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L.A. stadium chase heats up

As it relates to the question of a return by the NFL to Los Angeles, conventional wisdom has been that the league won’t become seriously interested unless and until two viable projects emerge.  That way, the NFL could play one against the other, securing the best possible circumstances for its return to the L.A. area.

Now that two proposals have emerged in Los Angeles, it appears that they’re ready to square off without much squeezing by the league.

According to our pal Brooks of SportsByBrooks.com, the folks behind the downtown L.A. proposal possibly have been giving courtside Lakers tickets to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.  Per Brooks, FOX 11 has reported that Villaraigosa has been parking his posterior in seats that cost $3,000 each.  He didn’t pay for the tickets, and he didn’t report the tickets as gifts in ethics filings.

He claims (apparently with a straight face) that he has attended the games on “official business,” in order to give academic awards to local high school students, on multiple occasions.

Staples Center is owned and operated by AEG, which is one of the companies involved in the downtown stadium proposal.

Villaraigosa refuses to say how he got the tickets, and AEG CEO Tim Leiweke is mum on the matter, too.

Meanwhile, Brooks points out that a recent poll in L.A. Business Journal regarding the downtown site and Ed Roski’s proposal in the City of Industry generated 30,000 votes, way up from the usual response in the range of 100.  The two camps reportedly launched e-mail campaigns aimed at getting votes.

So the battle lines are being drawn, the gloves are coming off, and the NFL will end up getting a great deal.

We hope the folks in Minnesota are paying close attention.

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45 Responses to “L.A. stadium chase heats up”
  1. Franchise says: May 27, 2010 4:25 PM

    Being a Vikings fan, I’m not worried about the team moving.
    I’ll love it when they do build a stadium in LA, and cant get a team other than the Radiers to play there.

  2. 69ers says: May 27, 2010 4:26 PM

    “We hope the folks in Minnesota are paying close attention.”
    Ouch, Florio taking off the gloves..

  3. Ilovefoolsball says: May 27, 2010 4:28 PM

    Awesome, I really am looking forward to seeing Los Angeles Vikings.
    X marks the spot and the spot is CALIFORNIAAAAA!!

  4. SpartaChris says: May 27, 2010 4:29 PM

    Actually, the douche’s last name is Villar. The Raigosa portion was adopted as a hybrid of he and his ex-wife’s (The one he cheated on) last names, as some sort of homage to hispanic culture or some crap like that.
    Anyway, I don’t see how attending the game and sitting courtside is “Official business” aimed at giving “Academic awards to local high school students.” That he hasn’t reported receiving the tickets sounds like it should be investigated for possible ethics violations. Hopefully someone will look into this a bit more.

  5. imaginesuperbowlwin says: May 27, 2010 4:29 PM

    …In the words of the great Nuke LaLoosh, “So, is somebody gonna sleep with somebody, or what?”
    Send the effin Rams and da effin Raidahs back to L.A. Maybe they will find a big fault to fall into.

  6. The Black Cat says: May 27, 2010 4:29 PM

    I hear LA wants a Superbowl.

  7. mzezulak says: May 27, 2010 4:30 PM

    I hope the Vikings are listening they need to move, Minnesota doesn’t deserve a NFL franchise until they change their drug testing laws

  8. Jeff says: May 27, 2010 4:32 PM

    If Minneapolis loses the Vikings, their fans will just blame it on the Saints, so who cares?

  9. Cowboys915 says: May 27, 2010 4:35 PM

    LA transvestites could have rupaul as their mascot

  10. Kris says: May 27, 2010 4:40 PM

    Will Brett Favre be willing to move to LA to continue playing for the Vikings? Will he retire instead or demand a trade? Let the official discussions begin.

  11. BleedingSilverAndBlack says: May 27, 2010 4:42 PM

    I hope the Raiders do play there.

  12. Cereal Blogger says: May 27, 2010 4:44 PM

    What the Jags, Raiders, Bills, Rams & Steelers shouldnt be concerned ??

  13. irishsamurai says: May 27, 2010 4:45 PM

    shouldnt oakland be just asworried since they went back to oakland on promise of new digs and still to this day havent gotten new stadium,or have they

  14. robert ethen says: May 27, 2010 4:47 PM

    He ees one bad hombre.
    Breeng me the head of Antonio Villagiarosa.

  15. MuskyHunter2542 says: May 27, 2010 4:47 PM

    Vikings to LA is a done deal!!!

  16. Cowboys915 says: May 27, 2010 4:49 PM

    they should move the seahawks to LA and change their colors and mascot… noone cares about them anyways.. their history consists of brian bosworth highlights getting dragged into the endzone by bo jackson

  17. Dr. Steelfinger says: May 27, 2010 4:54 PM

    I hear the Browns are interested in moving.

  18. JSpicoli says: May 27, 2010 5:01 PM

    The Raiders are not going aywhere, but enjoy the fantasy folks.

  19. tradebait9 says: May 27, 2010 5:04 PM

    LA has had TWO teams in the past and have failed. What makes you think they wont fail again???

  20. JimmySmith says: May 27, 2010 5:08 PM

    The Vikings are moving, the fan base is cheap and doesn’t deserve a team. It is poetic justice for those morons to lose that team. More like karma.

  21. granadafan says: May 27, 2010 5:15 PM

    This is why there has not been a team in LA for a long long time. There are too many different powerful parties vying for the right to the stadium. It’s friggin ridiculous. Build it downtown, the LA Coliseum, the Rose Bowl, 20 miles away in the City of Industry (gag), etc. The latter has made the biggest headway, but now AEG is buying off the mayor (again) with Lakers tickets. Sorry Minneapolis, you’ll be stuck with the Viqueens for a long time.
    PS, Spicoli, we don’t want the Raiders anymore as long as Skeletor is still the owner. Besides, Alameda county still has to pay off the stadium first.

  22. Ron Leflore says: May 27, 2010 5:16 PM

    50 years later, Vikings follow in Lakers footsteps .

  23. bluestree says: May 27, 2010 5:16 PM

    “We hope the folks in Minnesota are paying close attention.”
    Originally it was rumored that the Jags were the most likely to move to LA, but recently they’ve shown increased community interest in keeping the team. Also, the team is working harder to win over fans, and make the games more affordable.
    But lately on NFL network, Rich Eisen seems to mention the Vikings in every LA related story, and he mentions LA in every Viking stadium related story.
    And here’s the thing; there’s no sense of urgency coming from Minnesota. The governor could care less, the legislature is in no hurry, and the six or eight Viking fans that post on here seem to think they can sit on their asses and it’s in the bag.
    “I’m not worried about the team moving.” OK.
    See you in LA.

  24. Joel_mac5 says: May 27, 2010 5:22 PM

    Only way a team will be successful in L.A. is if the owner wants to win.

  25. Bordner says: May 27, 2010 5:23 PM

    As much as I hate the Vikings, I do hope LA builds them a nice stadium.
    Viva Los Vikings!

  26. Contra says: May 27, 2010 5:31 PM

    HAHAHAHA
    Florio is playing you all like FOOLS. The Vikings are NOT moving. There are far more other underachieving teams that would get the nod before the Vikings.

  27. Electrogasm says: May 27, 2010 5:32 PM

    @ Cowboys – they should move the seahawks to LA and change their colors and mascot… no one cares about them anyways.
    ____________
    I guess you’ve never been to the great city of Seattle, my friend. I live in San Diego but clearly understand their passion for sports, especially for their Hawks. They’re the salt of the Earth and don’t go to games to be seen on DiamondVision while calling friends on their mobile phones.

  28. WarrenMoonGOAT says: May 27, 2010 5:33 PM

    although i hate Mayor Villar what the hell does that lil under the table back deal have to do with l.a. getting a team, if u don’t kno but your smart enough to figure it out, the mayor acutally doesn’t make all the descicions in involving the city.
    he’s a puppet

  29. Electrogasm says: May 27, 2010 5:34 PM

    Es porque la gente de Los Angeles no entienden el juego de American fútbol.
    That sums it up nicely.

  30. 909RaiderLifer says: May 27, 2010 5:38 PM

    Mayor Antonio is just as, if not more crooked as rest of the politicians in Cali…

  31. Dogsweat says: May 27, 2010 5:42 PM

    Los Angeles 49ers.
    Stadium Deal In Santa Clara will be an epic fail.

  32. C.J. says: May 27, 2010 5:46 PM

    Some good reporting here about the “poll.”
    http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2010/05/a_bit_of_football_stadium.php
    First, 26,601 voted — an extraordinary number for the LABJ’s lightly visited website. By comparison, an actual hot button issue from the previous week — “should California boycott Arizona because of its new law that’s tougher on illegal immigrants?” — attracted just 254 total votes. So yeah, I’d say Staples Center got its core supporters out, and maybe Ed Roski also appealed to fans of his rival stadium project in the City of Industry.
    And at the last the game, the mayor said he was a guest there with “friend” Jeffrey Katzenberg.
    Villaragosa has been a joke since he took over in L.A. This is nothing new.

  33. Hap says: May 27, 2010 5:55 PM

    I want to attend a Cowboys game, on official business. I’ll report back to you, Flo.

  34. Profanity in ALL CAPS says: May 27, 2010 5:56 PM

    good, another thing LA can have to take their mind off of their plummeting economy. enjoy 20 years of bankruptcy. But i’m sure another laker championship makes it all better and worth it. morons.

  35. Brewster says: May 27, 2010 6:16 PM

    So the battle lines are being drawn, the gloves are coming off, and the NFL will end up getting a great deal.
    We hope the folks in Minnesota are paying close attention.
    ____________________
    Just another cash strapped municipality being shaken down by the slick guys in the blue pin striped suits from Park Avenue.
    The vig is less if you deal with Big Vinny from Brooklyn.
    And that last line makes Florio an accomplice in crime.

  36. GoBrowns19 says: May 27, 2010 6:23 PM

    Los Angeles is hell on earth.

  37. 55horses says: May 27, 2010 6:50 PM

    Vikings aren’t moving, ‘specially if Zygi learns to talk Minnesota nice instead of threatening folks.
    Jeez, someone hire Zygi a decent PR firm!

  38. TheToolofTools says: May 27, 2010 7:06 PM

    L.A. doesn’t deserve an NFL team.
    They have proven time and time again it’s all glitter and no substance in L.A.
    Once the team loses it game over.
    If L.A. can’t support The Raiders,
    it can’t handle the truth.
    It’s just not a football town.

  39. TheToolofTools says: May 27, 2010 7:11 PM

    You could call the them the Los L.A. Immigrants… and the cheerleaders leaders can be the Taco Belles….
    (a great business partner)
    if the shoe fits.
    I’m serious.
    Why not?
    We are a nation of immigrants after we shoved the Indians on to reservations.

  40. Vikadontis Rex says: May 27, 2010 7:11 PM

    I can’t believe how slowly Minnesota has been moving on this process. Our stadium lease ends in 2 seasons, and so far we haven’t passed a proposal to even put a new stadium on the ballot. I don’t know how the Vikings plan to stay. At this point, they’d have to play a season, maybe 2, at the gophers new stadium which holds not nearly enough.
    While I love Zygi’s $1 billion stadium, we just built a new Gophers football stadium and Twins stadium, tax payers are not happy at the thought of a wannabe Cowboys stadium.

  41. Bob Nelson says: May 27, 2010 8:18 PM

    los viklingos de Los Angeles
    The NFL will have a new reality television show filming the viklings move. You know there will be a Beverly Hillbillies moment.
    Imagine that the moving company gets paid nothing in return for being “The Official Moving Company of the NFL”. Can’t wait for those commercials.
    Imagine the LA protests. They used to get the best games of the week on FOX and instead get a no name team trying to figure out how to play outdoors on natural grass, bright sunlight, wind, and without the star power of Brett Favre.
    The new stadium might get better attendance at soccer/futbol games than los viklingos de Los Angeles games.

  42. Dogsweat says: May 27, 2010 9:54 PM

    Villagrossa, wants the Raiders…

  43. Calir says: May 27, 2010 10:48 PM

    Villaraigosa took time off from cheating on his wife and sticking his nose in other states’ business to attend Laker games? Where does he find the time?

  44. sand0 says: May 28, 2010 11:53 AM

    The only reason that the Vikings come up in all these threads is because it gives the haters hope. But I shouldn’t complain because this will help push our lawmakers to get it done next session. Next session was always the most logical time to do this anyways.
    The team that goes to LA will be a team with zero fan interest like the Jags, Raiders, or a small market club like Buffalo.
    Vikings rank amongst league elite in TV ratings, attendance percentage (contrary to idiots that post here), and local ratings. The NFL isn’t going to allow a sure thing to move just to gain a season or two of increased stadium revenue.
    The NFL will want a team that can’t be successful in its market no matter how neat its stadium is. There are several good candidates.
    Personally I think the Jags should go. They’ll never be popular there. Raiders I think just need a couple good seasons and their fans will return.

  45. Bleedin Purple says: May 28, 2010 2:33 PM

    NO VIVA LOS VIKINGS damnit!
    This is exactly what I dont want, all these bandwagon Raider and Laker fans jumping on to the Vikings if they move to L.A.
    LOS NOTHING! That is the most annoying thing, the Vikings have nothing to to with LOS, and neither should the Lakers!
    I love the Vikings but them moving to L.A. might kill it for me if all these Laker fans became Viking fans. YUK!

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