McCourt's 5-ton gorilla
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has sparked a fire of discussion with his secret plan -- codenamed Five Ton Gorilla -- to turn Chavez Ravine into a baseball/football/mall complex. Memos about the plan were mailed anonymously to the Boston Herald and printed in an article yesterday; maybe someone in McCourt's hometown thought the idea was as crummy as we do.
Don't get us wrong; we think LA is seriously ready for an NFL franchise. What's pissing city leaders off is that they've been working to bring an NFL team to the Coliseum, the LA Times reports. And McCourt's efforts, as defined in the memos, make him look like a weirdly insecure jerk: the Times story reads, in part "An internal memo claimed McCourt could bask in the "'psychic benefits of being the guy that brought football to L.A.'" For its part, the NFL says that the five-ton plan to bring the Houston Texans to LA is as likely as returning the Dodgers to Brooklyn.
We don't care so much about hurt feelings at the Board of Sups. What we do care about is Elysian Park. If a retail complex (when did this become a euphemism for "mall"?) and an NFL stadium are going into the Dodgers' parking lot, then where will Dodger's fans park? Where, for that matter, will NFL fans park? Or mallgoers? Unless somebody has invented a Jetsons-style floating parking lot, the new development would mean serious encroachment on one of the city's few accessible, popular greenspaces.
We fear that destroying greenspace wouldn't have any negative "psychic benefits" for McCourt; his fortune derives from a parking lot business.