The shakeup that resulted in AEG being off the market and CEO Tim Leiweke out of a job doesn’t change the company’s plan to bring the NFL back to L.A.
In fact, there’s a chance Thursday’s events intensify it.
“It’s time for the NFL to get serious and decide what they want to do,” Philip Anschutz told the Los Angeles Daily News. “It doesn’t do any good to sit on the sidelines all the time. Clearly a deal can get done. And by the way, this isn’t a terribly complicated deal to get done.”
He’s right, but the NFL won’t return to L.A. without the right deal. Translation, the deal that allows the NFL to make a killing, even if it leads to the possible death of its partner. Though Anschutz isn’t the type to be steamrollered, snookered, or bamboozled, he’s showing a bit too much of a desire to get this done, which the NFL can and will use against him.
“I’ve been in the deal-making business for almost 50 years now,” Anschutz said. “I’ve made a lot of them.
“I think [Thursday's announcement] is a strong signal that structuring a deal should not be hard. There is nothing magic. We own 100-percent interests of venues around the world and partial interests of ventures around the world. We own 100-percent sports teams and we own partial sports teams. There’s no magic here.”
It’s not about magic. It’s about money. The NFL won’t return to L.A. until it can do the right deal. In other words, the best deal.
Anschutz’s words and actions suggest that he wants to do a deal. Which means that the league will continue to keep its heels dug in until Anschutz agrees to the best deal for the league.
Even if it’s a bad deal for Anschutz.