It has long been believed that the NFL will return to Los Angeles only when two viable stadium projects emerge, which then can be squeezed against each other until the NFL emerges with the sweetest possible deal.
The man in charge of one of the two current stadium projects apparently isn’t willing to be squeezed.
Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reports that billionaire Philip Anschutz, whose company (AEG) wants to build a downtown stadium, has not revised his proposal more than three months after Commissioner Roger Goodell and Patriots owner Robert Kraft explained that AEG’s intention to purchase, at a discounted rate, a minority stake in the team that moves to the stadium will not be acceptable. That message was conveyed to Anschutz during a December meeting in Denver, when the Patriots traveled there to play the Broncos.
“It was friendly, but boiled down to the view that no NFL owner would accept the terms proposed,” a source told Cole. “If [AEG] wanted to get that much control over an NFL franchise, their only option would be to buy a team. If they were willing to back off the control and buy a [limited partnership] stake for a reasonable price, then a shared interest in selling suites/clubs/sponsorships could be worked out.”
The lack of progress between Anschutz and the NFL could soon derail the effort to build the stadium. As Cole explains it, politicians in Los Angeles may soon shift their focus toward expanding the Los Angeles Convention Center.
That would leave one viable stadium project in the Los Angeles area, via Ed Roski’s shovel-ready, open-air project in the City of Industry. In October, Roski offered to “hand over the 600 acres” to the team that moves there, with the team responsible for financing the stadium and Roski buying a share of the franchise at market value.
Still, without the AEG project to give Roski a reason to go even farther, the league’s absence from the L.A. market may continue indefinitely into the future.