As Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times recently said during an episode of PFT Live, the biggest threat to the push for a new stadium in L.A. comes from a slowing of the momentum toward a deal.
The momentum train received a hot salsa enema on Thursday night, when AEG president Tim Leiweke said that his boss, Philip Anschutz, is prepared to purchase majority interest in a team — and that AEG has spoken to five franchises about this possibility.
According to the Orange County Register (via SportsBusiness Daily), the teams are the Vikings, Chargers, Rams, Raiders, and Jaguars.
“St. Louis, Jacksonville, not extensively, certainly Oakland, San Diego, Minnesota are still in the mix,” Leiweke said. “We’re not packing any [moving] vans right now.”
Leiweke also said that AEG is prepared to pay any fees associated with a team getting out of its current lease. “Just as an example, if it’s San Diego, they would have to pay $24 million under their agreement to get out of the lease,” Leiweke said. “We would pay that.”
In our view, that helps make the Vikings the top candidate, given that after the 2011 season the cost of getting out of the lease at the Metrodome will be zero dollars, and zero cents.
Leiweke undoubtedly made the disclosure in order to build momentum toward the finalization of a “memorandum of understanding” with the Los Angeles City Council. Leiweke has said that the so-called “MOU” must be finalized by July 31 in order to keep the project on track.
“If it [the council] goes away for the summer without the MOU we’ve got to rekindle this again in mid-September and we’re not going to make 2016,” Leiweke said. “If we get the MOU by July 31st, what it proves to the NFL is that we could in fact get a deal done here.”
Meanwhile, anyone in Minnesota who hopes to keep the Vikings from going the way of the Lakers should realize that, if they don’t get a deal done for a new stadium in Minnesota soon, the time for packing the moving vans could be coming.