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NFL OWNERS APPROVE HOLLYWOOD PARK PLAN FOR RAIDERS
Published May 25, 1995
The NFL owners yesterday approved a plan to build a new $200M football stadium in Hollywood Park in what was called a "huge step toward keeping the Raiders in Los Angeles," according to Steve Springer in today's L.A. TIMES. Owners voted 27-1, with the Jets voting against, and the Redskins and Seahawks abstaining (L.A. TIMES, 5/25). THE PLAN: 1) The new stadium will receive at least one Super Bowl, in 2000, with a second game possible in 2005 (Will McDonough, BOSTON GLOBE, 5/25). 2) The Raiders are obligated to play the next two seasons (while waiting for the construction to be completed) in the L.A. area. 3) The Raiders will be allowed to market Super Bowl tickets equal to the number of club seats already sold, up to a maximum of 10,000. 3) The second NFL tenant will be required to pay Raiders Owner Al Davis half the amount he puts into the stadium project. 4) Hollywood Park will be required to shut down its gambling operations on the days of the two Inglewood Super Bowls. Hollywood Park racetracks officials "do not object" to the shutdown before and during games, but "are expected to oppose a continued shutdown" once games are over (L.A. TIMES, 5/25). 5) Clubs agree to waive their visiting team shares of premium club seat revenue at the new stadium for up to 12 years, an additional $50M or more (Greg Cote, MIAMI HERALD, 5/25). In S.F., Glenn Dickey writes, "Some details have already been negotiated. Davis would get a small percentage of concessions, parking and advertising and the revenue from the luxury boxes. Hollywood Park would get the revenue from club seating, in return for which the Raiders would play rent-free" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/25). STRINGS ATTACHED? In Washington, Dave Sell writes "there are strings" to the second Super Bowl. The plan states that a second Super Bowl will be awarded after the league acquires, through negotiation, an option to place a second team in the new stadium for the '98 season. The stadium would not lose that second Super Bowl if the league "declined to exercise that option" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/25). In L.A., Ron Rapaport writes to Davis: "Can you be sure -- can you be absolutely sure -- that the new stadium will sell out any more often than the Coliseum does? That is the one nasty uncertainty about running a sports franchise in L.A., isn't it, Al?" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 5/25). THE NEW TEAM: In San Francisco, Glenn Dickey reports that the "earliest" a second team would be in L.A. would be for the '98 season. But league sources think it is more likely a second team would not be added "for at least another five seasons" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/25). The second L.A. area team, however, "doesn't necessarily" have to play at Hollywood Park -- with Anaheim Stadium also possible (Michele Himmelberg, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 5/25). DEADLINE FOR DAVIS: The league imposed a deadline of June 1 for the Raiders and Hollywood Park to close the deal. NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue appointed a three-man committee consisting of 49ers President Carmen Policy, Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen, and Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson to assist the Raiders and Hollywood Park "in consummating the deal" (Thomas George, N.Y. TIMES, 5/25). Many reports note that despite having the Hollywood Park option, Davis is still uncertain on what he will do. Davis: "All it [represents] is another option. Put it in the mix and stir it up with everything else we've looked at" (Len Pasquarelli, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 5/25). Davis: "Under ideal conditions, we could be (at Hollywood Park) in a week, or in another venue in a week. It's all in place." In Orange County, Michelle Himmelberg writes, "In other words, Davis is ready to make a decision, the paperwork is ready for him to sign" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 5/25). LEAGUE REAX: In New York, Thomas George notes "an uncomfortable feeling among some owners that the Raiders would be playing in a complex that will have horse racing and casino venues adjacent to the stadium (N.Y. TIMES, 5/25). Dolphins VP/GM Eddie Jones: "We traded inventory for stability" (MIAMI HERALD, 5/25). Chiefs Owner Lamar Hunt: "We've already lost the Rams in Los Angeles, we can't to lose the Raiders. It is just too important to the health of the league" (John Helyar, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/25). ALWAYS OPTIMISTIC: In Oakland, city and Coliseum reps were "unmoved" by Wednesday's developments. East Bay officials said Davis told them Wednesday, after the meetings, "not to write him off." Oakland Deputy City Manager: "As long as he hasn't made a decision, we have a legitimate chance" (Poole & Li, OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 5/25). Coliseum Board President George Vukasin: "Our proposal is very much on the table, probably better than the one at Hollywood Park" (Rick DelVecchio, S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/25). ATLANTA CHANCES FOR SUPER BOWL HURT? In Atlanta, Len Pasquarelli reports that the Super Bowls awarded to Hollywood Park may hurt the city's chances of a Super Bowl in 2000. Atlanta was one of six cities vying for the 2000 game. Atlanta Sports Council Exec Dir Robert Morgan: "We're disappointed at the possibility of not being able to bid on the 2000 game, but hope to be considered for future ones" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 5/25). Boston's megaplex vote put them in the mix for the 2001 game. The league plans to address future Super Bowl sites at its fall meeting in Chicago in October (Nick Pugliese, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 5/25).