NFL Committee Recommends Carson Stadium

     SAN DIEGO (CN) – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s six-member NFL owner’s committee overseeing relocation to Los Angeles has made a formal recommendation that the NFL owners go forward with the Carson stadium project that will house the Chargers and Raiders.
     The committee was choosing between competing stadium projects, both designed to end the NFL’s 21-year absence in Los Angeles. St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke also proposed a stadium in Inglewood, 13 miles from the Carson project.
     The committee recommended the Carson project 5-1, with Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt casting the dissenting vote, saying only one or none of the teams should move to L.A.
     Twenty-four votes are still needed for the teams’ relocation to Carson.
     Feeding into the NFL’s desire to tap into Hollywood’s glitz and glamour with L.A. relocation, the Chargers and Raiders have partnered Disney Chairman Bob Iger, who will oversee the stadium project and head its marketing.
     Iger joined Chargers Owner Dean Spanos at his presentation to the owners this morning in Houston.
     “Dean Spanos, Mark Davis and I talked about our passion for bringing the NFL back to Los Angeles,” Iger said in an interview with the team’s website.
     “We spoke from our hearts.”
     Iger said he felt the Carson stadium plan was a good central location for Chargers fans all over Southern California to come out to games, for what he said would be a “fan oriented experience.”
     The LA committee’s recommendation does not guarantee the Carson project will be the stadium proposal the NFL owners decide to go with, though. Yesterday, it was reported that a partnership proposed by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that would join the Rams and Chargers to join in the Inglewood project was gaining momentum. Late yesterday, USA Today reported that Spanos had zero interest in partnering with Kroenke.
     Kroenke’s proposed $2 billion stadium in Inglewood is considered more glitzy than the Carson project. The domed stadium is the centerpiece of an entertainment and retail project proposed by Kroenke.
     The two-team proposal for Carson is more traditional, with parking lots that allow fans to tailgate surrounding an eye-catching open-air stadium.
     The Chargers and Raiders would share the costs of the $1.7 billion stadium with financing from Goldman Sachs, which had a similar role in construction of the 49ers new stadium in Santa Clara.
     The NFL owners’ meeting kicked off today in Houston and is scheduled to wrap up tomorrow. The owners heard from the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams this morning as to why their respective teams should be moved to Los Angeles, ending the league’s 21-year absence from the nation’s second-largest television market.
     While the league tries to persuade the public that the time is simply right to return to L.A., in reality NFL owners will be deciding which proposal – or most likely what last-minute deal or compromise – will maximize league profits.

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