L.A. has its shiny new stadium; what do we have to do to get an arena in Seattle?
SEATTLE -- So, after a two decade absence, the NFL is returning to Los Angeles.
How did L.A. make it happen? By doing absolutely nothing.
It's essentially the same strategy Seattle is employing in getting the Sonics back.
L.A. held firm in refusing to use public money to build a stadium, but the lure of the second-largest media market in the country was too strong for teams to resist.
The San Diego Chargers could relocate and use that stadium as well in 2017. If the Chargers don't jump on it, the NFL will give the Raiders a chance to move there the following year.
So, LA ends up with not one, but two NFL franchises. Why? Because the Rams agreed to build a privately-financed stadium, with a price tag as much as $2.6 billion.
I hope Seattle is paying attention. The proposed SoDo Arena would cost an estimated $500 million, but the current plan calls for about $200 million worth of public funding. That's the biggest snag in bringing the Sonics back, and probably an NHL franchise as well.
It's well understood that the NBA's model is to bilk municipalities by forcing them to build publicly financed stadiums, but I guarantee you, when somebody steps to the table and actually breaks ground on a privately financed arena (most feasibly outside Seattle city limits, because of the political inertia), the NBA and NHL will beat a path to western Washington at SuperSonic speed.
Have no fear, sports fans. When I win the Powerball lottery jackpot today, we will break ground on Wixey Arena in the fall. I'm accepting offers for naming rights, starting at $500 million for 10 years.
Who's with me?