Sports fans and pundits get excited over the idea of having two places to see live pro football, but the reality is there can only be one. According to reports, the NFL will select an L.A. area venue to house a team before the next Super Bowl in February.
Meanwhile, Stan Kroenke, St. Louis Rams owner; Dean Spanos, owner of the San Diego Chargers and Mark Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, pitched other NFL owners this week during a special update meeting for the Los Angeles market. The three owners all want to relocate their teams to Los Angeles, and gave presentations during a meeting in Schaumburg, Ill, outside Chicago.
Inglewood has its eye on Kroenke, whose purchase of 60 acres near Hollywood Park signaled more than a ploy to get St. Louis to meet his demands.
NFL owners reportedly listened to the presentation for an Inglewood stadium for about an hour. The stadium is projected to cost about $1.9 million, and would be financed with private money. There are also plans for a proposed entertainment center.
At the same time, the Kroenke team argued against staying in St. Louis. Despite efforts by civic leaders there to entice the billionaire with a proposal for a riverfront stadium, Kroenke made it clear he wants out. He is hoping the former LA Rams, who left after the 1994 season, will become the LA Rams again.
The Rams contend that the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission (CVC) defaulted on its obligation to keep the Edward Jones Dome among the top tier stadiums in the NFL. By declining terms of arbitration to refurbish the stadium, the Rams had the right to convert the lease to year-to-year with the right to relocate.
The proposed Inglewood site would be built to accommodate virtually every major sporting event from Super Bowls to World Cups. Built into the design is room for a second team, “should the league ask them to bring on the Raiders or Chargers as partners,” according to the L.A. Times.
NFL owners also heard proposals by the competing Carson venue, which would accommodate both the Chargers and Raiders. San Diego has proposed building a new stadium for the Chargers; talk of a new ballpark in Oakland is more tentative, the Sporting News (http://www.sportingnews.com) said.
San Diego and Oakland both play in the oldest stadiums in the league. Owners complain that the outdated venues have affected their revenue. A shiny new Los Angeles venue would boost sales and attendance.
The Inglewood City Council voted unanimously to clear the way for a sports venue on Feburary 24. Ground is expected to be broken at the site in December.