SBD/October 7, 2011/Facilities

NFL Reportedly Not Yet On Board With AEG's L.A. Stadium Proposal

Sources said that AEG's plans would need significant changes to gain NFL support
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a meeting last month told L.A. Council member Jan Perry and political aide Bernard Parks, Jr. that "neither the league nor any team interested in moving" to L.A. "would agree to the business proposal set forth" by AEG, according to sources cited by Jason Cole of YAHOO SPORTS. One source said that Goodell “was optimistic about many parts of the proposal,” but Cole noted it “was clear that significant changes must occur before the league would be interested.” Another source said, “He was very complimentary of a lot of the project, so it wasn’t all negative. But he laid out the problems the league sees.” Cole notes, "One underlying question regarding the NFL’s stance on the downtown site is whether this is simply part of negotiations. Another question is whether the NFL has pushed the downtown idea completely aside in favor of [Majestic Realty Chair & CEO Ed] Roski’s project in the City of Industry." An NFL source said, “If Roski were to put together a favorable package, I think this thing could get done there pretty fast.” CBS NFL analyst Charley Casserly last Sunday hinted that Roski’s site “could be pulling ahead.” AEG is proposing “a landlord-tenant relationship it has successfully developed” with the Lakers, Clippers and NHL Kings. All of those teams play at the Staples Center, “which is across the street from the proposed stadium.” In essence, AEG “sells the tickets, advertising and sponsorship deals for those teams, takes a cut and then pays the teams.” However, the NFL “is a different beast.” Five NFL team execs have said that “what AEG is asking for is not acceptable for an NFL team.” An NFC team exec said, “You’re talking about a team being disconnected from season ticketholders and rights holders. There’s no team that will do that and I don’t think you can get approval from the rest of the owners for an arrangement like that.” Another issue that NFL owners "have recoiled at: The effort by AEG to buy equity in a team at a perceived discounted price" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 10/6).
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