saints (n.) - NFL franchise presently based in New Orleans; boondoggle (n.) - an unnecessary or wasteful project or activity; saintsdoggle (n.) - the Saints' potential relocation situation in New Orleans, and the resulting boondoggle by Louisiana to keep the team from leaving

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Coliseum nears deal with NFL; League hopes for announcement of return to LA this fall

According to the Los Angeles Daily News and other media sources, officials from the Los Angeles Coliseum and NFL met recently to iron out details of a potential deal to secure the site as a host to a relocated NFL franchise. The Daily News also reported that the NFL is "uncharacteristically optimistic" that a deal will be reached, and has even gone so far as to issue a statement for reporters to release if things went well. The statement said that the NFL is looking "forward to working on the long-form agreement with the Coliseum Commission."

The Los Angeles Times quoted Coliseum Commission member Zev Yaroslavsky as saying, "I think it's pretty clear now, and I think the NFL has been made a believer that the Coliseum is serious about making a deal."

In related news, the NFL hopes to finalize a site for a relocated franchise by this fall. And, in an effort to create momentum for the move, it will host a season kickoff concert in Los Angeles, likely at the Coliseum, on Thursday, Sept. 8, before the kickoff between the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders. According to the Whittier Daily News, "[b]y putting an event in Los Angeles, the NFL hopes to generate momentum for a possible announcement this fall that it is returning to Los Angeles."

So, you see, things seem to be falling into place for the NFL and Coliseum. And, according to earlier reports, the Coliseum has expressed that it could be ready to serve as home for a relocated NFL franchise by as early as 2006. In effect, Tom Benson could very well be in position to pay Louisiana $81 million and relocate (unlikely) or (more likely) sell the team to the City of Angels for the already-expressed price of $1 billion.

Remove your biases and honestly ask yourself this - based on recent history, which of the following is more likely? Benson stays with the current deal he has stated he is unhappy with while the state continues to struggle to pay him by loaning itself money from some mysterious future source? Or Benson sells the team and retires from the football business as an instant billionaire? Only time will tell what will happen.

It seems more evident by the Coliseum developments that he will have the realistic option to do either.


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