Magic Johnson’s pleas may soon be turning into results as pro football appears one step closer to returning to the City of Angels. L.A.’s City Council rendered the unanimous vote of 12-0 which approved the blueprint and framework for a stadium built by AEG, making this the first time the body of decision makers has ever approved another NFL-ready establishment within city limits. For those wondering, USC reserves the first right of refusal for a league return to The Coliseum. Interesting news indeed, and probably the most promising for a city and legion of supporters which have been through the ringer more than T.I. fans for nearly 20 years.
On the surface, it appears like a win-win all around. One of the country’s biggest markets could potentially have a team featured in the country’s unchallenged number one sport. Of course, Cali’s tricky economy plays a large part in things, but those hurdles appear to be more in the rearview mirror. Still, there’s a reason why most residents of the city will continue to have a poker place until some billionaire businessman cuts a giant ribbon with a HGH-like pair of scissors.
L.A. Times writer Sam Farmer did the dirty work and broke down a list a questions and answers sensitive to the situation. Here’s three which may be of interest.
1. If it seems like this seemingly came out of the clear blue sky, the new labor deal can be credited for it. In an ideal world, every franchise would be making money hand over fist. But it’s 2011 and the economy still sucks worse than a porn star attempting to meet a quota and for one of those franchises barely keeping themselves out of the red, a move to L.A. may be the best investment.
2. There appears to be two bodies competing in an arms race to see who builds the stadium. The previously mentioned AEG has already been approved, but still needs to get the site squared away as well convincing a team to pick up and move out West. Grand Crossing, formerly known as The Industry, has a site and every clearance known to man to begin building. The only thing they’re missing is a small, but necessary feature – architectural plans.
3. At this point, the Chargers appear to the favorite to move to LaLa land. Having been in the talks for awhile, not many really expect the Vikings to move from Minnesota, even with their need for a new stadium. The Jags and Bills are possibilities, but may require more headache than anything else. As for L.A.’s old team, the Rams, coming home again, they’re in St. Louis to at least 2014 and word around this project is that AEG does not feel like waiting any longer than it already has to.
As for the Raiders, well, they’re a dark horse candidate as well, but do not appear to be AEG’s number one option. Seeing Al Davis’ band o’ goons back in the city where they became culturally famous in Hip-Hop would be a great look, even though Davis – who eerily resembles the crypt keeper from Tales From The Crypt – allegedly loves The Bay. Football and Los Angeles, though? Eazy-E would surely approve of such.
L.A. Getting Closer And Closer To Getting The NFL Back [LA Times]