The salary cap helps teams like the Vikings and Chargers compete for star players by putting a ceiling on the total amount teams can pay players. But the salary cap is tied to the average NFL team revenue and it will rise as the average team revenue rises. Without a new or renovated stadium configured for new revenue sources, these teams will fall further below average and will be faced with a tough choice: pay up to the salary cap and lose money, or pay below the cap and lose favorite, star players and, thus, winning seasons. The following is information for, again, the Vikings and the Chargers, who are each in a similar position.

Projected Rankings 1999 Source: NFL CFO's office

 

Vikings

Chargers

Top Quartile Variance

Net Gate Receipts

25th

??

27.2%

Concessions

26th

??

90.2%

Suites

27th

??

75.2%

Parking

31st

??

100%

Club Seats/Stadium Club

31st

??

100%

Advertising

31st

??

100%

Total Revenue

30th

??

27.2%

 

A rank position like this seriously limits these teams to revenue opportunities. They rank near the bottom among all NFL teams when it comes to important stadium revenue sources like concessions, parking, suites, club seats and advertising.

Because of shortfalls in every stadium revenue category, These teams are projected to continue to rank low in the NFL in total revenue for 2002. This will not improve without a new or renovated stadium.

We also want a facility that better serves fans. More people than ever are looking for a way to attend an NFL game. A Coliseum renovation will offer better accommodations -- more restrooms, more concession areas, wider concourses -- so fans no longer have to choose at half-time between the restroom and a snack.

The following chart clearly shows the direction of the NFL with regard to the importance of new stadium construction. This is why teams not making it want to come to L.A. They are a necessary component of being in business with the NFL.

STADIUM PROGRESS REPORT

Stadium/City

Team

Completion Year

Georgia Dome

Atlanta Falcons

1992

ALLTEL Stadium

Jacksonville Jaguars

1995

Trans World Dome

St. Louis Rams

1995

Network Associates Coliseum*

Oakland Raiders

1996

Ericsson Stadium

Carolina Panthers

1996

Louisiana Stadium

New Orleans Saints

1996

Qualcomm Stadium*

San Diego Chargers

1997

Did not provide desired revenue increases.

Washington Redskins Stadium

Washington Redskins

1997

PSINet Stadium

Baltimore Ravens

1998

Giants Stadium*

New York Giants/Jets

1998

Raymond James Stadium

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1998

Ralph Wilson Stadium*

Buffalo Bills

1999

Cleveland Browns Stadium

Cleveland Browns

1999

Adelphia Coliseum

Tennessee Titans

1999

RCA Dome*

Indianapolis Colts

1999

Paul Brown Stadium

Cincinnati Bengals

2000

Denver

Denver Broncos

2001

Foxboro

New England Patriots

2001

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Steelers

2001

Seattle

Seattle Seahawks

2002

Detroit

Detroit Lions

2002

Philadelphia

Philadelphia Eagles

2004

San Francisco

San Francisco 49ers

No Plans

Minnesota

Minnesota Vikings

No Plans

Number one candidate for relocation

*Renovations 

 

CONCLUSION
We believe that there are enough examples out there to provide Los Angeles with a model which will work for all concerned, from the taxpayers, that is all citizens, to the legislators trying to develop a public-private partnership that will satisfy all, to the owners who will need to show a profit, to the coaches who need to develop a competitive team, to the players on the field striving to win a Super Bowl, and to the fans in the stands and watching on TV and listening to the radio.

As fans, we're thinking football. We have also geared up for an exciting 2002 season. At the same time, we would like to begin a conversation about resolving the football stadium issue for Los Angeles. We believe there is a stadium solution that will benefit not only the team, but also fans and the City of Los Angeles. We are committed, cooperatively to "Creating a solution to continue a tradition."

We invite you to submit your suggestions. We will turn over every suggestion we get to the Coliseum and to the mayor's office. We will also continue to develop our own research, with the goal to come up with a means and mechanism to achieve a win-win "conflict resolution" for all sides concerned.