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  1. #1
    larams1980 Guest

    New Stadium news

    LOS ANGELES -- Ed Roski wants your NFL team.

    The billionaire real estate developer from Southern California is closely tracking the stadium and hometown dysfunction that plagues the three California franchises in San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego. He knows where fans are weary, where facilities are second-rate.

    He's got bull's-eyes centered on Buffalo, Jacksonville, Minnesota and St. Louis, too.

    Give Roski your poor, your tired, your NFL huddles and masses longing for a state-of-the-art outdoor facility. Bring them to the City of Industry in the San Gabriel Valley, where he is convinced the fruitful Los Angeles market will welcome you.

    Yes, that L.A. market. The same sprawling, Kobe Bryant-obsessed region that seems to have forgotten the ghosts of the Los Angeles Raiders and Rams and has embraced USC and UCLA football on Saturdays, and its choice of 32 teams on television come Sunday.

    "There are NFL franchises out there that want a world-class facility, that want this huge market, and I'm ready to give that to them,'' says Roski (above), chairman and CEO of Majestic Realty Co., a key developer of the privately financed Staples Center and a co-owner of the L.A. Lakers and Kings.

    Roski's an unassuming guy. "I did the Staples Center,'' he says casually. Well, he and fellow billionaire Phillip Anschutz did the Staples Center. On their dime. So Roski knows about getting stadiums and arenas built in the Golden State despite the notorious, choking loops of California development red tape that have stalled NFL stadium efforts across the state.

    Yeah, you've heard this before. Dead Los Angeles NFL stadium projects -- buried everywhere from Irwindale to Irvine to Carson to Hollywood Park -- are as ubiquitous to Southern California as a Sig alert on the Santa Monica freeway.

    So when Roski, 70, shows off that spectacular architectural model of his proposed $800 million, 75,000-seat NFL stadium as part of a shopping and entertainment complex he'll plant near the 57 and 60 Freeways in Industry, east of downtown Los Angeles, he's not kidding.

    "Full-steam ahead,'' Roski says. All he needs are at least one -- ideally, two -- hungry NFL franchises to commit to relocating to his planned NFL palace and he'll turn the shovel on this thing.

    "They'll play in the Coliseum and the Rose Bowl for two years while we're under contruction,'' Roski envisions, "and we plan to open by 2013." And play host to a Super Bowl in Los Angeles in 2016.

    So how does Roski figure pull this off? Well, he's wealthy -- worth an estimated $2.5 billion and ranked No. 163 on The Forbes 400 list of richest Americans in 2008. He's got the financial chops to say the heck with buying up land, waiting out costly environmental impact reports or haggling with local cities for bond money.

    The City of Industry isn't just the latest doomed site. From a developer's standpoint, it's a dream come true. Industry charges no business taxes, encourages retail establishments and factories to operate 24 hours a day and takes in tax revenue from those facilities.

    No wonder Roski's Majestic Realty Co. is headquartered there.

    In January, a majority of Industry voters -- all 82 of them -- passed a measure 60-1 to allow the sale of $150 million in bonds to push along Roski's stadium project.

    "I've got the land, the right location, and public money isn't an issue,'' he says. "I'll be outdoor, and I'll build it into the side of a hill, so the stadium costs will be low."

    For 14 years, Roski has labored to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles. His efforts to refurbish the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for an NFL team faded when Houston got the last expansion franchise in 2002.

    "All these years we've established a real good relationship with the NFL, understood what they want in a stadium -- what works, what doesn't work,'' Roski says. "And we were able to put together a project that meets all those requirements.

    In L.A.? Where NFL stadiums go to die?

    "The NFL really wants to come back to Los Angeles,'' emphasizes Roski, who was honored Monday night by the L.A. Sports & Entertainment Commission as "Sportsman of the Year" at the seventh annual NFL 101/201 event at the L.A. Coliseum. "But they want to make sure they do it in the right way."

    The NFL isn't actively or publicly encouraging Roski's efforts to lure an underperforming franchise to the Los Angeles market. Nor will Roski name names when asked for an ideal tenant.

    He leaves that to his right-hand man, John Semcken.

    "Jacksonville, Buffalo, Minnesota, New Orleans, St. Louis and the three California teams. Now New Orleans just signed a lease for 25 more years, so they're out. But the other seven are still in," says John Semcken, Roski's vice president at Majestic Reality.

    In Semcken's eyes, Jacksonville and Buffalo are terrible markets for the NFL, and the other franchises are unable or unwilling to maintain stadiums up to current league standards. So they're fair game.

    "You know what I think? I think the Raiders and the ***** are eventually going to share a building in Northern California,'' Semcken says, "and two other teams are going to share a building in Southern California.

    "Two teams. Then we'll have 25 weeks of NFL here. Ten preseason and regular season per team -- that's 20. Both teams will be so rich that they'll make the playoffs, that's 22. Then they'll win the second round, that's 24. Then we'll have the Super Bowl, that's 25!"

    From an environmental perspective, Roski's people had to plan for 25 games a year in a facility. "To show you how crazy California is, that's how we've had to analyze it,'' Semcken says.

    "We've got one lawsuit from one city (Walnut, which neighbors Industry) -- there are 88 cities in L.A. County. We've got one little city extorting us for money, plain and simple.

    "When that's done, we're ready to go. Ed can go buy a team, partner with a team to come here, whatever they want."

    Roski isn't courting any specific franchise. "No, we don't talk to any of them,'' he says. "We'll do our job first and the NFL will make its decision who comes here."

    But will Angelenos care?

    "Of course. Those teams (the Rams and Raiders) left not because of the fans. Not at all,'' Roski says emphatically. "They left because they couldn't get the revenue sources out of the Coliseum they needed to be competitive.

    "These are great NFL fans. You've got 19 million people here. And they'll come out. You watch. I know they will."
    Last edited by Nick; -07-15-2009 at 04:45 PM.


  2. #2
    TekeRam's Avatar
    TekeRam is offline Registered User
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    Re: New Stadium news

    You gotta respect how ambitious he is, especially thinking of two teams coming to LA. Of course, if the league expands, then it's all the more possible. Personally, I think Jacksonville makes the most sense, as they're covering seats to make it so that they "sell out". A few more bad years and they could very well be on the way out.

    As for the Rams, it's also very possible, but I think Chip wants to sell to someone who will keep the Rams in St Louis, personally, or else he'd have already sold them to someone like Roski.

  3. #3
    ScottD413 Guest

    Re: New Stadium news

    "Of course. Those teams (the Rams and Raiders) left not because of the fans. Not at all,'' Roski says emphatically. "They left because they couldn't get the revenue sources out of the Coliseum they needed to be competitive.


    Wrong. Shows how out of touch this fossil is

  4. #4
    RAMarkable is offline Registered User
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    Re: New Stadium news

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottD413 View Post
    "Of course. Those teams (the Rams and Raiders) left not because of the fans. Not at all,'' Roski says emphatically. "They left because they couldn't get the revenue sources out of the Coliseum they needed to be competitive.


    Wrong. Shows how out of touch this fossil is
    Mebbe, mebbe not. If you are looking for a fossil look no further than the L.A. Coliseum itself and the bozos that run it. Not only is it a dilapidated (by modern tastes) building, but it is also located in a lousy stretch of town that is in itself is a maggot-infested slum.

    I mean who wants to be accosted and/or mugged by some gang-bangers while on the way to the game? Methinks a guy like Roski understands his market a bit more than you do. Comprende?

    WHAT SAY YE?

  5. #5
    ScottD413 Guest

    Re: New Stadium news

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMarkable View Post
    Mebbe, mebbe not. If you are looking for a fossil look no further than the L.A. Coliseum itself and the bozos that run it. Not only is it a dilapidated (by modern tastes) building, but it is also located in a lousy stretch of town that is in itself is a maggot-infested slum.

    I mean who wants to be accosted and/or mugged by some gang-bangers while on the way to the game? Methinks a guy like Roski understands his market a bit more than you do. Comprende?

    WHAT SAY YE?
    I agree with everything you said.

    I was referring to his statement about the Rams and Raiders not leaving because of lack of fan support. That's a HUGE reason they left. The big A became a ghost town in the 90's.

  6. #6
    LA Rammer's Avatar
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    Re: New Stadium news

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottD413 View Post
    I was referring to his statement about the Rams and Raiders not leaving because of lack of fan support. That's a HUGE reason they left. The big A became a ghost town in the 90's.
    I remember the Raiders had a huge fan base in LA, if you can call them that. (Coliseum was just one large pub) The problems dealt with Al Davis and the Coliseum. In addition to the gang threat (no monday night games) and stadium deals, that rascal wanted to play games in both LA and Oakland. (Wiki-pedia)

    As for Rams, well attendance did have a big deal to do with the move, but I was there and my $50 bucks should have been worth something to Georgia, NOT!

    Anyways as long as I get to watch my Rams on TV who cares.
    LA RAMMER

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