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Tuesday, June 07, 2005 

Fool's Gold

It's been a tough few days for folks looking to build new football stadiums. Pasadena has dropped out of the bidding to host an NFL team in the Los Angeles area, and Carson dropped out last month. That leaves a site in Anaheim next to the Angels stadium and the LA coliseum as the two remaining bids. Pasadena had some very logical reasons:

The city was believed to be asking at least $1 million in annual rent from the NFL. The Star-News reported, however, that the NFL had offered less than $325,000 in annual rent and that the difference in figures had created some doubts for council members who initially supported the plan.

Opponents argued that the NFL would bring too much traffic, displace park users from the Arroyo Seco and threaten the Rose Bowl's historic status.


Meanwhile, it looks like the plan for a new stadium in New York City are dead.

A state panel [the Public Authorities Control Board] denied an essential chunk of funding [$300 million] for a proposed $2 billion stadium on Manhattan's West Side -- the centerpiece of the city's bid to host the Olympics. Rules dictate the city cannot change its proposal, which the International Olympic Committee is considering along with bids from Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow. The IOC will choose a host city on July 6 [for the 2012 games].

"We have let America down," Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a stadium proponent, said Tuesday. "The (U.S. Olympic Committee) selected us, New York, to represent the country. Other American cities wanted to have the privilege of competing at the world level."


Is he serious? Talk about over the top. While I would like to see the Olympics hosted by the United States again, the logistics in Manhattan are a nightmare - and the federal government (that's you and me and every other American taxpaper) would be forced to pay the lion's share of the security costs. Plus, I doubt that many New Yorkers would appreciate the two additional weeks of gridlock. The U.S. Olympic Committee should try to think more realistically.

In general, I dislike government subsidies for professional sports stadiums. But if they want to do it, at least group a few facilities together on a single site (provided there is enough space, like in Anaheim) so they can share the same public transportation infrastructure and save the taxpayers some money.

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