A scarcity of temporary stadium options is slowing the National Football League’s plan to permanently move at least one franchise to Los Angeles. Just one of five L.A.-area sites the NFL eyed as temporary homes for a relocated franchise have expressed willingness to host a team, a report said Tuesday.
The NFL approached officials from five stadium sites last month to gauge their interest in hosting a pro football franchise during construction of a permanent arena elsewhere. University of Southern California officials said the school-operated Coliseum, home to the USC Trojans football team, could house one NFL team, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Of the four remaining sites, the StubHub Center and the Rose Bowl each opted not to respond to the NFL’s inquiry. Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium, which host professional baseball teams, did not provide a conclusive response. The NFL and MLB’s seasons intersect in August and September, which could lead to scheduling conflicts.
Three NFL franchises – the San Diego Chargers, the Oakland Raiders and the St. Louis Rams – have vowed to relocate to Los Angeles if they were unable to reach a deal for a new stadium in their current markets. League officials will meet later this month to discuss progress in the potential Los Angeles relocation and to hear presentations from the Carson and Inglewood, California stadium proposals.
It's unclear if the NFL's proposals to any of the four sites included financial terms. NFL stadium lease agreements vary. The Chargers' agreement to lease Qualcomm Stadium from the city of San Diego, for example, calls for the franchise to pay the city approximately $3 million per year. But clauses within the lease agreement require the city to offer rent credits to the Chargers based on concession and parking revenues, stadium suite use and property tax rebates. As a result, the city of San Diego was forced to pay the Chargers $3.2 million from 2006 to 2013, much to the chagrin of the lease’s critics.
The Raiders and Chargers announced a plan in February to jointly pursue a two-team, $1.7 billion NFL stadium in Carson, near downtown Los Angeles, if stadium talks fell through in their respective home cities. Rams owner Stan Kroenke is among the financial backers of the $1.86 billion project in Inglewood. Both Los Angeles stadium projects are privately financed.
The NFL has not set a formal timeline for a move to Los Angeles. Any relocation would have to be approved by 24 of the league’s 32 owners, and the franchise making the move would be subject to relocation fees.
New York Giants owner John Mara said this week that as many as two franchises could move to Los Angeles by the start of the 2016 season. “Maybe a temporary stadium, but I think – and this is just my opinion – that one or two teams will be playing somewhere in L.A. next year. But we’ll see,” Mara said Monday on WFAN 660 Radio in New York, according to Sports Illustrated.