The NFL's search for a temporary Los Angeles stadium is officially underway.
The league on Thursday began issuing proposal requests to multiple venues in Southern California — among them the Coliseum and Rose Bowl — with the intent of securing a temporary home for a team (or teams) for the 2016 season in the event of a return to the market.
Chris Hardart, NFL vice president of corporate development, confirmed the process of issuing requests has begun, information first provided by an individual not authorized to speak publicly about it.
"It is part of the process and an effort to understand all of our options and have a well thought out plan if a team or teams were to be approved to relocate," said Hardart, who declined to identify sites other than the Coliseum and Rose Bowl that have received them. In the past, league executives have touted the viability of Dodger Stadium as a potential temporary venue.
The L.A. market has been without a team since 1995, when the Rams moved to St. Louis and the Raiders returned to Oakland. Both of those franchises are back in the relocation mix. Rams owner Stan Kroenke is proposing a stadium in Inglewood, and the Raiders have joined forces with the San Diego Chargers to back a stadium plan in Carson.
The league has scheduled a special meeting of NFL owners on Aug. 11 in Chicago to update them on the L.A. situation and to further define the schedule for one or two potential club relocations.
The NFL wants to know before the August meeting which temporary venues are in play, and in general terms what their rent and capabilities would be. Then, the league could negotiate deal terms in the fall, in advance of a team or teams gaining approval to relocate. There were no specific teams mentioned in the proposal requests.
At no point during the past two decades has the NFL gotten so far as to commit to a temporary venue in the L.A. market.
The primary tenants in the Rose Bowl and Coliseum — UCLA and USC, respectively — have veto rights in regard to sharing those stadiums with NFL teams.
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