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THERE'S A FEELING OVITZ GETS, WHEN HE LOOKS TO JERRY WEST
Published September 18, 1998
Lakers Exec VP Jerry West "has agreed" to join Michael Ovitz's ownership group that is trying to bring an NFL team to L.A., according to T.J. Simers of the L.A. TIMES. West, who has been "given permission" by Lakers Owner Jerry Buss to "moonlight as an advisor for the football project," will travel to K.C. with Ovitz for an October 27 presentation to all 31 NFL owners. Ovitz gave plans to NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue this week for a privately financed 78,000- seat stadium on a 158-acre site in Carson, CA, calling it "'the Hacienda,' which will be surrounded by an entertainment-geared mall." Ovitz: "I think this Hacienda concept, where it's located ... linked as it is to this mall concept with fan [amenities] -- I think a lot of that has people very excited." Tagliabue, asked whether the plan put the Ovitz group ahead of the New Coliseum Partners: "I think it does in terms of the attractiveness of the facility. Whether it does in terms of the viability of making it happen, I'd say it's a tossup and one of the reasons we're having a meeting in October." Tagliabue also said that after the October meeting, he expects Houston to be "100% there with signed documents" for a publicly-funded stadium as well as ownership in business exec Bob McNair, which is more than either L.A. group would offer (L.A. TIMES, 9/18). WHO IS ANSCHUTZ? NHL Kings co-Owner & MLS Rapids/Fire investor Philip Anschutz, who is behind the New Coliseum Partners, is profiled by Lewis MacAdams of LOS ANGELES. When people were asked, "Who is Philip Anschutz?" in L.A., "nobody had an answer." Requests for interviews for the piece "were ignored," and nearly everyone who knows Anschutz "personally refused to talk," including his L.A. partner, Ed Roski. But MacAdams adds that anyone who did talk about Anschutz "had only praise" for him, and about the worst thing they said was "that he's cheap." But MacAdams writes that Anschutz may have to have a higher profile to win the city's trust to land an NFL team. When the L.A. Times' T.J. Simers urged him to be more open with the public, saying that "the last thing the NFL wants or L.A. needs ... is a team with a faceless absentee owner," Anschutz said that "just wasn't his style" (LOS ANGELES, 10/98 issue).