Phil Anschutz insists that building a downtown stadium remains a top priority. Fine. NFL officials insist that they are still committed to bringing football back to Los Angeles. Fine. But this isn't about encouraging words. It's about a lack of urgency that goes back almost two decades. At this point, does anyone really believe there's a deal to be had? If the mayor had any audaciousness as a leader (kind of late in the game, I realize), he would issue the following statement:
After years of working dutifully with the National Football League and with Anschutz Entertainment Group, we are taking a break from football. When and if the NFL determines that L.A.would be an attractive market, we are always willing to listen. But with the city facing so many challenges, from jobs to traffic to education, it's time for us to move on. It's been nearly two decades since the NFL left Los Angeles and while we see obvious pluses in having a franchise here, the city can survive without a pro team. For whatever reason, the league has determined that being in L.A. is simply not a priority. If it were, pro football would have been back long ago. Perhaps at some future point, that position will change. For now, however, I am suspending all official contact with league officials, and I urge other city officials, including the two run-off candidates for mayor, to do the same. It's time for us to stop calling them and for them to start calling us.