Stadium News - The NFL at the LA Memorial Coliseum
Years ago, the Coliseum would have made a great NFL stadium. But with all the modern amenities missing, much work is needed to get it to
the NFL caliber for stadiums. It was designed and built long before the age of club seats, luxury boxes, and many of the other
money-generating amenities that modern football stadiums possess, any professional team moving to the Coliseum will likely have to do
extensive renovations. Los Angeles County voters are generally uninterested in appropriating tax revenues toward a new stadium, which would
put the costs of renovation on any future tenant. Another factor is its location at the edge of South Los Angeles, which is perceived by many
potential fans as a somewhat unsafe part of the city, although the area is considerably safer today than it was when the stadium housed two
NFL teams. Because of the difficulties that the NFL has had with trying to finance a renovated Coliseum, Rose Bowl or brand new stadium, it
has been absent from the second-largest media market in the United States, remarkably, for over a decade. (The NFL was to award a
franchise to Los Angeles in 2002, but debate over a stadium, coupled with Houston's aggressiveness, led the NFL to award the franchise to
On November 10, 2005 NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced that the NFL and city officials have reached a preliminary agreement on
bringing an NFL team back to the Coliseum. The NFL will invest in improving the stadium and the surrounding neighborhoods.
But city funds are also needed. An article in the Wednesday, May 24, 2006 issue of the Los Angeles Times made light of a proposition to
spend tens of millions of dollars of city funds to heavily renovate the stadium, and indicated that the city may make more than $100 million
dollars in added funds available in the future toward further renovation. City leaders who support the spending despite significant disapproval
from the local population cite that the renovations are necessary to help attract a new NFL team to the city, and that the tax revenue generated
by the presence of a new franchise team would eventually pay back the investment many times over. Supporters further claim that the addition
of a new NFL team will increase employment in the area adjacent to the stadium, a major concern because the area's population is largely of
low and middle income, that these people will themselves help repay the expenditure by paying income taxes, that the presence of a new team
will stimulate the local economy by making the area more attractive to new businesses (which themselves could theoretically employ hundreds
of tax payers) and that the overall impact on the area will help to raise the area's real estate values.
One thing is certain, the NFL will return to Los Angeles. And the Coliseum has been told a team will be moving there. But the NFL has also
purchased a lot next to Angel Stadium in Anaheim that would be suitable for a football stadium. There are no plans for that site, but if
Governor Schwarzenegger has his wish, the LA area will get two NFL teams. There is also the question on weather the team(s) coming to LA
will be expansion or a relocation. The Chargers, Jaguars and Vikings are all possibilities for relocation.
If Los Angeles wins its USOC and IOC competitions, the renovated Coliseum would be home to the opening and closing ceremonies for the
2016 Summer Olympic Games.