The plan to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles could be hitting a substantial roadblock.
After the L.A. City Council approved eight measures in September related to AEG’s proposal to build a stadium in downtown Los Angeles, the plan has potentially several issues that could derail the process.
According to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, the proposal is “essentially dead” to the NFL due to numerous issues with the plan.
“The numbers just don’t work, no matter how you look at the deal,” a league source told Cole in February. “It’s either too hard for AEG to make money [and pay the debt on the stadium] or too hard for the team. I just can’t see a way for it to work.”
AEG spokesman Michael Roth declined comment for the story and NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement the league continues to monitor the AEG proposal and remains interested in the Los Angeles market. However, any scenario that would involve AEG renting out the proposed $1.8 billion stadium to an NFL team “seems unworkable” according to Cole.
The gloomy outlook in Cole’s story by the league on the proposal could be an attempt to ultimately squeeze a better deal out of AEG with no other stadium projects currently viable in the Los Angeles market. Ultimately the city showed support for building a new stadium by unanimously approving the deal in September and AEG president Tim Leiweke has said they are open to changing the proposal.
The league has also been able to use the idea of teams relocating to Los Angeles to help pressure cities into renovating or building new stadiums with public dollars as well. Minnesota most recently felt the weight of Los Angeles looming as they approved a new stadium to replace the Metrodome. With no team in a position to relocate to L.A. next year, the NFL could now be turning the tables against AEG to leverage a better deal for the league.
However, it’s also hard to fathom that the NFL would be so quick to dismiss a proposal to build a stadium in Los Angeles that has significant public support without serious questions about the financial viability of the deal.