There were several groups that working on bringing the NFL back to LA. For many, the most desirable location was in Downtown LA right next door to Staples Center and across the street from LA Live. The City Council finally agreed on AEG’s plan six months ago but it looks as if those dreams are fading away. With AEG looking to sell it’s LA interests (Staples Center, Kings, Lakers, Galaxy etc) and lack of a feasible financial model, it looks as if the NFL back in LA is on pause yet again.
Less than six months after the L.A. city council voted unanimously to support AEG’s plan, the concept is essentially dead to the NFL, according to two sources. The problems with the plan are numerous, but the most essential one is the economics. ”The numbers just don’t work, no matter how you look at the deal,” a league source said in February. “It’s either too hard for AEG to make money [and pay the debt on the stadium] or too hard for the team. I just can’t see a way for it to work.” Officially, a league spokesman said Monday that the NFL is still tracking what AEG is trying to do.
“We continue to monitor the AEG situation and remain interested in multiple sites in the Los Angeles area,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement. Unofficially, the NFL believes that the cost of the AEG plan, which the league believes will be at least $1.8 billion, will make it unworkable. AEG has been hoping to build a stadium on space that currently occupies the convention center and is across the street from the Staples Center/L.A. Live complex in downtown. The plan includes renovation of the convention center. While the league had been intrigued by the idea for a couple of years, the economics and the cramped conditions that would come with shoe-horning a stadium into that area would leave the site unacceptable for what the NFL wants and needs to be successful when it returns to the city.
There are several other sites outside of LA that have expressed an interest in building a stadium but the question has been will Angelinos make the trek to the outskirts to watch and give the team the Hollywood glitter that has become a staple – no pun intended – in LA sports. At one point there was discussion of potentially putting a stadium next to Dodger stadium which is only a few miles from Downtown LA. Perhaps that’s another option to be considered. It’s crazy that the sports entertainment capital of the world hasn’t had an NFL team since 1994.