By Veronica Mackey
The Rams, Kings, Dodgers, Clippers, Lakers, Galaxy, and now the Chargers, are all sports teams in the Los Angeles area. Having two pro football teams to play in Inglewood can certainly be beneficial for the economy, and the $2.6 billion stadium currently being built is just the first advancement.
New jobs and revenue from the stadium will generate additional income and boost premium brand identity for the Rams and Chargers. Just living in a higher media market will afford the teams higher visibility, which can affect Inglewood residents and businesses in a positive way.
Inglewood Today sat down with Alan Whitman, a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley, to discuss the impact of having 2 NFL teams in 1 city.
IT: What is your general assessment of having 2 NFL teams play in Inglewood?
AW: It’s wonderful for the city, with jobs and exposure. The greatest impact is exposure, and that’s hard to put dollars and cents around. But the City’s repeated use of newspapers [to publicize the benefits of development] creates an awareness that it has not experienced before. This awareness also makes business owners reexamine themselves and what they bring to the table.
The dollar-and-cent benefit is that when people come to the stadium, they will stop and eat and stay overnight in hotels. Businesses will grow and expand, they will hire people. The City will enjoy additional tax revenues. There is an actual dollar-and-cents benefit.
When the Chargers were in San Diego, they generated over $120 million a year in benefits, which encompasses salaries. The media will come and they’re going to spend money. For want of a better term, it becomes a real “game changer.”
IT: Entrepreneurs are looking for opportunities that haven’t existed. For instance, opening up sports merchandising stores…
AW: Yes, some will look for things that weren’t there in the past and it will open up opportunities for small businesses. But then, a lot of the big chains will go in, so you need to know what you’re doing. You need the independent advice of a CPA. People need to tread carefully. I always say check with advisors and attorneys, and make sure you have an understanding.
IT: What did Inglewood do right?
AW: You can kinda equate Inglewood to a business. There are companies out there on the cutting edge and they reinvent themselves. Companies that reinvent themselves to accommodate changes tend to be successful over time.
Eastman Kodak never reinvented themselves. They didn’t go digital. Polaroid never did it either. With the City of Inglewood, in the 30s and 40s, people went to the (Hollywood) racetrack. Horse racing hasn’t retained that level of popularity. But now Inglewood is coming back. It is again becoming a major sports destination.
IT: Some renters are worried they won’t be able to afford Inglewood because rates are rising.
AW: Initially, I wouldn’t get overly concerned. Rental property values will appreciate and that takes time. The issue will be when leases come up for renewal. If property values escalate too quickly, the people may choose not to rent again.