IF MICHAEL ROWS HIS BOAT ASHORE, WILL NFL SAY HALLELUJAH?
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).