AEG has talked with five NFL teams about relocating to Los Angeles
The fact that the Southern California-based AEG corporation is interested in bringing an NFL team back to Los Angeles may be the worst-kept secret in America. But the company, owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz and run by president Tim Leiweke (brother of former Seattle Seahawks CEO Tod), expressed real and concrete interest in moving a team to SoCal — the first time in 16 years that the league would be located there — for a Thursday story in the Orange County Register.
"St. Louis, Jacksonville, not extensively, certainly Oakland, San Diego, Minnesota are still in the mix," Leiweke told reporter Scott M. Reed, when asked which franchises AEG had been talking to. Leiweke then added: "We're not packing any [moving] vans right now."
Leiweke then put it all on the table and said that AEG would be willing to pay to get a team out of a current stadium lease, citing the $24 million payment the Chargers would apparently have to make to get out of their current agreement.
However, in a recent Associated Press story, representatives of the Chargers and Raiders insisted that majority shares were not for sale, and the Vikings are trying to get their own stadium deal done.
When speaking to a group in Pacific Palisades on Thursday, according to Reid, Leiweke said that the $1.35 billion project to build Farmers Field (the as-yet nonexistent L.A. football field with a current name sponsor in Farmers Insurance) and renovate the Los Angeles Convention Center would bring $45 million per year in new taxes placed on hotel stays, property, employees and sales. AEG is currently negotiating a lease for the property on which the new stadium will stand; it's assumed that any team could play in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum until a new stadium was built.
AEG is also committing to write checks to cover any bridge between a debt on stadium bonds and revenue created, and the company is trying to get a memorandum of understanding with the Los Angeles City Council by July 31, according to Reid. If that happens, AEG can move forward, and would certainly want to enter into more comprehensive and aggressive talks with a current NFL team, or with the NFL about a new team.
Where this becomes interesting is that in order to end the current lockout (by choice or by force), it's almost certain that the owners will have to make concessions they don't want to make in order to avoid more stringent penalties by an Eighth Circuit Court that now seems more committed to ending the lockout, even if it shortfalls both sides. The bill for that will fall in the lap of Roger Goodell, and the best way for Goodell to save his own bacon will be to facilitate the sale of a team, or the expansion of the league, and the fat fees those moves generally put in the pockets of all owners.
In other words, when labor peace exists again, job one for Goodell will be to refill the coffers to the levels the owners expected when this labor standoff began, and AEG may be the organization willing — and able — to do so.
[QUOTE=Astoria;4046066]Wow, Minnesota...I always thought they had a large, loyal fanbase.[/QUOTE]
They do but they also have a bad ownership, revenue and stadium situation right now.
[QUOTE]Hope it's not Oakland. L.A. is not the place right now for a Raiders team that is going to attract wannabe thugs to parking lot fights.[/QUOTE]
+1 Especially after the Dodgers incident putting a SF Giants fan in a coma the last thing they need is to add Raider fan gangbangers to the local market. However, it can't be ignored that while LA (a larger market) has zero NFL teams the San Francisco Bay Area has 2. That just doesn't make sense on the face of it. LA has 2 baseball teams, 2 basketball teams and even 2 NHL teams. Not having a NFL team for over a decade is a crime.
[QUOTE]Where are the Jills in all this speculation?[/QUOTE]
My money would be on the Chargers moving, although I don't want to see that happen. Jacksonville seems like another option due to their horrible track record of attendance.
The team on the list that surprises me the most, I guess, is St. Louis. I kind of thought they were doing pretty well in attendance. I don't know if their stadium deal is up soon, but they must have gotten a sweetheart deal 15 years ago or so, because it's pretty short-sighted to leave the No. 2 market in the country to go to St. Louis. The same goes for the Houston Oilers, who left a top-five market to go to Nashville, just because they got a better stadium deal.
That said, if the Rams are the team to go back to Los Angeles, that might be for the best anyway, since that's the home of most of that franchise's history.
[QUOTE=Flagman5A;4046100]The Jags need to go. Their empty stadium is a joke.[/QUOTE]
I agree. I was shocked when they got a team in the 1st place. The other markets are all bigger than Jacksonville. Minnesota is a possiblility, but I think they will get their stadium situation cleared up.
I think the LA Jags will become a reality.[/QUOTE]
Jags would be the best fit. Del Rio's from Cali, and is a good HC worth keeping. The only other team that might be a better fit are the Chargers, If their stadium deal in SD doesn't go through. Spanos wants out of SD if they don't get it.
There are no Joe Bruno's or Shelly Silvers out in LA who are going to stop Anschutz, and his group, like they did here in NY to a meek Woody Johnson. Good for LA.
Last edited by 2009fatman; 06-12-2011 at 06:07 PM.
STL, SD and Oakland are definite possibilities. Vikings are using LA to extort a tax-payer funded dome from Minnesota. Don't understand how the Jags could possibly want to remain in Jacksonville after the lease on their current stadium expires.
[QUOTE=82nd Airborne;4046092]Who pays the bill for a new stadium? If I was a LA resident, I would say GFY to owners and transnational corporates. If Phil Anschutz wants to pave his way to LA, he should fork the costs.[/QUOTE]
Thats why his proposal doesnt have money coming from resident taxes.
It comes from taxes created ON-SITE, paid by users of the facility.
(a tax on a cup of soda you purchase while watching the game, for example).