It's been a 20 year battle (so far) to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles, but in 2015 it finally seems like it might really be happening. Again. For the millionth time. Mysterious sources inside the NFL claimed last fall that the league would return in the next couple years (with one or possibly even two teams) and meanwhile there's been a mad rush to develop the stadium plan that will be most enticing to the notoriously controlling NFL. There are now six potential sites on the table, ranging from silly dreams to serious business, and from Dodger Stadium to Downtown to the San Gabriel Valley. Here's a brief guide:
The plan: Just last month, St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke announced he's joining up with the firms redeveloping Inglewood's Hollywood Park racetrack on a proposal for an 80,000-seat NFL stadium with parking and 6,000-seat entertainment venue to sit adjacent to the huge Hollywood Park development, which will have residential, retail, and office space, plus hotels and parks.
Public burden: The developers say their plan won't use any public funding, but they do want up to $100 million in tax breaks and reimbursements for infrastructure upgrades and other improvements around the development.
The odds: Better than anyone else. Kroenke already owns an NFL team (which has just announced it's going year-to-year on its lease in St. Louis), so he has some pull with the NFL, and he and his partners have cleverly opted to put the plan on the ballot in Inglewood (they've already collected twice as many signatures as they need). A public vote could circumvent California's long, strict, and legally-vulnerable environmental review process. Then again, the newest NFL stadium plan always looks the best.
The plan: In 2012, Los Angeles tripped over itself to approve Farmers Field, a 72,000-seat stadium in Downtown LA's South Park, developed by Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the neighboring LA Live and Staples Center. Plans also included a major overhaul for the aging Los Angeles Convention Center.
Public burden: Los Angeles agreed to issue about $300 million in bonds, which would be repaid by AEG.
The odds: Ok, not great. In late 2012, AEG briefly put itself up for sale and its president/CEO, who'd been driving the Farmers Field plan, left the company. In early 2013, the NFL let it get out that they hated the plan and that it was "essentially dead" to them. Meanwhile, the city started moving ahead with a plan to update the Convention Center without AEG's help. Still, they agreed last fall to extend the company's deadline to come up with an NFL team to play at the site.
City of Industry
The plan: In 2008, developer Majestic Realty announced plans to build a 600-acre entertainment zone with a 75,000-seat stadium in Industry, a tiny city deep in the San Gabriel Valley (it has only a couple hundred residents). ESPN described the "football utopia" depicted in renderings: "The colorful schematics illustrate surfers in wave pools, gondolas in which fans fly over the site, concert stages, an 'NFL Experience' area with punt, pass and kick competitions, a BMX course, and a Harley Davidson Cafe with an area for fans to show off their classic bikes and cars."
Public burden: Majestic wants $180 million in public funds to pay for the infrastructure to provide access to his site.
The odds: Poor. Majestic says they're already prepping the site and are ready to build, but the NFL has never seemed the least interested in the plan, except when it was pitting it against Farmers Field for a little leverage.
Carson east of the 405
The plan: A couple months ago, rumors surfaced that two NFL teams were asking questions about a 172-acre park and golf course site near the 405/110 interchange in Carson in southern LA County. A developer involved in the golf course says that the plan is to have two teams share the property, which would probably be developed with a stadium and related entertainment, just like everywhere else.
Public burden: Who knows? This is a completely unconfirmed rumor.
The odds: Very bad. Or possibly amazing. Who knows?
Carson west of the 405
The plan: Back in 2008, a Beverly Hills developer named Richard Rand announced he was thinking about building an NFL stadium on 91 acres near the 405/110 interchange in Carson (but across the 405 from the site above). As of 2012, he was still working away at it, but still only owned 12 acres of the site.
Public burden: None at all for now!
The odds: Extremely poor.
The plan: Everyone has always loved the idea of putting a football stadium in Chavez Ravine, home of Dodger Stadium. Then-Dodgers-owner Frank McCourt had a stadium plan back in 2005, an NFL source called it "the preferred" choice in 2012, and new Dodgers owners Guggenheim was reportedly in serious talks with the league in 2013. They'd most likely add a football stadium somewhere on the enormous amount of land that surrounds Dodger Stadium.
Public burden: Unknown.
The odds: Solid. There hasn't been a peep from anyone about this in a long time, but the NFL has always seemed to love the idea, and Guggenheim, along with partner Magic Johnson, seem eager to branch out (they looked into buying the Clippers last year).
· A 20 Year History of Trying to Bring the NFL Back to LA [Curbed LA]
· NFL stadium [Curbed LA]