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LA Stadium clears hurdle, but it's still not time to panic

A few days ago, the group looking to build a NFL stadium in the city of Industry cleared it's biggest hurdle by settling with the nearby city of Walnut (source). With that in place, the frame work for the other pending lawsuits is set and it would seem all the legal issues are out of the way for a stadium in LA. The group is headed by Ed Roski, the same man responsible for privately building the Staples Center for the Lakers and who plans to privately fund the construction of the stadium in LA, so the excuse of "California is broke" won't matter in this case as tax payer money will be used minimally.

I'm sure we'll hear more about the "LA" Jaguars from the national pundits, but perception won't equal reality. This is for several reasons that I'll outline below. Think of this as LA debunking 101 when you hear your buddy at the office picking on you


1. The Lease

When the city of Jacksonville renovated then Alltel Stadium in preparation for Super Bowl XXXIX the Jaguars signed a 30 year extension to their current lease. As of right now, the Jaguars would have to show they lost money for three consecutive seasons in order to get out of paying almost $100 million to the city. This isn't the kind of playful language the Oklahoma City group used to usurp the Sonics to OKC, it spells out clearly what the Jaguars have to do to leave.

In addition, opening up their books would be a huge detriment to the NFL at large, as it would give the Players Union exactly the opprutunity they've been wanting. They could see the exact balance sheet of a NFL team and use it against the owners in negotiating.

On the other hand, the Chargers only have to pay $26 million to exit their lease with no questions asked after the 2011 season.

2. The Stadium

Jacksonville Muncipal Stadium may not be the shining jewel of the football world, but it is still an extremely funcitional stadium in good shape. Unless Jacksonville is hit by a Category 5 hurricane in the next few years, no event should cause the stadium to become substandard within the next decade.

Compared to the dome in St.Louis or San Diego's stadium, JMS is a palace. Almost all team's leave because of stadium issues, not ticket related ones.

San Diego in particular has been having issues and has met a massive amount of resistance trying to get a new stadium in the city. Currently, two suburbs are in discussions for what could be the last ditch attempt for the team to stay in the area. If a new stadium plan for the Chargers actually get's done, then we can start to worry.

That's it for now, more to come

-Jonathan Loesche