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Volume 24 No. 157
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NFL Weighs Alternate Finance Plans For An L.A. Stadium, Including Footing The Bill Itself

The NFL is "evaluating various sites in the L.A. area and looking into alternative financing models for a stadium, including paying for one itself as opposed to having an individual owner foot the bill," according to Sam Farmer of the L.A. TIMES. There are "two main financing scenarios." In the first, a club has a "stadium site and concept in mind, puts together a financing plan and looks to the league for help." The NFL "helps pay for the venue but also assesses a hefty relocation fee." The club then has "full control of the stadium." In the second scenario, the league "pays for the stadium, offsetting that $1-billion-plus investment by selling" naming rights and PSLs. The stadium then becomes the "home of one or two teams (perhaps to be named later), who don't have the astronomical cost of a stadium on their books." In theory, the relocation fee would be "smaller because the NFL benefits from those sponsorship sales" (L.A. TIMES, 7/20).

 The L.A. TIMES' Farmer noted the Rams, Chargers, and Raiders -- all of whom previously played in L.A. -- are "eyeing the market." Interest from those clubs is "not new," but for the first time "since the saga began, each team has what amounts to a year-by-year lease." With long-term TV and labor deals in place, and a "proven willingness to experiment with a new way of doing things -- witness changes to the Pro Bowl, draft and scouting combine -- there are indications the NFL is ready to make another run at L.A." The fact that the "iron is glowing hot doesn't guarantee a return to L.A. any time soon." But NFL execs and owners "insist the city is once again a bright blip on the radar screen" (L.A. TIMES, 7/20). The S.F. Chronicle's Scott Ostler said if a stadium is build in L.A., Raiders Owner Mark Davis "would take the team in a second." Ostler: "I think he likes Oakland and he keeps saying that's his No. 1 choice, but if they built a ballpark for him down there, he would go." S.F.'s KGMZ-FM's John Lund said, "I think they'd like to keep the team in Oakland, but the city of Oakland is making it very difficult" ("Yahoo Sports Talk Live," CSN Bay Area, 7/18).

CONSIDERING ALL OPTIONS: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he believes a new stadium in Oakland "is necessary," but he noted the city is "trying to balance a lot of issues ... both with baseball and with football, and we're looking for long-term solutions." Goodell: "We think a new stadium is required there. We know we have great fans there, but a stadium is important in making sure the team continues to be successful going forward." He said the league "won't rule it out" for Raiders and 49ers to share Levi Stadium, but the "first priority for Mark Davis and the Raiders is to get their own stadium." Goodell: "At some point in time that may be something he would consider. But right now his focus is on getting a new stadium for the Raiders" ("NFL Total Access," NFL Network, 7/18).