Four days after his Los Angeles stadium project was described as dying and three days before a $27 million Environmental Impact Report will be unveiled, billionaire Philip Anschutz has been described by one of his key employees as committed to bringing the NFL back to L.A.
“Phil is now completely engaged in this process,” AEG president and chief executive Tim Leiweke (pictured) told Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. “And the only thing he won’t do is get leveraged to the point of doing a stupid deal on a team. But if this is about finding a win-win for the NFL and Phil Anschutz, he is prepared to write that check now, subject to getting done with the [EIR].”
Leiweke previously said that Anschutz was willing to buy up to 50 percent of a team. Now, Anschutz is willing to purchase an entire franchise and relocate it to Los Angeles.
“We do have an understanding of how we get to the finish line here,” Leiweke said. “Does that mean we have an agreement on a team? No. Does that mean we have a valuation that we agree on? No.
“But we know how to get to the end of this game now. But what Mr. Anschutz has said is, ‘Get past your obstacles . . . and if you get clear of that, I’ll get in a room and make a deal with the NFL.'”
The primary obstacle at this point is finding a team that’s for sale. None are.
And it’s unclear when any will be. The primary candidates to move — the Chargers, Rams, Vikings, and Raiders — are held by owners who have shown no inclination to sell.
If/when a potential team to acquire arises, next comes the obstacle of negotiating a price in light of the recent $2.1 billion sale of the Dodgers, the obstacle of finding a way out of the team’s current stadium lease, and the obstacle of paying whatever relocation fee that league imposes on Anschutz.