LA’s downtown stadium dream dies while STL’s gets a boost

When I went to the Stadia Expo in the summer of 2012, I walked by the large Gensler booth. In it was this:

gensler-farmersfield

Now it belongs in the dustbin of great, failed stadium concepts. When AEG unveiled the concept in 2011 it seemed it was getting all its ducks in a row. It had a naming rights sponsor in Farmers Insurance, a cooperative government in terms of process if not money, an EIR completed, and legislation to help bypass CEQA litigation. AEG appeared to be in the pole position for a future NFL stadium in LA.

They were missing the most important component of a new stadium: a team to call that stadium home. Not for lack of trying. They had reached out to every possible relocation candidate. The problem was their terms. AEG wanted, at least at the outset, a large ownership stake and control of the franchise as well. Owners as well as the NFL balked at such demands, and let AEG hang out to dry while they formulated their own relocation plans independently. Frustrated by the lack of action on the LA front, AEG head Phil Anschutz allowed his company to pursue buyers in hopes of a multi-billion dollar cashout. He also let Farmers Field champion Tim Leiweke go, giving the project no real internal support in addition to its lack of external (NFL) support. The final blows came in a quick combo as Stan Kroenke partnered with Inglewood interests on their own domed NFL stadium, followed by the Chargers and Raiders partnering on an outdoor stadium plan in Carson. Today AEG announced that it was giving up on Farmers Field and moving on with its Plan B, an expansion of the LA Convention Center (which it operates) that includes no stadium component.

AEG went from stalking horse to legitimate contender to non-entity in the span of four years. That’s the stadium game for you.

The State of Missouri’s Department of Economic Development released a study claiming that a new stadium for the Rams would return upwards of $9.6 million per year to the state’s coffers. The study isn’t available on the MoDED website yet, so I haven’t been able to scrutinize it. I tend to be skeptical of such claims, but I’ll wait to comment until I see the study. The public contribution for the riverfront venue is $405 million of a total development cost of more than $1 billion.

The beat goes on.

23 thoughts on “LA’s downtown stadium dream dies while STL’s gets a boost

  1. Wow, $405M? The NFL will be strongly pushing Kroenke in that direction if that goes through. Combined with $200M of NFL funds, Kroenke is getting at least half the stadium paid for.

    Is that proposed Stl stadium subject to a public vote?

    • But isn’t St. Louis contractually obligated to provide the Rams with a state-of-the-art stadium? I think the NFL will say “That’s a fine start, now dig deeper into those pockets.”

  2. Farmers Field – dead. Now what about Cisco Field?

    • Once an Oakland ballpark has a shovel in the ground we can consider Cisco Field dead.

      • Or once Lew give up on it since it really has always been dependent on him. Or once MLB tell him no on moving definitively. Plenty of ways for Cisco Field to die.

        Plenty of ways for it to live too not just in San Jose. I mean who is to say an Oakland park built by Lew wouldn’t be Cisco Field. The name has already migrated from Fremont to San Jose.

      • @ ML
        Has Cisco said they would not want naming rights, if a ballpark were built in Oakland? If they have not I could see them still wanting to do it, although at a lesser price.

      • Not going to get involved in speculating every which way. The reality is simple. When an Oakland ballpark starts construction, the San Jose dream dies. Everything else is conjecture.

      • When? More like if…and right now that’s a HUGE IF. San Jose’s not dead at all; far from it 😉

    • @Jordan: Davis and his mom should sell the team. Even the players don’t want to come to Oakland or play for them. I doubt Davis will sell because being NFL owner is pretty cool and they are making millions yearly.

  3. BTW – this post is not about Cisco Field or San Jose. It’s about LA & STL. Try to stop your urge for dredging up the same topics ad nauseum, people.

  4. “claiming that a new stadium for the Rams would return upwards of $9.6 million per year to the state’s coffers”

    Bulllllshit.

    • What he said. Make a call to Cincinnati and see how all that projected dough is working out. Or Cleveland. Or… etc.

      • I think the projections in the Saint Louis study are actually based on how much taxes the players pay. We all know stadiums are not moneymakers for cities.

      • I guess if we can actually read the study we’d know. But… that’s not a new benefit to them and it’s spending an awful lot to keep very little. Which, as SMG summarized in a single word, is BULLSHIT

      • It’s not even just the money. People in Saint Louis just don’t really give a shit about the Rams. Baseball and the Cardinals are by a wide margin the most important sport and franchise to that population.

  5. RM,
    OT, and perhaps you’ll have a thread on it.

    Re a “renovated Coliseum” for the Raiders; is Miley talking about renovating the existing toile…I MEAN bowl, or building a new venue around the existing Mt. Davis? Any idea?

    • @Tony: come on, man. It is the same knucklehead Miley. He is just throwing out sh#t . As I stated here, same faces same voices same stupid ideas. Nothing has changed. Where is Ignacio De La Fuente? LOL . blood suckers.

      • I know this topic is not about the A’s or Raiders ballpark/stadium issues but what do any of you think of this as a potential A’s Ballpark idea near Jack London Square put together by a fan? http://stadium365.com/index.html

        I know this has pretty much no chance of being built but it is still interesting to look at. I am not an architect or structural engineer but wouldn’t having the ballpark face this direction create some issues with the sun? Changing the direction of the ballpark to other side may give nice views of Downtown Oakland. Anyways not really in the cards but still interesting.

      • I devoted a post to it a couple of years ago. The big problem then, which he hasn’t really addressed in his updated plans, is dealing with the numerous public agencies (BCDC, CAPUC for starters) to see this through. California doesn’t allow many things to be built on the water unless they are already on the water, and his plan would severely violate that covenant. Look at the Warriors, who were chased away from building at Piers 30/32 even though something was already existing there.

        Another problem is that the ballpark faces west. That is a nonstarter. MLB wants the park facing east or northeast, and has no outdoor parks facing west. I wrote about that two years ago.

  6. Predicitions, courtesy co-owner, Billy Beane:

    http://www.sfgate.com/athletics/jenkins/article/Jenkins-For-A-s-Beane-the-game-never-ends-6122614.php

    “It’s a risky move, buying an A’s jersey for your kid. Just make sure it says ‘Oakland.’”

    “These last few years have been so much fun, I’ve totally stopped worrying or caring about the stadium. Seriously, I don’t even think about it. Even if it were come to pass, that’s what, seven years down the road? I’m enjoying what’s going on now.”

    Cool, we’re good through 2022. I’ve got five on it.

    • So Sam Liccardo must be right…Cisco Field San Jose in the early 2020’s!! Just in time for my retirement! As John Fisher would say…patience 😉

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