For the 20 years since professional football last played in LA, the NFL and its team owners have been using Los Angeles as an idle threat—"build us a fancy stadium," they told their hometowns, "or we'll leave you for LA." Now everything has changed: three teams desperately, desperately want to move to LA, which can only handle two teams tops, creating a rare situation in which owners battle it out for a market. Yesterday, the owners of the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, and St. Louis Rams presented their proposals for the first time to the other NFL owners, who will ultimately be the ones to vote on who will move to LA. No decisions were made; the main news out of the meeting was that man those teams want to move to LA soooo bad and they're offering all kinds of perks to sweeten their deals.
The Chargers and Raiders have proposed a roofless stadium that could shoot lightning bolts right by the 110/405 interchange in Carson. The Rams have proposed a stadium with a clear roof that could become an enormous billboard in Inglewood. The Chargers and Raiders are promising something like 25,000 parking spaces. The Rams are promising 45,000 within a mile of the stadium. (The Inglewood stadium is relatively rail accessible, but it's a hike from the station.) That all seems like normal flashy NFL stuff. What else you got, owners?
Both plans are playing up the entertainment-related bonuses. A rep for the Chargers/Raiders plan told reporters yesterday that "We offered the league eight-plus rent free acres to build an NFL campus. On that campus they can do whatever they want," reports SBNation, which adds that the league would probably want to set up a television and media studio. Meanwhile, the Rams are now pitching their stadium, which will come with a 6,000-seat theater and sit next to a massive multi-use development with housing, retail, and more, as the Los Angeles Entertainment Center. They say the theater could potentially host Grammys, Golden Globes, and Oscars, according to the LA Times.
So the pot is sweet as hell in LA, but the NFL is also paying close attention to what's going on back home for these teams. The Chargers are frustrated after a decade of trying to squeeze a new stadium out of San Diego; the city finally has a solid plan now, but the team is acting over it. Oakland has not made any serious proposals. But St. Louis is working the hardest for its NFL team—their stadium proposal "looks to be the furthest along" and includes a $400 million public handout.
According to the LAT, "Many owners believe that [Rams owner Stan] Kroenke has the better location and stadium plan, and that could ultimately tip the scales in his favor."
· 3 teams make the case for Los Angeles -- and the NFL's listening [SBN]
· L.A. relocation could set up clash of titans among NFL owners [LAT]
· Carson Stadium's Redesign Includes 120-Foot-Tall Tower That Shoots Lightning [Curbed LA]
· Inglewood NFL Stadium Reveals Plans For Enormous, See-Through, Billboard Roof [Curbed LA]