HOLLYWOOD PARK'S NFL BID ADDS A TROJAN HORSE WITH JOHN MCKAY
John McKay, son of the former USC and Bucs coach, "has
agreed to be the point man in Hollywood Park's renewed
efforts to build a football stadium for an NFL expansion
team in time to play in 2001," according to T.J. Simers of
the L.A. TIMES. McKay, who was hired by Hollywood Park CEO
R.D. Hubbard, "intends to deliver a draft of a finance plan
for a new stadium in Inglewood to NFL owners before their
annual meetings in March." McKay gives Hollywood Park a
spokesperson "with immediate access to NFL owners because of
his name. He also has a sense of history and an intimate
knowledge of present-day circumstances to make him more
effective locally." Simers added that there "has been an
obvious shift in NFL momentum in recent weeks as it relates"
to L.A. and "there is now a strong feeling in the NFL front
office that it is time to prepare" L.A. as the logical
choice for a second expansion team after Cleveland in '99.
McKay: "I took a harder look at Hollywood Park when I became
convinced it was not going to happen at the Coliseum."
While Dodgers Owner Peter O'Malley and News Corp. have
expressed an interest in football in L.A., the NFL is "still
concerned" that O'Malley and News Corp. "will not be able to
react in time to meet the window of opportunity that will
exist if Cleveland gets its expansion franchise." Simers
added that Hollywood Park "is probably the only site" in the
L.A. area "that can take advantage of the NFL's window of
opportunity." McKay said he will soon begin meeting with
potential owners and interested parties (L.A. TIMES, 11/15).