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Two NFL owners hoping Los Angeles relocation vote takes place in January

Two NFL owners hoping Los Angeles relocation vote takes place in January
Giants President and CEO John K. Mara is hoping that a Los Angeles relocation vote takes place among NFL owners in January. (Rich Schultz / Getty Images)

The NFL has scheduled a special owners meeting on Los Angeles for January, and at least two influential team owners are hoping that a relocation vote can be taken there.

"It's my hope that we're going to have a vote in January," New York Giants owner John Mara said Tuesday after emerging from a meeting of the six-owner Committee on Los Angeles Opportunities. "This needs to get done. Because whoever it's going to be needs to start gearing up for next year. You can't go too much longer than that and be ready to play a season in 2016 in a different place. "

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Another member of the committee, Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, said there is a "likelihood" that there will be a vote in January "but it's not a certainty. That's something we will make a decision on once we get to January."

The NFL held various committee meetings Tuesday at the Four Seasons resort at Las Colinas, in advance of Wednesday's general meeting of all 32 owners. The L.A. situation will be a major focus of the Wednesday gathering, although there will not be a vote on the issue.

"I think there's going to be a lot of discussion, but there's not going to be any decisions made or anything like that," Mara said. "Everybody wants to know where are the three markets right now, and where are the two L.A. projects? What stage is everything at?"

League officials said Tuesday that a one-day owners meeting is planned for January to continue the L.A. talks, although the date and locale is still being discussed. The options are Jan. 12 in Dallas, or Jan. 19 in Houston.

The St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders are all eyeing a potential relocation to L.A., with Rams owner Stan Kroenke proposing a stadium in Inglewood, and Chargers owner Dean Spanos and Raiders owner Mark Davis jointly backing a competing proposal in Carson.

Representatives of the Rams and Chargers met with the L.A. Committee. It's unclear whether the Raiders did as well.

"I think there's a lot of information to be digested by ownership," Hunt said. "That's part of the reason we're having this meeting, to bring everybody up to speed. I think that process will continue all the way through January."

There are strong indications that ownership remains divided on some fundamental issues. For instance, Hunt was asked whether ownership had reached a consensus on whether L.A. is a two-team market.

"I think that's an open issue," he said.

Asked if he anticipates the L.A. committee making a recommendation to the full ownership, Hunt said: "That's a possibility. It's something we are continuing to discuss. We're still discussing the process."

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Backers of the Inglewood proposal are working to resolve the Federal Aviation Administration's concerns about the venue's impact on radar at nearby Los Angeles International Airport.

"As we advance our design documents, our project has reached the point where it is time to obtain the many permits required of an effort of this scale," Chris Meany, senior vice president of the Hollywood Park Land Co., said Tuesday in written statement.

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"The permit process involves working closely with dozens of relevant agencies like the FAA. We are in the midst of that process now, and fully expect to address and satisfy any issues or concerns that may arise."

In a preliminary report issued last month, the FAA said that the $1.86-billion stadium is "presumed to be a hazard to air navigation." The report isn't a final determination, but a starting point for negotiations between the FAA and developers.

A primary issue is large portions of the stadium's exterior is covered in metal skin. The FAA report warned that the building's proximity to LAX runways plus the metal skin could interfere with radar that tracks inbound aircraft. The report suggested several potential measures to mitigate the problem — including the far-fetched idea of relocating the stadium — but covering parts of the stadium with radar-absorbing paint is expected to be part of the solution.

Citing ongoing discussions, an FAA spokesman declined to comment.

The developers have until early January to respond to the FAA report.

Hunt was asked if there is any concern among owners about the issue.

"I haven't heard that," he said, "No."

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