Will baseball fans be able to take the bus to Dodger Stadium this year?

The city's Department of Transportation and the county Metropolitan Transportation Authority will consider restoring public transit to the stadium by opening day.

City Councilman Ed Reyes presented a resolution asking transportation authorities to study the feasibility of modifying existing bus routes or developing new ones to the stadium and the surrounding Elysian Park area during baseball season. The council adopted the resolution last month.

"We're very hopeful that with the leadership of Councilmen Reyes and (Eric) Garcetti, we can get this in place for the 2008 season," said Howard Sunkin, Dodgers senior vice president of public affairs.

Regular bus service served the stadium until the mid-1990s, when the Rapid Transit District canceled the route. In 2003 and 2004, the Dodgers worked with the MTA to provide weekend shuttle service to the stadium from Union Station. That service was canceled because hardly anyone used it.

Dodgers execs and city officials know that it's difficult if not impossible for people who don't have cars to attend games. Traffic's an issue, too.

"It is an element that we need to introduce again to lessen the congestion and create an environment that is compatible for the neighborhood," Reyes said.

In 2007, the Dodgers paid over $1 million to the city of Los Angeles for overtime related to traffic policing areas around the stadium. The policing and its costs are expected to be about the same in 2008.

Honorable Mention

Sports agent Arn Tellem never played in the National Basketball Association, but that didn't stop him from becoming one of the most influential sports executives in Los Angeles.

Tellem, a high school and college lacrosse player, will be inducted into the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame on Jan. 27 for his career as a sports executive.

"There are more opportunities on the business side than on the playing side," said Tellem. "There are numerous opportunities to work for a team or league, in sports marketing and in television. An award like this can hopefully inspire others to do the same in the future."

Tellem credits Premier Partnerships Chairman Alan Rothenberg and Steve Greenberg, managing director of Allen & Co. LLC, for his first big break in sports business. They hired him at Manatt Phelps & Phillips when he was a law student, and they brought him into the specialization of sports law.

"I owe a lot to both of them, especially Steve, who has been a mentor throughout the years and a guiding force in my life," said Tellem.

His second break came in 1982 when he met Donald Sterling. The Los Angeles Clippers owner hired Tellem as general counsel, a position he held until become a full-time sports agent in 1988.

"That education and experience was an intense six years and I learned more there than anywhere else," said Tellem.

Tellem has worked as a sports agent since 1980. He originally founded Los Angeles-based Tellem and Associates, which was acquired by SFX Entertainment Inc. in 1990. Currently, he serves as president of Los Angeles-based WMG Management, a division of Casey Wasserman's Wasserman Media Group.

He represents NBA and Major League Baseball players with multimillion-dollar contracts including hoops stars Ben Wallace, Tracy McGrady and Jermaine O'Neal; and New York Yankees Jason Giambi, Mike Mussina and Hideki Matsui.

Tellem sees the industry as a rapidly growing field due to opportunities in marketing and technology. For those that want to break into the sports agent business, Tellem sees Asia and Europe as growth areas for his company.

"Learn Chinese and be prepared to live in China for a few years," he said.

Kick Start

The 2008 National Soccer Expo surpassed expectations, drawing more than 37,000 people to the Los Angeles Convention Center on Jan. 5 and 6.

This year, brands such as Nike had displays among the 130 soccer-related exhibitors. Some non-soccer consumer brands have also started to exhibit at the show, driven by the larger crowds. One example is television manufacturer Panasonic, which had a display at this year's event.

"Next year, all the cellular companies and flat-screen television manufacturers and any consumer brand that want to reach more than 40,000 people in Southern California will be there," said John Weinerth, chief executive for Cal South, the non-profit organization that conducts the expo.

Staff reporter David Nusbaum can be reached at (323) 549-5225, ext. 236, or at dnusbaum@labusinessjournal.com .

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