Are You Ready for Some Football?
The NFL season begins tonight in Los Angeles... well sort of. To kickoff the Raiders and Patriots, the NFL will have concerts at the Coliseum (site of Super Bowl I), Detroit (site of this year's Super Bowl XL), and Foxborough (where tonight's game will take place). Kanye West will headline the Coliseum concert, and props to the NFL for not giving into pressure and yanking him because he expressed an opinion.
While discussion continues on LA's football future, and while we wonder if that includes the Saints, the Los Angeles Times has an excellent piece today on the Coliseum Commission. Few groups have been more detrimental to Los Angeles football than this public entity, whose political squabbles have forced out the Rams, Raiders, and UCLA. But Alan Abrahamson and Greg Johnson at the Times report that the beleaguered commission finally gets it, and has actually learned the value of cooperation as a necessary means for the Coliseum to maintain its relevance.
That is music to LAist's ears, which sees the Coliseum as the only remaining viable option for pro football in LA's city limits. One of the best quotes in the whole story comes from County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who expressed the need for action to take place soon on the stadium that hosted two Olympic Games and two Super Bowls.
"At some point, society in California, the powers that be, have to make a decision: Is it like the Roman Colosseum? You bring in tours, you say, 'The Rams and Trojans used to play here … ,' " Yaroslavsky said. "The question now is, do you want the Coliseum to continue to be a viable venue for modern sports or a historic relic?"
LAist thinks that if the NFL is really going to put in over $500 million of its own money to renovate our football stadium, then the public should gladly hand over most of the control of the facility to them. The government has done a rather lousy job running the stadium for the past 30 years, so such a handoff is long overdue.
Irregardless, for the first time in a while, we see a clear and realistic path for LA to get a football team. We're seeing cooperation from both the NFL and the Coliseum Commission. And we're hoping to get ready for some football.