Sunday, May 14, 2006

Keep Pro Football Out of L.A.

The New York Times reports this morning on the likelihood of pro football returning to Los Angeles, putting the ultimate price tag for a new owner, if it's an expansion team, as high as $1.5 billion and quoting the L.A. Times to the effect that signing rights for a scaled down Coliseum could be $50 million. Meetings are to be held shortly.

The question is do we want the Coliseum to be renamed the Milk of Magnesia Bowl, or some such other elegant title.

If the San Diego Charges moved to L.A., after failing to get San Diego to put up enough money for a new stadium there, the price might come down to $800 millon.

Still, that's a lot of money. Despite all the assurances from local officials that public money won't be involved, I fear that somehow it will be involved, if only through a diversion of tax revenues. Many of the details of the proposed deal are not being divulged.

Even the bland NYT article this morning does give more than a nod to various people who say that a pro team in L.A. has not been really missed. It is almost a more pleasant prospect for the National Football League, which has seen a diminished TV market here without a team than it would presumably get with one.

It seems, meanwhile, that not a day goes by without a big time athlete being murdered or involved in scandal. Whoever said that sports are great? Even football champion USC can't seem to keep its players in the proper bedrooms.

All this needs more consideration, maybe 15 years more, and by that time the NFL, with any good fortune, will have collapsed.

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