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Anschutz “completely engaged” in returning NFL to L.A.

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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.

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49 Responses to “Anschutz “completely engaged” in returning NFL to L.A.”
  1. bobnelsonjr says: Apr 2, 2012 9:02 PM

    Los Angeles Vikings seems to make the most sense.

  2. osrude says: Apr 2, 2012 9:04 PM

    There will be a team in LA again. Probably around 2020.

    Or never….Maybe never.

  3. bloggingpoodlewalker says: Apr 2, 2012 9:12 PM

    This will be a non story for decades…its fine that that dude wants to bring a team to LA but the fact is LA doesnt want a stadium. Until fools like him realize that, these non stories will continue. LA doesnt want the NFL there, and by that I mean the people. They all just want a tanning salon on every corner next to a Starbucks.

  4. babyhorsemorgan says: Apr 2, 2012 9:13 PM

    Representatives from both sides are trying to work around one obstacle to the deal, Philip’s insistence that the city be renamed “Los Anchutz”.

  5. travishenrykid says: Apr 2, 2012 9:17 PM

    Just wait a couple of years for the Bills. They’ll be available. No succession plan, no lease.

  6. jimiinpa says: Apr 2, 2012 9:21 PM

    it’s L.A. who cares , they are crappy football fans. most football fans there aren’t from L.A.origionally so they will root for their own home teams. didn’t having 2 teams there and both leaving teach the NFL anything? guess not

  7. bedmanokc says: Apr 2, 2012 9:42 PM

    Its such a shame when you think about what happened at Anschutz. Never forget!

  8. gotampabay52 says: Apr 2, 2012 9:45 PM

    LA SAINTS LA SAINTS LA SAINTS LA SAINTS

  9. lbraiders says: Apr 2, 2012 9:47 PM

    It’s funny home all these knuckleheads think that La doesn’t want a football team you guys don’t know firsthand with LA wants footballs coming back to LA so live with it raider nation baby call you later haters you know when she can do you morons!!

  10. babyhorsemorgan says: Apr 2, 2012 9:50 PM

    The city will permit the complex to be named Anschutz, as long as there are no guard towers or barbed wire.

  11. AlohaMrHand says: Apr 2, 2012 9:52 PM

    There’s a reason it’s been almost 18 years since LA had a football team.There isnt any real interest in having one.Cleveland and Houston got teams back before LA and that’s very telling

  12. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Apr 2, 2012 9:53 PM

    A $27m environental report? 27 MILLION? I could start a company from scratch and do it for less than that!!!

  13. cmarsh64 says: Apr 2, 2012 9:54 PM

    The list below is the current value of the teams mentioned in this article,Viking are the best bet IMO because of there ownership and stadium lease or lack there of. offer 1 billion and the Vikings could be yours.

    Chargers 920 mil
    Vikings 796 mil
    Rams 775 mil
    Raiders 761 mil
    Jacksonville 725

  14. cmarsh64 says: Apr 2, 2012 9:56 PM

    Jacksonville sold for 760 Million and the Raiders and Rams are old news.

  15. devikesfan says: Apr 2, 2012 10:05 PM

    The NFL has proven time and time again that it doesn’t need LA to make money.

  16. bobhk says: Apr 2, 2012 10:05 PM

    bloggingpoodlewalker says:
    Apr 2, 2012 9:12 PM
    This will be a non story for decades…its fine that that dude wants to bring a team to LA but the fact is LA doesnt want a stadium. Until fools like him realize that, these non stories will continue. LA doesnt want the NFL there, and by that I mean the people. They all just want a tanning salon on every corner next to a Starbucks.

     ——–
    I know we are nfl fans here and this may be a sacrilege but if you are in LA who cares about NFL. There’s plenty of other entertainment.
    This is not Boston.

  17. jgrange says: Apr 2, 2012 10:07 PM

    The Raiders extended their stadium lease till 2013. Seems like a pretty good fitting timeline, imo. I feel the Raiders deserve a real stadium and a real chance to see if they can survive in LA although the blue collar small market of Oakland fits them well too. I feel the Vikings just belong in the NFC North and in Minnesota. I can’t imagine them any other way. Moving the Raiders wouldn’t require any reshuffling anywhere.

    I think the Raiders have the fan base to make it work in LA. The Chargers might have it. Jags and Rams definitely do not.

  18. steveop24 says: Apr 2, 2012 10:07 PM

    travishenrykid:

    Hate to burst your bubble but the Bills are staying in Buffalo.

  19. tatum064 says: Apr 2, 2012 10:09 PM

    cmarsh64 says:
    Apr 2, 2012 9:54 PM
    The list below is the current value of the teams mentioned in this article,Viking are the best bet IMO because of there ownership and stadium lease or lack there of. offer 1 billion and the Vikings could be yours.

    =============

    L.A. will find someway to mess it up. The League doesn’t want a charter franchise like Minnesota relocating again (Lakers, NorthStars)….the issue is
    would that fair weather fan base support them the way the Vikes did in a bad economy?

  20. jagsfanugh says: Apr 2, 2012 10:17 PM

    What is up no Jags to LA? Reality is no team to that city..all talk no action. There is no stadium and too many groups to build one ..where?? Every site seems to draw speculation that it won’t happen there. Pipe dream LA ..better off smoking one.

  21. pcoisma says: Apr 2, 2012 10:22 PM

    This is really old old old news. Let the actors act in LA and real NFL cities play football.

  22. cmarsh64 says: Apr 2, 2012 10:23 PM

    The NFC EAST has 4 teams in the Top 7 in team value according to forbes. Cowboys (1) Washington (2) Giants (4) and Eagles (7) and the Division combined has 12 Superbowl Trophies more than any other division
    AFC EAST 6 Patriots (3) Jets (1) Dolphins (2)
    AFC NORTH 7 Steelers (6) Ravens (1)
    AFC SOUTH 2 Colts (2) 1 each as Baltimore & Indy
    AFC WEST 6 Chiefs (1) Raiders (3) Denver (2)
    NFC NORTH 5 Packers (4) Bears (1)
    NFC SOUTH 1 Saints (1)
    NFC WEST 5 49ers (5)
    The NFC now has 23 Superbowl Wins and AFC 22 after years of being the frontrunner.

  23. habsfanatic says: Apr 2, 2012 10:26 PM

    If this is going to happen, the scenario that makes a lot of sense is the Rams to LA then Jax to St Louis… Fisher the LA boy coaching the rams, Tebow choosing Jets over Jacksonville… this move could happen sooner than people think!

  24. ramitbaby says: Apr 2, 2012 10:29 PM

    The “threat” of a team moving to LA is more profitable for the NFL than a team actually going there.

  25. Max says: Apr 2, 2012 10:38 PM

    I am traditionalist when its comes to the NFL. It would be a shame if the Vikings were to move, they have decent history and rivalries.

    Jacksonville on the other hand has the least identity, and have struggled to sell tickets, I wont mind seeing them move across the country.

    Question is how would realignment go?
    LA JAGs to AFC WEST and either KAN to AFC SOUTH?

    LA JAGs to NFC WEST and STL to AFC SOUTH?

  26. tinbender2000 says: Apr 2, 2012 10:42 PM

    Good thing this guys got the money to support a team with no fan base, he’ll need it.

  27. tomtravis76 says: Apr 2, 2012 10:44 PM

    All signs point to Steve Ross taking the franchise to LA and leaving the name and history in South Florida. The Dolphins are facing the same problems just about every franchise has faced before finally moving.

    They get zero support from local/state financially, while I believe Ross should pay for his own upgrades. Why ,when he can act stubborn and threaten to move until he gets what he wants or does move.

    They can’t sell tickets locally. They had a spike in sales with the 08 AFC East Championship, but ’10 and forward dramatic drops.

    SunLife has lost revenue by the Marlins leaving, and also they are losing other major events( marlins stadium, heat arena, and panthers arena). They didn’t make a ton of money from Wrestlemania, they gave the space away in hopes of showcasing the stadium, again as being able to put on big events. The Orange Bowl agreement is expiring, and no more Super Bowls.

    If you just go back a couple decades, nobody thought the Colts would leave Baltimore, nobody thought the Oilers would leave Houston, nobody thought the Cards would leave St.Louis, nobody thought the Browns would leave Cleveland. As passionate as fans are about their home city teams, the franchises are somebody elses business investment, and they will do what is best for their bank account.

    If Steve Ross left Miami, he would be hated by the Dolphin fans, but he would be a demi-god in Los Angeles, and haven’t we seen Ross craves the attention, he wants to be famous and liked, he will never be liked in South Florida. LA will make him a legend in the city, forever.

  28. ssraebel says: Apr 2, 2012 10:49 PM

    habsfanatic “makes sense”? St louis sells less tickets than jacksonville. Why comment if you have zero concept of what your taking about?

  29. toosharp23 says: Apr 2, 2012 10:52 PM

    @cmarsh64

    Not sure what you going for but NFC South has 2 Superbowl winning teams.. Tampa won in 2002 which could be the surprise team to move if their fan support doesn’t pick up.

  30. rajbais says: Apr 2, 2012 10:54 PM

    FORGET OWNING A PART OF THE TEAM!!!!!!!!

    Plus, you’re saying this when you have not dismissed the notion of TWO teams playing in L.A.!!!!!!!

    Why should you get 50% of a team at a discount and try to get another team to play in your stadium when you may encounter the accusations of conflict of interest or excessively favoring one team???

    Los Angelans are going to get sick of this story and then football in L.A. will die!!!!

    Leiweke and Anschutz, GREAT JOB!!!! NICE GOING IN SCREWING UP THE PROJECT!!!!

    Now this garbage makes me WANT Ed Roski to win the stadium battle!!!!!!!!!

  31. mizzouram says: Apr 2, 2012 11:04 PM

    It seems like pft really wants a team in LA.

  32. catquick says: Apr 2, 2012 11:20 PM

    The LA Chargers failed there and moved to SD. The LA Rams failed there and moved to St. Louis. The LA Raiders failed there and moved back to Oakland. What makes ANYBODY think another team will succeed there? How much money will the league throw down a rat hole until they figure out LA is not an NFL town?

  33. rajbais says: Apr 2, 2012 11:20 PM

    The AEG (Airhead Entertainment Goofballs) should just GIVE the damn stadium to BOTH the Chargers and the Raiders!!!!!!!!!!

    I know that these fans hate each other and the opposing teams, but things have been different since Al Davis died!!!

    I love Al Davis and excitable non-conformists, but the Raiders act like a typical team now!!!! There’s nothing exciting!!!! No “Al Davis Way” with Reggie McKenzie in town!!!

    If they’re “boring” now, but have expressed interest in coming to L.A. and left it BECAUSE there was NO modern stadium that Al initially wanted; and if the Chargers need a new place, but are one step behind the Raiders because of their delusional, meddling, and San Diego stadium seeking lawyer Mark Fabiani then HAVE BOTH IN THE SAME BUILDING!!!!!

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/04/27/mayor-chargers-eye-an-l-a-live-for-san-diego/

    I DON’T CARE!!!! It’ll at least KILL this overdone Football-in-L.A. talk!!!!! If there’s no team or stadium NO MORE LOS ANGELES FOOTBALL TALK until it HAPPENS!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. ssraebel says: Apr 2, 2012 11:45 PM

    Max same comment for you too. Do you even have a clue? Go look up ticket sales for the NFL before your make your “opinion” and post it.

    Jacksonville has been an easy target because of the media not doing what they should be doing, research. Trouble selling tickets? The stadium in Jacksonville is bigger than the proposed stadium in LA.

    The comments about who is moving and why are laughable. The LA market is one thing and one thing only, leverage. It is the so called “promised land”. Every time a stadium needs to be built ie vikings the team is “considering a move” to LA.

    A team will probably eventually move because some town will not blink and come up with the taxpayer funds that a team tries to hold hostage. Probably because of a complete lack of funds.

    If LA were some truely great market the ground would have been broken on the stadium already. The TV market is one thing but a stadium that seats 65,000 and is 2/3 full in three or four years will case blackouts in the “promised land”.

    Expansion has already been mentioned anyway. Go google it before posting all the “informed” comments.

  35. footballfan292 says: Apr 3, 2012 12:04 AM

    Tampa will NOT move no matter what their attendance. And the reason why is because the Glazers are making a killer profit even if no one buys a ticket. That deal with Raymond James Stadium is probably the most owner-friendly deal in the league. The owners pay ZERO dollars for maintenance. The upkeep and upgrades are paid by the Tampa Sports Authority which is funded by the city. And Glazers collect the profit even from non-NFL events. And this deal isnt up until like 2030.

    The Bucs will not be moving anywhere.

  36. rajbais says: Apr 3, 2012 12:07 AM

    By the Way, Sam Farmer is wasting his damn time with this Los Angeles stadium crap!!!!

    What the hell is he getting out of this????

    Web hits, that’s for sure!!!

    Plus when it comes to evidence on why some teams will either move or not moved LA, his forms of evidence are garbage!!!!

    With the Chargers, all he said was “people say the Chargers.” Any concrete proof????? NO!!! There is literally nothing!!!!!

    With the Vikings (note: I DO NOT want the Vikings to leave Minnesota!!!! I love them there!!! ❤❤❤)
    all he said was “the NFL just will not let the Vikings leave!!!”But, really why??? Because Disney said so???

    Yes, Sam did mention that the Vikings former owner Red McCombs tried to move the Vikings to Los Angeles, but the NFL rejected it under Paul Tagliabue. But who is the commissioner today???

    Mr. Money Man,  Roger Goodell!!! Mr. 18 game schedule, Mr. public-relations freak, Mr. profits profits profits!!!!

    He would choose tradition over benefits????

    Please, no more Los Angeles stadium stuff until a team says “we’re moving to Los Angeles!!!”

  37. NFL In L.A. says: Apr 3, 2012 12:24 AM

    Vikings and Raiders. How could Zygi stay in Minnesota over Southern California?

  38. jimmylions says: Apr 3, 2012 1:00 AM

    Philip Anschutz needs to have his head examined. It has nothing to do with whether his LA investment will pay off. The idea of spending that much money on sports, while the rest of the world is in such an f—‘d up mess, is several degrees below shallow.

  39. th56 says: Apr 3, 2012 1:54 AM

    For crying out loud people, wake up! If the NFL wanted a team in LA they would have awarded it an expansion team long ago. LA best serves the other owners by giving them a credible threat of moving in order to get all their new stadiums built. Only when all the new stadiums get built, will you see a team in LA. There is just too much money to be made by the other owners by not having a team in LA.

  40. rollteal says: Apr 3, 2012 2:44 AM

    Refine from mentioning Jacksonville Jaguars and relocation in the same sentence until you realize the fact that there’s a lease with the COJ that will last until 2029. As there are plenty of other teams that are on year to year leases. With much worse stadium issues.

  41. RavenzGunnerz says: Apr 3, 2012 2:53 AM

    I believe an NFL team in LA would be successful. Why? teams might have failed there before, but times are changing.

    The game has becoming a fast paced passing game. If the NFL cuts out stoppages, I could see LA getting into the game.

    Plus, the weather is awesome for Football there. And as big city, it has many people who moved there from other parts of the country.

    It’s all possible.

  42. khmer379 says: Apr 3, 2012 3:01 AM

    LA resident quit dreamin! you wont have another purple and gold team in la isnt the lakers enough seriously make your own dam team instead of trying to steal others our stadium will be built once these retard stop playing political games cause the only time we going to Cali is for and nfc championship game in the future lol

  43. Jeremy Meyer says: Apr 3, 2012 4:13 AM

    Jaguars is out of the running to come to LA
    Rams I think are out for now but give it two years
    Vikings may be out of the running soon with bills being passed and it looks like they are finally moving in the direction of building a stadium in Min.
    Raiders, Chargers are still in the running, but I do think the Raiders and 49ers will come to a deal and share the Santa Clara stadium site.

    I do like the Dolphins idea and moving them from Miami to Los Angeles as the brand is pretty LA already.

    Also, I thought the Rams and Raiders moved because of stadium issues and that city of LA did not want to build another stadium and the commissioner said the coliseum was out of the question?

    Also AEG does not need LA money like so many before has needed and that is why this is moving ahead closer then so many before it.

  44. joetoronto says: Apr 3, 2012 5:24 AM

    All this talk about existing leases makes me laugh, as if they can’t be broken by buying them out.

  45. i10east says: Apr 3, 2012 7:54 AM

    So typical of the haters to bring up their obligatory ‘wishful’ NFL realignments with the ‘LA Jags’ that will not have a snowball’s chance in hell of happening, so keep on hating ‘traditionalists’. Yall are just jealous because the Jags are like Hanes T-shirts when it comes to PFT LA relocation possibilities, tagless.

  46. mrwillie says: Apr 3, 2012 10:04 AM

    Football is far to violent and mean spirited for the folks of Los Angeles. Just give them a Prius NASCAR league that serves green tea and the newest celebrity diet craze and they’ll forget all about the NFL.

  47. radrntn says: Apr 3, 2012 11:51 AM

    funny how you keep saying what ever team will have to pay the league…

    How much did the raiders pay the league to move back to oakland? My point exactly. Which means they won’t pay a penny either if they want to go back to LA.

  48. cags777 says: Apr 3, 2012 12:03 PM

    AEG has shown they can’t even run a small concert venue successfully in Minneapolis. What makes them believe they can successfully run an NFL team in L.A.?

  49. seals1 says: Apr 3, 2012 2:58 PM

    The only way the Vikings end up in LA is if Zygi says I’m tired of it,,,,,,,,i’m out of football.

    People on this site think because the weather is better in LA you should move the whole franchise from MSP. That and Zygi will not run the team anymore.

    Zygi is using,,,,,as he should,,,,,LA as his leverage and slowly but surely it’s working.

    Thanks LA for letting the Vikings use you as a puppet. Go get Botox and then hit up an afternoon drive by.

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