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The Early Lead
Posted at 02:41 PM ET, 08/10/2011

Los Angeles approves NFL stadium project, now needs a team


Farmers Field sure looks pretty in this artist’s rendering, but who will play there? (AP - AP)
This September will mark the 17th consecutive season without NFL football in Los Angeles.

Seventeen long years for a major sports market that boasts two NBA franchises (if you can call the Clippers a franchise), two MLB clubs (although the Dodgers are on the ropes) and two often-overachieving hockey teams (one of which always appears on the verge of skipping town).

One thing is clear: Los Angeles does not need two NFL franchises.

But does it deserve one?

On Tuesday the Los Angeles City Council voted 12-0 to approve a “non-binding agreement” that will allow AEG to build a privately funded $1.2 billion football stadium next to Staples Center in downtown L.A.

Rumor has it, the City Council went to a matinee showing of Field of Dreams during their lunch break.

The 72,000-seat stadium is slated to be built on the site of the current Los Angeles Convention Center and will bear the name Farmers Field. The stadium could be ready for the 2016 season, according to the proposal, and city officials are hoping an NFL team could temporarily use the Los Angeles Coliseum in the interim.


Los Angeles will sell $275 million in bonds to tear down and relocate part of its convention center to make way for a $1.2 billion stadium for a NFL franchise under a plan unanimously approved by the city council on Tuesday. (HO - REUTERS)

Another group, financed by Ed Roski’s Majestic Realty Co. already has permits to build a different 75,000-seat stadium 15 miles east of the City in Industry. Both projects currently lack local and state environmental approval and could face considerable hurdles from considerable environmental review hurdles from groups AEG president and chief executive referred to as “the crazies.”

But which NFL team would relocate to L.A.?

The blackout-hampered Jacksonville Jaguars generally top a list that also includes the Minnesota Vikings (stadium issues), San Diego Chargers (likewise), Buffalo Bills (recent overall futility) and the city’s former residents — the St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders, who both fled before the 1995 season.

Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke is firmly in the “anyone but the Raiders” camp:

“Hey, Oakland Raiders, if you are reading this, can you heed but one word from one man who was among many who celebrated in the summer of 1995 when you finally dragged your hack-and-silver act out of town?

“Don't. Don't come back. Don't even think about coming back. Don't.

“You are not welcome here, you are not wanted here, and if you can't see that, then you've been wearing that patch over both eyes.”

(H/T The Big Lead)

By  |  02:41 PM ET, 08/10/2011

 
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