Guggenheim Partners, the group that bought the Dodgers a few years back, knows its Los Angeles history: wait around long enough and every last NFL stadium plan will die off. Plus, the NFL has always coveted Chavez Ravine, home of Dodger Stadium. With all that in mind, they seem to be biding their time, holding their cards close to the chest, and quietly considering the idea of putting a football stadium on the copious amounts of land that surround their baseball stadium. Much-hated former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt still owns most of that land, and he tells the LA Business Journal (via LAObserved) in an interview this week—as coyly as possible—that the idea is still very much in play for him and Guggenheim.
Years ago, when McCourt still owned the team and stadium, he proposed a massive multi-use campus surrounding the stadium, but now he says there are no firm development plans: " think that Guggenheim has some ideas in terms of what they'd like to develop by Dodger Stadium, so we'll be having conversations with them in the future."
When the LABJ asked about potential proposals, he gets sly: "There's a lot swirling around regarding the NFL and all that, so I think we'll see what plays out in various locations and then we'll see what they want to do." He's referring to the latest most-promising plan, in Inglewood (from St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke) and the latest second-place player, a joint Chargers/Raiders proposal for Carson. But the Inglewood plan now has its first official legal challenge in the works, and the most promising plan of the last half-decade, Downtown LA's Farmers Field, just got killed off last week. LA is like a Hunger Games for NFL stadiums.
Guggenheim has also reportedly had talks with the NFL in the past about bringing football to the Dodger land—were those talks secretly massively successful and they're all just waiting for the right moment to say something? Or have they already failed and McCourt is just being typically douchey? Or maybe he's burnishing his rep, since in the past the NFL has not seemed too thrilled to work with him.
McCourt adds a commonly-held truth: "I think that Chavez Ravine has always been a preferred location for the NFL." But the more persistent truth is that the NFL loves not having a team in LA, because it loves all these battles, it loves developers competing for its affections, and it loves having the threat of a move to hold over other cities' heads.
· Still in Play [LABJ]
· NFL Really Wants Football in Dodger Stadium's Chavez Ravine [Curbed LA]
· Dodgers Owner Says It's Trying to Bring Second Sport to Chavez [Curbed LA]