Advertisement
Sports

NFL meeting: Strong feeling for two teams to relocate to L.A., says Irsay

Steve Tisch

New York Giants owner Steve Tisch speaks to the media after a morning session at an NFL owners meeting in Irving, Texas, on Wednesday.

(Brandon Wade / Associated Press)

Live reports from the NFL owners meeting:

NFL owners hope to vote on potential relocation by a team or teams to Los Angeles when they meet in Houston on Jan. 12 and 13.  

“I think there will be a vote,” Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said.

New York Giants owner Steve Tisch has a “strong hope” that the meeting will include a “definitive” vote.

Advertisement

The comments came at the end of an all-day gathering of the league’s 32 owners Wednesday dominated by discussion of the L.A. situation.

Owners set a Dec. 28 deadline for the three home markets hoping to retain their teams -- San Diego, St. Louis and Oakland -- to submit their final offers.

At the same time, some owners welcomed last week’s offer by Rams owner Stan Kroenke to share his proposed stadium in Inglewood with a second team.

The Chargers and Raiders are partnering on a rival plan in Carson.

Advertisement

“That’s a positive thing,” Irsay said of Kroenke’s offer.

Tisch described the move as “serious” and “sincere.”

Irsay said there was a “strong feeling” among owners for two teams to relocate to L.A.

Tisch says ‘ownership is looking for direction’ on L.A. issue

During the lunch break, Tisch stopped in a hallway and spoke to a small group of reporters. He has a unique perspective as the only NFL owner whose primary residence is in Los Angeles. Tisch, who produced films such as “Risky Business” and “Forrest Gump,” has lived on the Westside since 1971.

Some of his comments:

Q. What do you expect from the afternoon session?

Advertisement

A. Hard to tell. I think ownership is looking for direction on this, and whatever the commissioner can say to update 29 of us will be very helpful.

Q. Will you be looking to Roger Goodell for the direction on this, or the L.A. Committee?

A. It will probably I guess come from the committee. It’s been very confusing and you feel like it’s a step forward, then a little step backward, then a step to the right, then you stand still for a while. So hopefully in this afternoon’s presentation there will be some clarity, and hopefully, to use a football metaphor, the goal line will be in sight. Are we in the red zone? I don’t know.

VIDEO: Writers roundtable discussion of NFL-to-L.A. developments

Q. You have done lots of deals over the years. Is this one at all different, because it’s not only about the bottom line but about league politics and emotions?

A. There are a lot of moving parts. Some of the parts clearly are political. It’s been 20 years, and a lot of people at every level would like to see a team or teams playing back in Los Angeles. Certainly the fans I think are the most important. If the fans can have a team to root for and support in Los Angeles, I can’t think of anything better for football and Los Angeles. It’s been a long time and there have been a lot of -- I don’t want to say false starts, but missed opportunities, maybe. I do think it’s high on the commissioner’s agenda to get a team or teams back in Los Angeles very soon.

Q. Do you think there will be a final vote on this in January?

A. I’ve lost all my psychic powers. Especially regarding this subject.

Advertisement

Kroenke’s offer to share ‘was a given’

Stadium consultant Marc Ganis wasn’t surprised that Rams owner Stan Kroenke offered to share his proposed stadium in Inglewood with another team.

“I think this was a given,” said Ganis, president of Chicago-based Sportscorp. “It’s almost a precondition for further consideration of the project.”

Ganis, a regular at league meetings, doesn’t think much can be read into the offer, positive or negative.

“It’s a step in the process, part … of defining what the options are,” he said.

Afternoon session could get heated

The basic format of the afternoon meeting will be a five-minute video on the three town hall meetings; presentations by the three relocation-minded owners; then an open discussion among owners with the Rams, Chargers and Raiders out of the room.

The last session could get heated, because there are some owners who are staunchly supportive of one project or the other.

There are not expected to be any votes at this meeting, no straw polls on which owners support which project, or any Hail Mary-type solutions offered.

Kroenke sent letter regarding sharing his proposed stadium

Kroenke sent a letter to the NFL’s Committee on L.A. Opportunities last week outlining terms to share his proposed stadium in Inglewood with another team, according to a person familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly.

The offer wasn’t directed at a specific team, another person with knowledge of the situation said.

The potential deal includes a 50-50 split of the cost to build the $1.86-billion stadium and a 50-50 split of revenue from the venue.

Kroenke would retain control of the stadium’s design as well as revenue from the surrounding mixed-use development on the 290-acre site.

The second person said the offer is a full partnership in revenues and costs for the stadium and that the Rams and the second team would have identical revenue opportunities on game days and in selling sponsorships.

Texans’ McNair wants something done in January

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, a member of the NFL’s six-man Committee on L.A. Opportunities, made a couple of telling comments on his way into meetings here Wednesday.

“We all want to get something done in January,” he said. “We need to move ahead.”

That is similar to the message delivered Tuesday by two other committee members -- New York Giants owner John Mara and Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt -- following the group’s meeting.

McNair also said that the NFL doesn’t have a “firm deal” with any of the three home markets trying to retain their teams.

The comments seem to be a not-so-subtle message to the cities that their efforts need to progress if they hope to remain NFL cities.

Los Angeles a focus of today’s meeting

As NFL owners meet Wednesday, the Los Angeles puzzle will be a major focus.

While the 32 owners won’t vote on the issue, the all-day gathering at the Four Seasons resort at Las Colinas could provide clarity on the path forward.

The owners are meeting in the morning on labor and various other issues, and will convene after lunch for an open forum on the L.A. situation.

Part of the L.A. update will be a brief presentation by league staff on the town hall meetings that were staged recently in St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland.

Some owners are pushing for a January vote on potential relocation to the country’s second-largest market, but there are strong indications that they remain divided on key issues.

Kroenke is backing a multipurpose stadium in Inglewood, while Chargers owner Dean Spanos and Raiders owner Mark Davis have proposed a stadium in Carson.

ALSO

Disney’s Bob Iger is on the ball with Carson’s NFL stadium project

NFL invites St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland to make stadium presentations

Meetings with fans of NFL teams eyeing L.A. move have lots of passion, little sway


Advertisement