By Scott M. Reid, Staff Writer
April 24, 2015 – Updated 7:37 p.m.
NEW YORK – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, after months of expressing caution about the league’s possible return to Los Angeles, characterized stadium projects in Inglewood and Carson on Friday as “viable” with the potential for long term success.
Goodell’s comments to reporters and editors Friday were his most encouraging to date about the NFL’s return to the Los Angeles-Orange County market after a more than 20-year absence.
The commissioner also said a St. Louis group proposing a new stadium to keep the Rams in Missouri is on a “positive path.”
The NFL also is considering moving up the league’s window in which franchises can apply for relocation, Goodell said. The current window runs from Jan. 1 to Feb. 15.
Goodell’s comments came two days after Rams owner Stan Kroenke and the Chargers and Raiders presented their plans for stadiums in Inglewood and Carson, respectively, to the NFL’s Committee on Los Angeles Opportunities. The committee also heard from a St. Louis stadium task force behind plans for a $985-million venue on the city’s downtown waterfront.
Goodell said both Kroenke’s plans to build a $1.86-billion stadium at Hollywood Park, and the Raiders’ and Chargers’ plans for a $1.65-billion stadium next to I-405 have the potential “to be successful for generations going forward.”
“Yes, we do think the projects are viable,” Goodell said. “Both of them are entitled. We think the progress is very exciting. They have a great deal of potential to be successful.”
Goodell echoed comments by NFL senior vice president Eric Grubman last month that the league is considering moving up the relocation deadline to ease the transition to a new market for teams potentially moving to Los Angeles. Goodell said he discussed the deadline issue with the Los Angeles committee earlier this week.
“We have contemplated that,” Goodell said. “…It is possible we would move that window up but a lot has to happen before. I don’t see making that decision before the end of the summer.”
Some team officials expect the deadline change to be in place by the league’s fall meetings scheduled for Oct. 6-7 in New York.
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