Explaining Southern California's economy

Anheuser-Busch chooses Dodger Stadium to debut Mexican import beer Montejo


Ben Bergman/KPCC

Montejo makes its U.S. debut at Dodger Stadium this weekend. An area in right field has been rebranded as the Montejo bar, instead of the Bud Light bar.

Starting with this weekend's homestand against the Milwaukee Brewers, Dodger fans will be able to buy the Mexican beer, Montejo, at the ballpark.

It will be the only place you can buy Montejo in the U.S. for the rest of the month, before it goes on-sale at other locations throughout the Southwest.

The megabrewer is billing the launch of Montejo – which first launched in Mexico in the 1960's – as its first import from Mexico to the United States. It also says this is the first time a major new beer has made its debut at a sports venue, according to Javier Vaquer, Anheuser-Busch’s Regional Marketing Director.

"We chose Dodger Stadium because of the heritage," Vaquer told me. "They have a very multicultural following."

Anheuser-Busch – which brews about half of U.S. beer – is best known for Budweiser and Bud Light, which are readily available at Dodger Stadium. But the conglomerate is also trying to expand into craft beers and Mexican beers because of the country's changing demographics and changing consumer preferences.


Will the film tax credit program get a 'blockbuster' budget?

MPAA summit on film tax credits could help other states compete with California for film production

David McNew/Getty Images

A film crew on location in downtown Los Angeles. (File photo)

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti made the rounds in Sacramento Wednesday in a final push to support a bill on expanding California’s tax credit program for film and TV production. The state senate appropriations committee will take up the bill on Thursday.

The bill — AB-1839 —has sailed through the legislature with almost no opposition — in part because it doesn’t yet have a price tag.  The bill’s sponsors want to boost the amount of tax credits offered to films and TV shows that shoot in state. The question is by how much. 

"Stay tuned and see if it’s a blockbuster number," said Senate Appropriations committee chair Kevin De Leon on the Senate floor.

The current tax incentive pot stands at $100 million dollars a year.  Most supporters want to at least quadruple that because — the state’s biggest rival — New York  — offers more than $400 million in credits.  But Kevin Klowden of the Milken Institute says there are Hollywood dreams and Sacramento realities.


LA rent: New UCLA study confirms LA is least affordable city in US

Vacancy Rate For U.S. Apartments Reaches Highest Rate In 20 Years

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The twist with this new study from UCLA is that it highlights the fact that affordability is not a new post-recession problem, but one that has been getting worse for decades.

A new UCLA study confirms that Los Angeles is now the least affordable rental market in the country, based on the portion of a renters’ income that goes to pay rent.

The study from UCLA's Ziman Center for Real Estate shows that the average renter in Los Angeles, which has the highest percentage of renters in the country, devotes 47 percent of his or her paycheck to rent. (You can read the full study at the end of this post.)

It's the latest depressing news about L.A.'s rental market, and it comes with a twist: affordability is not a new post-recession problem, but one that has been getting worse for decades.

RELATED: How affordable is rent in your neighborhood?

“Our studies show a severe housing burden among poor renters has existed since 1970,” said Paul Ong, professor of urban planning, social welfare and Asian-American studies, who co-wrote the study, in a statement.


USC's Haden unsurprised by O'Bannon decision, but what exactly is the decision?


Getty Images

File: Then UCLA forward Ed O'Bannon cuts down the net after their 89-78 victory over Arkansas in the NCAA final at the Kingdome in Seattle on April 3, 1995.

For months – even years – people have been eagerly awaiting a decision in former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon's case against the NCAA.

O'Bannon argued college players should be allowed to profit off their own likenesses, and the case has been seen as one of several that could cause the NCAA's amateur model to come crashing down.

"This is the most threatening lawsuit the NCAA has ever faced," Michael McCann, a University of New Hampshire sports law professor, told SI.com last year. "If O'Bannon prevails, it would radically change the economics of college sports."

But so far the decision, more than anything, has left people scratching their heads, except for apparently, USC's Athletic Director Pat Haden, who was a practicing attorney in the 1980's.

"The decision is not a surprise and something many of us anticipated," Haden said in a statement. "This will still play out for some time and while it does, USC will remain committed to doing as much as we possibly can for our student-athletes within the NCAA rules."


Clippers begin search for new ad agency to 'rebuild an established, well-known brand'

Clippers Paul Basketball

Mark J. Terrill/AP

The Los Angeles Clippers logo during an NBA basketball news conference to introduce Chris Paul h on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Los Angeles Clippers are looking for a new marketing agency as the team looks towards life in the post-Donald Sterling era. 

AdAge reports the Clippers are currently conducting a "review" of agencies, led by Boston-based Pile and Company, which specializes in searches for agencies and marketing executives.

According to a Request For Proposals quoted in AdAge, the Clippers want to hear from agencies with relevant experience in "rebuilding an established, well-known brand." 

"It's not surprising," said Paul Swangard, Managing Director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon. "If everything plays out as everyone hopes, it’ll be a whole new cast of folks who are helping this franchise come out of what has been a very dark period of its history." 

In May, Donald Sterling's wife, Shelley Sterling, made a deal to sell the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. Donald Sterling challenged the sale and his wife's authority to approve it in court, but a judge dismissed his arguments and upheld the sale.