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IF MICHAEL ROWS HIS BOAT ASHORE, WILL NFL SAY HALLELUJAH?
Published April 30, 1998
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and a "quartet of NFL heavyweights," will begin a three-day fact-finding tour of L.A. on Monday, "but much to the disappointment of those courting league favor, it will not set a target date for the return of football," according to T.J. Simers of the L.A. TIMES. NFL Exec VP/League & Football Development Roger Goodell said that the league is "focused on getting things completed in Cleveland" before focusing on L.A. Simers wrote that while the league is "becoming increasingly enamored" with Michael Ovitz's plan for a stadium-mall complex in Carson, they "intend to contact" reps from Hollywood Park, the New Coliseum Project, Fox and South Park. Tagliabue will be joined by Goodell, NFL President Neil Austrian and Stadium Committee Chair/Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson. Simers added that Ovitz "appears to have made quite an impression on NFL officials, who like his ties to the entertainment industry." He has given the NFL a list of potential investors from L.A., "including some Hollywood actors." He has also met with NFL officials in New York and "convinced them that environmental concerns about the property, previously a dump site for hazardous waste, will not be a significant roadblock" (L.A. TIMES, 4/29).