Dodger legend Lasorda tells L.A. to 'Set Ontario (Airport) Free'
In a television commercial released this week, Tommy Lasorda, the former manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, breaks with city officials and uses a baseball metaphor to endorse the effort to return control of L.A./Ontario International Airport to Ontario.
The advertisement, entitled “The Moment of Truth,” was previewed Wednesday night before 800 guests at Ontario’s 2012 State of the City address. It is part of a public "Set Ontario Free" campaign by the Inland Empire city and its supporters to wrest control of the airport from Los Angeles, which took over its operations in 1967 and gained ownership in 1985.
Ontario officials say Los Angeles World Airports, which also manages LAX, has not done enough to stop the severe decline of the facility, which handled 7.2 million passengers at its peak in 2007. Last year, the passenger volume was about 4.6 million. Los Angeles officials have blamed the situation on the economic recession.
“Right now is one of those moments of truth for Ontario International Airport,” Lasorda says in the commercial. “Getting back local control will restore Ontario International Airport as the No. 1 economic engine for the Inland Empire.”
-- Dan Weikel