By Sam Farmer
March 23, 2015
Even though no teams have announced plans to relocate, and there have been no formal stadium presentations, several influential NFL owners believe a Los Angeles solution is within reach.
“I really believe that in the next year we’ll have two teams in that market,” New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Monday during a break from the annual owners meetings. “I think there are good plans, we have a committee that’s working with the owners, and we have some real good options.”
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones echoed that “a solution is in the crosshairs.”
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson says the L.A. game has changed now that it’s existing team owners proposing solutions, as opposed to stadium developers trying to attract teams.
“Owners of teams are the only ones who can make the decisions,” Johnson said. “The developers can do all they want, but until the owner of a team wants to go out there, it’s not going to happen. When they decide they want to go out there. Things happen.”
The NFL has ruled out any teams moving this season, with an eye toward filling the most conspicuous vacancy in sports by 2016. St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke intends to build a football stadium as the centerpiece of a massive development at Hollywood Park. San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos and Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis have partnered to form a competing proposal in Carson.
Kraft said that it might be just one team that relocates to L.A., but that two would be preferable.
“I think to support the financial commitment of doing the kind of stadium that’s necessary in L.A., you’ll need the resources of two teams,” he said.
Both the Hollywood Park and Carson proposals call for stadiums that are two-team compliant, including identical home locker rooms and separate but identical suites for two different owners. Kraft said the league can look to the Giants and Jets sharing a stadium as equal partners as a model, and, in fact, Davis has spoken to Mara about using that as a template for an L.A. arrangement.
Owners of all 32 teams got an hourlong update from league staff Monday on what’s happening with both L.A. proposals, a briefing Jones called “the most thorough information session I can remember” on the topic.
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