, or merely a last-ditch attempt to extract concessions from the citizens of San Diego and Oakland?
The Chargers and the Raiders football teams say they’re making plans to build a shared stadium in Carson. The clubs are bitter rivals on the gridiron. Their business partnership stems from each team’s inability to get a stadium built in their home cities. The teams say the Carson plan should serve as a final warning to San Diego and Oakland to come up with public subsidies to help build new stadiums, or face the prospect of losing the clubs.
Forgive Angelenos if they feel a tad skeptical. This is hardly the first time that an NFL franchise has threatened to move to the L.A. area in an attempt to leverage public money from their home cities.
On the other hand, momentum is clearly building for an NFL return to Los Angeles, probably by the 2016 season. There are now four stadium proposals on the table, although it’s still unclear which team – or teams – might be coming to the L.A. area, and where they’ll end up playing.
The proposed $1.7 billion Carson stadium would apparently not include a request for public money. The Chargers and the Raiders say they could foot the whole bill for a stadium because the larger L.A. market offers more lucrative opportunities than where they are now. The stadium would be built on a scrubbed landfill site. The NFL has looked into building a stadium there at least three times in the past two decades.
The Raiders and Chargers acted just as another proposed stadium – in Inglewood, on the site of the former Hollywood park racetrack – appears to be gaining momentum. St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke has already managed to get the plan on the ballot. The Rams are another team that has been unable to get a new stadium built in its home city.
The NFL is also considering stadium proposals in downtown Los Angeles, next to the Convention Center, and one in the City of Industry that would be built by real estate mogul Ed Roski. Neither of those proposals has a team attached to it, however.
The Rams, the Chargers and the Raiders have all called L.A. home at in the past. The Chargers started in L.A. and moved to San Diego in 1961. The Rams and Raiders both left town in 1994.