Tuesday, January 27, 2009

15 Years Later, The NFL Still Teases L.A.

The L.A. Times notes that talk continues to heat up over making L.A. the host city for Super Bowl L in 2016 -- 50 years after Los Angeles hosted the first Super Bowl -- even though the city still doesn't have a pro football team. What's more, talk of a team moving into L.A. continues to center on the San Diego Chargers, which recently hired Wasserman Media Group to market the franchise in L.A. and Orange County.

Writes the paper:
Possible motivations aside, this much is clear: The Chargers, who have been working on a San Diego stadium solution for seven years and so far have been unsuccessful, are better positioned to move than any other NFL team.

Beginning on Super Bowl Sunday -- of all days -- the Chargers will have a three-month window in which to relocate. And, under the team's current lease terms with the city of San Diego, that window will reopen every year from this point forward. The city cannot sue the Chargers or the NFL to block a move, provided it is paid a $56-million lease-termination fee that will decrease over time.

"We're definitely a lot closer to the end of this process than the beginning," said Fabiani, adding that the club has spent $10 million to fully explore stadium options around San Diego County, most recently two sites in Chula Vista. "This is not a process that can go on forever."

At stake for the Chargers is the head start they have over other NFL franchises that also are likely to be mulling relocation. The Oakland Raiders and Minnesota Vikings, for instance, are bound to their cities through the 2011 season.

The issue in L.A. has always been, where would a relocated team play?

The latest option is Ed Roski's proposed stadium in Industry, which should have all of its approvals in place by this spring and then will receive the go-ahead from the NFL to formally approach potential tenants.

Fifteen years after the Raiders and the Rams both left the market, Angelenos have heard this sort of talk too many times now to pay much attention just yet.Sup

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