Several representatives of the Los Angeles Coliseum came here Friday with a message for the NFL: Pick us.
The league listened, sitting down with the group for more than an hour to get an update on the venue’s improved parking situation, completed environmental-impact report, and various other issues vital to making the stadium NFL-ready.
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue did not attend the meeting, but Roger Goodell did. Goodell is the league’s chief operating officer and the executive who handles stadium issues.
“Here we are in the midst of the NFL’s big hurrah, and Roger Goodell took the time to sit down with us,” said Don Knabe, an L.A. County supervisor and president of the Coliseum Commission.
Among the other Coliseum backers at the meeting were State Assemblyman Mark Ridley-Thomas; L.A. City Council President Alex Padilla; City Councilman Bernard C. Parks; Deputy Mayor Eric Brown, and consultants Rich Lichtenstein, Jerome Stanley and Andrew Antwih.
Tagliabue later indicated that the Coliseum -- which, unlike the Rose Bowl proposal and Carson concept, has a completed environmental-impact report -- had made strides in the last year. He said Coliseum authorities had “taken the initiative to figure out how they could make their facility into a state-of-the-art stadium to get in the chase with the Rose Bowl and Carson.”
The way Parks sees it, L.A. is showing a more united front on the stadium issue than it ever has. He pointed to the recent endorsement of the Coliseum by Tim Leiweke, a leader in an abandoned proposal to build a stadium next to Staples Center.
“We’ve forewarned the NFL that you can’t keep this ramped-up forever,” Parks said. “It’s a limited window of opportunity.”
-- Sam Farmer