With Majestic Realty looking to put up a football stadium in the City of Industry, everyone knows the search is on for a team, and John Semcken, vice president at Majestic told Fanhouse this week that seven teams are being considered: Jacksonville, Buffalo, Minnesota, St. Louis, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Diego. Additionally, he also talks of bringing two teams to the area. And he references that lawsuit brought forth by the the good people of Walnut, who fear the tailgaters and traffic. Says Semcken: "We've got one lawsuit from one city (Walnut, which neighbors Industry) -- there are 88 cities in L.A. County. We've got one little city extorting us for money, plain and simple. When that's done, we're ready to go..." As for the "extortion" bit: According to a recent Pasadena Star-News piece, Semcken believes that the transportation changes Walnut is requesting will cost Majestic more than $76.9 million. In a letter to Walnut officials, Semcken wrote: "All of this appears to be an attempt to solve what appears to be all of the City of Walnut's existing traffic problems." Funny.
We had some more questions for Semcken, specifically about the teams. There have been rumors kicking around recently that the NFL knows what team is moving, but Semcken said he hasn't heard anything.
On those teams named, he tells us: "Those seven teams are having problems getting new stadiums, or having problems with their stadium [because of revenues]. The teams that are struggling-- it's either a stadium issue or they are in a market that’s too small.” In terms of any timeline, Semcken says that the Walnut issue "is the only thing we are waiting on," but that Majestic expects to settle with Walnut by the end of the year. (Majestic has already given out a cash payment to Diamond Bar.)
Meanwhile, at least two of those seven teams are contractually bound to their cities through 2011, according to the Los Angeles Times, Semcken says getting the team here is more of a priority than getting the stadium up. “The important thing is to get the team. If we settle by the end of the year, we could get a team to Los Angeles and they could play at the Rose Bowl,” he noted. “We’ve already designed the stadium? so that’ll move quickly.”
· Billionaire Ed Roski Wants Your NFL Team in Los Angeles [Fanhouse]
· Walnut Files Lawsuit Over Proposed NFL Stadium [Curbed LA]