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Not Even in a Coma and They're Pulling the Plug
2003-11-30 06:59
by Jon Weisman

In an article about NFL owners salivating over the land of Chavez Ravine for a football stadium, Billy Witz of the Daily News writes that there is "the widespread notion that Dodger Stadium is nearing obsolescence."

Widespread notion? Gimme a damn break. Where is the evidence that a new stadium is necessary? Or is this just a convenient phrase to fuel a movement as ill-conceived as any in Los Angeles?

Why does Witz take the need for a new stadium for granted?

Witz does note that prospective Dodger owner Frank McCourt 1) has made several trips to Los Angeles since the announcement he would purchase the team and 2) the purchase must be completed by January 31, but 3) McCourt is under a Major League Baseball-imposed gag order until the purchase is completed.

This gag order? Also tremendously ill-conceived. But at least Witz writes:

Although McCourt is prohibited from commenting, his representatives - who have talked on background with reporters - are quick to phone in protests whenever speculation about a new stadium is published.

"It's kind of laying out there -- is he going to tear down the stadium, sell the land and build a park downtown?" one person close to McCourt said. "None of those issues are under consideration. Coming in there, he has no intention of doing anything to Dodger Stadium. His immediate focus is on bringing the Dodgers back to a World Series and whatever it takes to get that done is his priority."

This is a great message. And whether or not you agree with that, it's an important message. This word needs to be spread, so that craggy notions about tearing down Dodger Stadium are efficiently nipped in the Bud.

Of course, there remains the question of can we trust this message.

Meanwhile, Witz is so preoccupied with exploring the teardown of the baseball stadium to build one for football, that he doesn't take the time to talk to talk to the many, many people of Los Angeles who would contradict his opening suggestion that Dodger Stadium is dying. Folks, that's the story.

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