SBD/February 7, 2011/Facilities

Goodell Says NFL's Return To L.A. Plays Prominent Role In CBA Talks

Goodell believes NFL can return to L.A. either downtown (top), or in City of Industry
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Friday in his State of the League address said that he "will advocate for a new collective bargaining agreement between the league and its players that would help return professional football to Southern California," according to Vincent Bonsignore of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. Goodell said that L.A. "plays a prominent role in the outcome" of the CBA negotiations. Goodell: "We have to get the collective bargaining agreement addressed in such a way as to make it so that is a smart investment that can be financed so that we can create the kind of economic activity in Los Angeles that I believe can happen, if we're successful, whether it be downtown or out at the City of Industry." Goodell's comments came three days after AEG announced a $700-900M naming-rights deal with Farmers Insurance for a proposed downtown L.A. stadium, and Goodell said that the deal is a "significant step." Goodell: "I think it's an obvious, a positive development because it's an important revenue stream. But even with that positive development, the financing of the stadium in Los Angeles is still a very difficult proposition." Goodell stressed that the league "can help ... but will need collaboration and cooperation from the players and owners as they negotiate their next labor agreement" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 2/5). ESPN DALLAS' Tim MacMahon noted "other prominent NFL figures expressed optimism this week that Los Angeles would land a franchise soon." Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones said of the Farmers deal, "To me that is a major indication of the viability of a franchise in Los Angeles. That's significant money no matter who you are, so I think that is a big plus." Steelers President Art Rooney II: "Hopefully we'll get another one back there by at least 2016." But Goodell said that he "does not want any of the NFL's 32 franchises to change locations" (ESPNDALLAS.com, 2/4).

ON THE CHARGERS
: In San Diego, Nick Canepa noted Goodell touched on the "Chargers stadium situation," and he "basically exercised caution when discussing the recent Los Angeles dog-and-pony show" announcing the Farmers deal. Goodell: "The Chargers have been committed to getting a solution for their stadium in San Diego for, I believe, well over eight years now. They've spent an extraordinary amount of time and resources to try and develop those solutions and they still continue to this day. We want to keep teams where they are. They want the Chargers to be in San Diego, and so does the NFL. But we need to find a solution to the stadium issue in San Diego." Chargers President Dean Spanos: "I don't know how many times I have to say it. It's been very consistent. We continue to work on getting something done in downtown San Diego. The Los Angeles issue is theirs, not mine. My focus is in San Diego, and it has its challenges. But L.A. also has its challenges. It's in California. ... I do know we're closer to the end of this process than we are the beginning. We haven't given up, not by any means." Goodell cautioned the financing of an L.A. stadium is a "very difficult proposition." Goodell: "There are some great opportunities, but we have to recognize that cost is associated with that and address it in a way that incentivizes everyone to make those kind of investments." Canepa wrote, "It's good to see Goodell was not overly moved by the typical Hollywood glitz that offered far more promise than substance" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 2/5).

CALIFORNIA QUESTIONS: In S.F., Matier & Ross reported California Gov. Jerry Brown's "plan to wipe out redevelopment agencies might be the kiss of death for Santa Clara's proposed 49ers stadium -- and also for hopes of building new homes for either the Raiders or A's in Oakland." Santa Clara officials have said that they "agreed to contribute up to $42 million in redevelopment money as part of the Niners' $937 million stadium deal." Santa Clara acting Assistant City Manager Carol McCarthy said losing that money would be "devastating." McCarthy added that it is "still unclear whether either Santa Clara or the 49ers could find the $42 million from other sources" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/6). In S.F., John Diaz noted the 49ers "claim they have the approvals in place to lock in those funds," and Gov. Brown has said that his plan "would not affect existing debt or agreements." The implications "could be more serious in Oakland and San Diego, which have more ambitious yet less-advanced visions of using new stadiums to attract retail and commercial development in areas that would otherwise sit fallow or blighted" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/6).
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