By Jaboner Jackson 930am | Five of five in a series. | Having broken down over the past few days the major players and factors involved in bringing professional football to Los Angeles, it is time to put the moving pieces together and throw out predictions. (If you missed the coverage this week, you can catch it here, here, here, and here.)
Will Farmers Field get built?
Yes, Farmers Field will eventually break ground. Thirteen of fifteen City Council Members have already given their blessing to the project. AEG sees Farmers Field and a newly constructed Convention Center Hall as key elements in its downtown Los Angeles sports and entertainment complex, complementing Staples Center and L.A. Live.
Despite the public utterances by AEG CEO Tim Leiweke last week that AEG needs a Memorandum of Understanding from the City by July 31, 2011 to proceed, AEG is already acting in private as if both Farmers Field and the Convention Center are a done deal. The hugely popular gaming convention, E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) is currently in negotiations with the City of Los Angeles for extending its contract with the City to continue to hold its upcoming events in downtown. And guess who is leading the negotiations? That’s right…AEG. AEG is negotiating on behalf of the City with E3.
That sounds like a done deal to me.
When will Farmers Field break ground and when will it be completed?
AEG will break ground on Farmers Field in late 2012 or early 2013 and will have it completed in time for the 2016 NFL season.
Does that mean that the Superbowl is coming to L.A.?
Yes. Farmers Field will host the 2017 NFL Superbowl.
Who is going to be playing in Farmers Field?
Chivas USA, conventions, NCAA Final Fours, and The Rolling Stones.
What about football, dummy?
The Raiders. But only if the CBA is not settled sufficiently in favor of the NFL. The Raiders’ final year on their lease in Oakland will be 2013 and they have already begun discussions with AEG about a relocation.
Wait. I thought you said L.A. is getting two teams?
Yes. Everything that is old is new again. The St. Louis Rams are the second team in play for relocating.
But more likely the CBA will get settled favorably for the NFL and Los Angeles will be awarded one expansion team over the next several years.
Why does it sound like you’re talking out of both sides of your ass?
Farmers Field is highly dependent on what is happening with the CBA. And the CBA is completely dependent on what is happening in the courtroom. No one can predict what will happen in the courtroom until it actually happens. It makes it unclear if relocation or expansion will fuel Farmers Field.
What about the San Diego Chargers? Haven’t they been rumored to move to L.A.?
The Chargers are not moving to L.A. They have been linked to the Ed Roski Project in the San Gabriel Valley but they have no current connection with AEG. San Diego will build a downtown San Diego stadium and use the guise of convention center business to dupe the public into backing a new stadium. The Ed Roski project, by the way, is not happening.
And the Vikings?
They are staying put. The state and municipality will get a deal done that includes public financing for a new stadium. In fact, AEG will be heavily involved in the management of the new Vikings stadium…in Minnesota.
Do Angelenos even want the NFL back in L.A.?
It doesn’t matter. It’s coming anyway.