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Bringing NFL to Inglewood

January 24, 1998

As mayor of Inglewood, I was surprised and disappointed by Frank del Olmo's Jan. 12 commentary concerning the effort to bring NFL football back to the Los Angeles area. While devoting most of his commentary to a blistering criticism of the NFL, Del Olmo also manages to attack Inglewood, most of the cities where NFL football is played and Hollywood Park Race Track and its CEO, R.D. Hubbard.

Hubbard's record in the gaming industry is spotless. In any event, the proposed stadium would not be built, owned or operated by Hollywood Park.

To help make his point about the relative safety of the Los Angeles Coliseum area, Del Olmo callously brings up the recent slaying of a 7-year-old boy in Inglewood. We certainly would never pick out an isolated tragedy in Los Angeles, where there are many from which to choose, to portray that great city as unsafe. As a matter of fact, the crime rate in Inglewood is substantially lower than the rate in Los Angeles, and lower than the rates in all but a few of the cities where NFL football is played.

It is comforting that Del Olmo wants to protect those of us who govern Inglewood by demanding that we not assist in the construction of an NFL stadium. If a stadium is built in Inglewood, I can assure him that Inglewood residents will not pay an additional dollar in taxes. Our assistance would be limited to pledging incremental tax dollars that would be generated by the stadium to its initial construction financing, in the same manner that we help finance a variety of other redevelopment projects.

Cutting through the rhetoric in Del Olmo's commentary, it is obvious that his only real interest is to somehow get the NFL back to the L.A. Coliseum by eliminating whatever other competition there is.


Mayor, Inglewood

* Del Olmo was right on target. The NFL just signed a multibillion-dollar deal with television, yet owners will still insist that public tax money be put into the building of new stadiums for their teams. I trust The Times and writers like Del Olmo will keep an eye on these "well-heeled hustlers" so it won't happen in L.A.


North Hollywood

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