Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Say It With Me, Los Angeles -- Are You Ready for Some Football?


The delay was from the prolonged NFL labor talks, again and again, clearly needing 132 days, for almost the entire offseason for owners and players to agree unanimously on a new collective bargaining agreement. With the NFL impasse finally over, the ball's in the L.A. City Council's court to decide on bonds and plans for stadium proposals.

The lockout, if the city has desire to discuss stadium creations to bring a football franchise to Hollywood, now is officially over and the organizers and backers of the project can move forward at last when the NFL certainly reached a settlement and resolved the ugliness of the longest NFL lockout in history.

So now that the league escaped the dizziness of tumult from a stalemate to end a four-and-half-mouth stoppage -- as we can sigh in relief, as players can report to team facilities and practice, as players can sign contracts and acquire playbooks -- Los Angeles can sizably advance further as city officials revealed a financial blueprint that would bring in the projected $1 billion Farmers Field and create a new section to the communities adjacent Convention Center.

The fans of pro football -- the folks in Los Angeles are passionate who'd buy expensive tickets and attend games on Sundays, are willing to vow endless hours in watching the sport for what has become an America's birthright. So now after months of postponement because of the lengthy lockout, with much discrepancy between two parties unable to reach a deal that dawdled away the process, the supporters behind the idea are counting on team owners to negotiate fairly and turn their consideration to the second-largest market in the nation.

"For us, the timing is perfect because it's coming at the same time we're finishing what no one thought we could do, which is a deal with the city," said AEG's Tim Leiweke, who is longing to hear by the end of the month whether or not the L.A. City Council will provide practically $300 million in bonds and approve the completed written note of knowledge for a stadium deal. "It puts a whole new amount of momentum and pressure on us to get going."

What we know now -- after the longest strife -- a hostile feud with the players is finished. We still don't know whether or not the city of Los Angeles will approve a stadium to earn a franchise here in the spectrum of Southern California. As much as the population wants to see a football franchise come to L.A., as much as people all are anxious to worship their favorite team locally, it requires an agreeable decision from executives in the community to confirm the stadium proposal. From the grand scheme of things, the folks at AEG had intentions to reach a supposed "Memorandum of Understanding" with the Los Angeles City Council by July 31.

“[A]pproval of this MOU will represent a critical milestone in our efforts to break ground on this project within the next year,” AEG said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to work with the City to take this project to the next step at the same time that we also increase our focus on other key objectives, including progressing design of the project and securing the commitments necessary to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles.”

While the general public waits patiently to see whether or not a dream suddenly turns into reality, it almost looks as if the deal had tentatively been settled without the City Council ratifying an acceptable deal to excite the vast majority, yearning for their very own franchise in a diverse community that loves the sport. Here in this town, where individuals spend countless hours fond to witness the excitement of America's famous game in one of the well-known sports cities nationwide, the folks are begging for a football team.

From a business standpoint, building a venue like Farmers Field brings revenue, creates more than 18,000 jobs and cultivates the urban communities. The public might view the installment of a new franchise as a sense of pride in our neighborhoods locally, elated to be granted an NFL team. The foundation of a new home likely is probable, particularly when former Lakers star Magic Johnson compelled Staples Center ticket buyers and Lakers' devotees to sign a petition in support of the proposed scene.

We know the plan is in sight, a financial plan finally in the works for a new football venue, pursuing in building a modern stadium near the lively environment of downtown Los Angeles. It seems as though the creation would produce much revenue and create employment for jobless citizens. On the surface, if you reside in Los Angeles, the focus remains on earning an NFL franchise back into the city for the first time in 16-years. That would end the two-hour drive to San Diego near south of the border or even the six-hour drive north to Oakland or San Francisco just to brace NFL games in person.

The good news about the NFL returning to L.A is that the league could possibly return to Los Angeles by next season. As early as next fall, if all of this continues on pace, it's conceivable that Southern California could be rooting on a few potential candidates. It is possible and this is not a promise, but in all likelihood a dream that could come true as of this year.

While most of us are treating it like there's no chance of Los Angeles getting back the NFL, although the fascinating news is mind-boggling and rather hearsay until there is official word, the potential candidates for a move to L.A. include the Chargers, Bills, Vikings and Rams. It's as if a myriad of teams are interested in migrating to Los Angeles, a city of entertainment from sports events to theme parks to theatrical pieces to motion pictures on the big screens.

It's the very reason the Chargers are probably frontrunners to return to a profitable town or even the Vikings, demanding a stadium bill for plans of a new $ 1 billion stadium in the Twin Cities suburbs to keep the franchise there in the final season of their Metrodome lease. Unfortunately, the Vikings are unhappy over the lack of negotiations as Gov. Mark Dayton is more concerned with discussing the final specifics of the state budget.

What's more, though the Chargers and the Vikings are the top candidates to relocate to Los Angeles, the Raiders and 49ers could also call Southern California home with all the lack of stadium efforts in the Bay Area. But wait, there are the Jaguars, who could also be a potential suitor, even if owner Wayne Weaver denies any interest in moving or selling the team.

Eager to land the NFL in Los Angeles, a town passionate of football within a market where the West Coast audience have a strong connection with the sport when it has become a social trend of our nation, one of two local groups are expected to privately propose finances to invest in a deluxe football stadium. One has to wonder just what NFL team, if everything goes as planned, would sign a long-term lease after this season, a team that could either play at the Rose Bowl or Coliseum for the 2012 season and then play in its new home once it's built.

What will probably happen, after all, is the taxpayers won't be spared from sharing the costs when Los Angeles officials produced their financing plan Monday, a maneuver that would mandate the city to issue $195 million in bonds. The purpose of this is for the bonds to be backed by the city's general fund and be taken upon AEG developers.

In the meantime, the Los Angeles City Council is working rapidly with AEG to finalize a deal and begin the building assignment on Farmer Field, and it increasingly sounds like the framework of the deal between AEG and the city has moved quicker than expected. As AEG president and CEO Tim Leiweke essentially outlines the groundwork, planning on bringing back the NFL to Los Angeles as early as December, he could actually be given support of the City Council to proceed in the process, which is erect a billion-dollar project on property owned by the city.

The timeline here might move vigorously quick, based on billionaire developer Ed Roski after proposing a scenario to construct a 75,000-seat stadium on a 600-acre site located in the City of Industry, but now it's believed that the venue will be built in downtown L.A. since there is no word on construction outside of Los Angeles. And even if, overwhelmingly, AEG requests a commitment from an NFL team before breaking ground to begin building the project, the notion of a deal getting done is on the verge of developing and the first group to bait an NFL team to Los Angeles are the biggest winners in the end of a difficult measure.

The deal, with so much uncertainty until things are officially decided, is that AEG would spend an estimate of $45 million on blueprint drawings for the new Pico Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center and Farmers Field, only if a deal passes before Aug. 20. After all of this, in part of the arrangements, no later than September, AEG and the city would begin talks on decisive agreements. The capital of entertainment has maybe just gotten larger than life, finally bringing the NFL back. That's right, football is coming back as the folks are aiming to build the largest stadium in the league. For the first time since 1994, football could be coming back to a city near you.

Where exactly will the team play? What team will come here? When will an NFL team come back to Los Angeles? Maybe very soon.