There is a lot interesting information coming out in regards to the dustup between the Coliseum and USC. This situation has always been about two things - money and control but now we see just how behind the times the Coliseum Commission is, so far behind the time that even the Mayor of Los Angeles, a ucla alum, is urging the Commission to stop pining for an NFL Team and get a deal done. More on the Mayor angle later.
Now, I have always believed that when negotiating that you always do it without emotion and do it from a position of strength. Whether the Commission wants to believe it or not SC holds all the cards and while bruin fans are all up in arms over it, their shortsightedness, because of their distaste for USC, could actually hurt them.
There are some real nuggets in this Daily News article and while Dan Guerrero and his minions on the ucla side pound their chest about veto power and being the primary tenants etc. they are missing the fact that Rose Bowl is no different than an apartment building in NYC, there are certain aspects you can control but there are others that you can't control.
I'm surprised, what Guerrero seems to be missing is the money that would roll in from those USC games. It goes a long way to building up the coffers that could be used to renovate the Rose Bowl, which is also sorely needed. That helps ucla in the long run, as they can't raise that sort of cash. The RB can negotiate with whom ever it wants, as long as takes care of their primary tenant first they can do what they want with the other interested parties. Guerrero can't even raise the money for the Pauley Renovation so you would think that he would more than welcome SC with all their big donors to get done at the RB what he can't even get done on his own campus.
Here is another no-brainer.
Again, what the detractors seem to miss here is that the RB wants those dollars and while ucla may have had an upsurge in ticket sales this past season many think that was because of the Notre Dame game so I wouldn't expect them to be up in those numbers too much next season. SC is the hot ticket and the dollars they bring in only help ucla in the long run. I have no problem if the RB wants to secure a 200k marker against SC, if USC is willing to put 100 million into the Coliseum 200k is pocket change so no big deal.
That this is even happening shows how far USC is willing to go to get what they want and they are in a position of strength. SC wouldn't worry about being second-class citizens as their numbers clearly talk the talk and walk the walk. Bruins fans know this and it concerns them, they have fought hard to try and build their own identity. This gets in the way of that autonomy and I understand that it frustrates them but it is short sighted those dollars would actually help ucla attract more fans to a nicer facility which in turn would bring more dollars into the ucla budget because they don't have to put the money out, money they don't even have for the Pauley renovation.
Now for the Mayor's angle. The Great Tip O'Neal said all politics is local so all the traditional rivalry and school pride issues goes out the window with Mayor Villaraigosa. Now, someone please correct me if I'm wrong but the RB is not in the Mayor's jurisdiction. If true, USC leaving hurts the city's wallet A LOT, and that means votes. Even if the RB is in the Mayors jurisdiction you now have a building sitting empty that is taking up a ton of acreage that isn't generating any dollars for the city.
Many of the region's wealthiest and most politically connected figures have spent years in abortive attempts to bring an NFL franchise to Los Angeles. The city's leadership has insisted the league negotiate with the Coliseum -- an idea the NFL has repeatedly rejected.
The mayor's unexpected reversal could open the way for an NFL deal elsewhere in the region. It also increases the pressure on the Coliseum to deal with USC.
The Mayor couldn't care less about his alma mater at this point because he has bigger fish to fry.
The NFL has spoken and the Coliseum Commission is on the losing end so it is time for them make a deal. The Sports Arena sits empty generating nothing, there are no Olympics coming for the foreseeable future so having SC playing in the Coliseum continues to make it relevant. The Mayor now knows this and if SC were to leave it could spell doom for his reelection bid and the republicans would be all over it.
But the one thing that really hits home is the arrogance of the commission in the final couple of paragraphs of the LAT story:
"I think it would be great if they played at the Rose Bowl for two years," the commissioner said. "At the end of that two years, the leverage we would have in negotiations would be spectacular."
This guy is over playing his hand. Money talks and BS walks. If SC is still winning it is conceivable that some fans would grow tired of the "extra miles" but what is missed is the amount of fans who don't want to go into LA for a whole host of reasons. The RB then becomes more attractive to them; as for the extra 14 miles people will adjust. It is no different here in NYC if its important you find a way to make it work.
The bigger issue will be if the Governator will get involved, he is sure to back the school as even understands the concept of a bird in the hand. This is far from over but I guarantee once both parties knuckle down it will get done quick.