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Boost for City of Industry stadium plan?

December 7, 2009 | 11:43 am


Has the proposed $800-million football stadium in City of Industry just inched closer to reality?

The National Football League's decision to end one part of its revenue-sharing program won't be good news for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings or any of the other struggling franchises often mentioned as candidates for relocation or sale.

Calling the change "a significant move," ESPN reported over the weekend that the league has decided to cancel a program that allows its poorest franchises -- usually eight to 12 teams in any given year -- to divvy up roughly $100 million. That's a comparative drop in the bucket next to the revenue-sharing agreement that all 32 teams are part of; that one brings in $6.5 billion every year. And the plan to end the subsidy -- known as the supplemental revenue-sharing program, or SRS -- has to be seen as part of ongoing posturing connected to negotiations over the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NFL players union.

Nonetheless, for franchises on the financial ropes, this could be the jab that knocks them to the canvas in the next two or three seasons. (According to a report from the Twin Cities, for example, the Vikings rely on $15 million to $20 million in SRS cash every year.) With that KO could come an agreement between an existing owner and developer Edward Roski, Jr., who is spearheading the City of Industry effort, to bring a team to Southern California. That in turn would fast-track a stadium plan by architect Dan Meis that I have argued makes little sense, whatever its design appeal, from an urban-planning or land-use point of view.

-- Christopher Hawthorne

Image: A rendering of the proposed City of Industry stadium. Credit: Meis Architects/Aedas