It’s been nearly 20 years since the NFL left Los Angeles. Originally, the league was supposed to make a quick return to the city, but the NFL chose Houston over Los Angeles for expansion in 1999. Fans have been craving the return of NFL football ever since, and it appears that their hopes might be coming true.
Here are three potential stadium projects for a team in Los Angeles:
Farmers Field is the best option for the NFL in Los Angeles. The stadium would be built downtown next to the Staples Center. The project has already successfully completed an environmental impact report (EIR), which has been approved by the Los Angeles City Council. It’s the perfect spot for football in the city.
However, there are problems with the plan that still need to be settled. Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) is heading up the project, but there are concerns that it will not be completed since Phil Anschutz has put the company up for sale. The new owner would need to be committed to Farmers Field for it to be built. He or she would also need to negotiate with an NFL team to move.
It is believed that Anschutz wanted to own a piece of the incoming team. Will the new owner have the same requirement? If so, what percentage of a team would the new owner seek to purchase? How will the NFL and AEG sort out their differences concerning concessions, etc.?
The project itself is ready to build, and there are three teams that appear to be viable targets for relocation: the St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders, and San Diego Chargers. While there are some issues to be worked out, AEG’s Farmers Field plan is the closest Los Angeles has come to NFL football in years.
The Los Angeles Stadium at Grand Crossing
The Los Angeles Stadium at Grand Crossing has been another option for football in Los Angeles for the past couple of years. The only problem is that there aren’t many features to this site. It has 600 acres of space for tailgating, and that’s about it. The stadium itself would be privately financed, which is always good in debt-stricken California, but most fans would rather go downtown than drive out to City of Industry for their football.
The deal does have its advantages. The owner of the team that moves here would be responsible for building the stadium, which means taking all of the profits. However, this stadium is an $800 million project. There aren’t many NFL owners out there right now that would be willing to pay that kind of money without any public assistance. The Chargers, Rams, and Raiders certainly aren’t going to do it. Majestic Realty’s Ed Roski made a solid attempt to put this together, but the deal will have to change if a team is going to build at City of Industry.
The NFL wants a stadium built in Chavez Ravine, but it’s not going to happen, at least not by 2017. Anyone who builds there would have to go through the same process that both AEG and Majestic Realty did. Moreover, the Los Angeles City Council has already approved and backed AEG’s plan. Right now, the city is all in with Farmers Field. There’s no chance of a stadium being built in Chavez Ravine by 2017.
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