Will the NFL ever return to the Los Angeles area? AEG’s downtown stadium plan may be fizzling out

March 30, 2012


AEG’s stadium plan may be fizzling out

Image provided by AEG shows the proposed 68,000 seat stadium, to be named Farmers Field, in Los Angeles. AEG/AP

Mike Florio
NBC Sports

It has long been believed that the NFL will return to Los Angeles only when two viable stadium projects emerge, which then can be squeezed against each other until the NFL emerges with the sweetest possible deal.

The man in charge of one of the two current stadium projects apparently isn’t willing to be squeezed.

Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reports that billionaire Philip Anschutz, whose company (AEG) wants to build a downtown stadium, has not revised his proposal more than three months after Commissioner Roger Goodell and Patriots owner Robert Kraft explained that AEG’s intention to purchase, at a discounted rate, a minority stake in the team that moves to the stadium will not be acceptable.  That message was conveyed to Anschutz during a December meeting in Denver, when the Patriots traveled there to play the Broncos.

It was friendly, but boiled down to the view that no NFL owner would accept the terms proposed,” a source told Cole.  “If [AEG] wanted to get that much control over an NFL franchise, their only option would be to buy a team.  If they were willing to back off the control and buy a [limited partnership] stake for a reasonable price, then a shared interest in selling suites/clubs/sponsorships could be worked out.”

The lack of progress between Anschutz and the NFL could soon derail the effort to build the stadium.  As Cole explains it, politicians in Los Angeles may soon shift their focus toward expanding the Los Angeles Convention Center.

That would leave one viable stadium project in the Los Angeles area, via Ed Roski’s shovel-ready, open-air project in the City of Industry.  In October, Roski offered to “hand over the 600 acres” to the team that moves there, with the team responsible for financing the stadium and Roski buying a share of the franchise at market value.

Still, without the AEG project to give Roski a reason to go even farther, the league’s absence from the L.A. market may continue indefinitely into the future.



City of Industry’s proposed Grand Crossing Stadium for the Los Angeles area’s future NFL team

City of Industry’s 75,000 seat proposed Los Angeles area NFL stadium

Grand Crossing, if built, will be the first stadium built specifically for the NFL in California. All other stadiums built for the NFL in California were design to also host MLB games or used for the Olympic games and other sporting events.


California’s NFL stadium (current and past)

Past NFL stadiums in California

Kezar Stadium
San Francisco 49ers


Kezar Stadium is the former home of the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders (during their first season). The San Francisco 49ers played at Kezar Stadium beginning in 1946 and moved to Candlestick Park in 1971. The stadium had many uses in the 1930s including: track and field competitions, motorcycle racing, auto racing, rugby, lacrosse, soccer, baseball, boxing, cricket and football.

Anaheim Stadium (now called Angel Stadium of Anaheim)
Los Angeles Rams


Gene Autry purchased a MLB franchise for Los Angeles and named the new franchise the Los Angeles Angels and began play in 1971. The Los Angeles Angels originally wanted to play at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where the Dodgers had played on a temporary basis. In 1962, under the terms of their agreement with Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley, the Angels moved to Dodger Stadium. There became a need for a new stadium for the Los Angeles Angels. The the city of Long Beach offered to be home to the Angels. Gene Autry made a deal with the city of Anaheim and moved into the new stadium in 1966.

Los Angeles Rams owner Carroll Rosenbloom moved the NFL team from Los Angeles to an expanded Anaheim Stadium. Anaheim Stadium underwent a massive expansion in 1979-1980. The NFL’s blackout rule forbade games from being shown on local television if they did not sell out within 72 hours of the opening kickoff. The Los Angeles Coliseum was too large and seated 100,000 people. Later, Rams owner Georgia Frontiere attempted to relocate the Rams to Baltimore, who had lost the Colts to Indianapolis. Frontiere then sought to relocate the team to the city of St. Louis. NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue agreed to allow the team to relocate. St. Louis agreed to build a publicly financed stadium and the Rams moved in 1995.

Frank Youell Feild

Frank Youell Field in Oakland was the home of the Oakland Raiders from 1962 to 1965 as a temporary home while Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum was being built. The stadium seated only 22,000.

Los Angeles Coliseum
Los Angeles Raiders


The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum broke ground on December 21, 1921 and opened on May 1, 1923 seating 75,144.  In 1932, the Coliseum hosted the 1932 Summer Olympic Games. The Coliseum would be expanded to seat just over 100,000 and in 1964 the stadium underwent its first major renovation.

A larger east grandstand would be installed in 1977-1978 at the request of Los Angeles Rams owner Carroll Rosenbloom. Carroll Rosenbloom moved the NFL team from Los Angeles to an expanded Anaheim Stadium.

The Oakland Raiders relocated to Los Angeles for the 1982 season to play their home games at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Los Angeles won the right to host the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. The Olympics would require a new track and an expansion of seating to just over 91,000. This would become a television problem for the Los Angeles Raiders due to NFL’s blackout rules for home games not to be shown in the local TV markets unless these games are sold out within 72 hours prior to the game. The Coliseum would undertake a $15 million renovation before the 1993 football season.  To decrease the stadiums seating capacity for NFL games tarpaulins were placed over seats not used to reducing seating capacity to 65,000.

Raiders’ owner Al Davis announced his intention to bring the Raiders back to Oakland  March 11, 1991. Oakland would make a $220 million renovation of  the Oakland Coliseum and in 1995 the Raiders returned to Oakland.

Current NFL stadiums in California

Oakland Coliseum
Oakland Raiders


The Oakland Raiders moved from Candlestick Park to Frank Youell Field near downtown Oakland in 1962.  Charlie Finley, owner of the MLB’s Kansas City A’s, received permission to relocate his franchise to the Oakland. The Raiders played their first game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 18, 1966. In 1968, the Kansas City Athletics became the Oakland Athletics (A’s) and began play at the new stadium.

The Raiders would later move to Los Angeles. Raiders’ owner Al Davis announced his intention to bring the Raiders back to Oakland  March 11, 1991. Oakland would make a $220 million renovation of  the Oakland Coliseum and in 1995 the Raiders returned to Oakland.

Qualcomm Stadium
San Diego Chargers


In November 1965 a bond was passed by the city of San Diego allowing the construction of San Diego Stadium. The San Diego Chargers played the first game in the stadium on August 20, 1967. the MLB’s San Diego Padres, who were an expansion team, began playing in the stadium during the 1969 season. Just over 9,000 seats were added to the lower deck in 1983. 

A major expansion was completed in 1997, when the stadium was fully enclosed for Super Bowl XXXII in 1998 creating a 70,561 seat stadium. The San Diego Padres moved out of Qualcomm Stadium following the 2003 season.

Candlestick Park
San Francisco 49ers

Candlestick Park is the only NFL stadium that began as a baseball-only facility . The MLB’s New York Giants arrived in San Francisco in 1958 and played games temporarily at Seals Stadium. The City of San Francisco broke ground in 1958 for the San Francisco Giants.

After the the City of San Francisco decided to spend $16.1 million in 1971 to improve and making the stadium more multipurpose, the San Francisco 49ers decided to move to Candlestick Park.

The Oakland Raiders played at Candlestick Park during their 2nd season, before Frank Youell Field was built as a temporary facility in Oakland.  The Oakland Raiders played the final 3 games of the 1960 season and their entire 1961 season at Candlestick Park.

In 2000, the San Francisco Giants moved to the AT&T Park.

Other future NFL stadiums in California

Santa Clara Stadium (a suburb of San Jose)

Santa Clara leaders vowed to open the San Francisco 49ers’ new stadium in 2014, a year earlier than planned. The groundbreaking for the South Bay stadium is set for late spring, about 6 months sooner than the previous estimate of early 2013. If they complete the stadium in time for the 2014 preseason, the 49ers will reward the firms with a $5 million bonus.

Oakland’s Coliseum City


The Oakland A’s, Oakland Raiders, and Golden State Warriors may get new stadium as part of what is being called “Coliseum City”.

KGO 7 ABC reported in March of 2012. If Oakland Mayor Jean Quan gets her way, the city’s three professional sports teams won’t want to leave Oakland. City leaders and business owners unveiled what they’re calling “Coliseum City”.

Oakland City Council unanimously approved spending $3.5 million on plans for a new stadium. Coliseum City would be near the existing Oakland Coliseum and would be a destination point that would house the city’s three professional teams and include shopping, hotels, a conference center and entertainment. The area surrounding the Oakland Coliseum is spread across 750 acres. The complex, built in the 1960s and home to both the Oakland A’s and the Oakland Raiders, who had hoped for a football only stadium by 2015, will most likely get a complete makeover. The Warriors lease agreement for the arena, up in 2017, says that their position has not changed and that they continue to explore open options in the Bay Area, including Oakland.

About Dilemma X

Dilemma X, LLC provides research dedicated to the progression of economic development. Our services aid clients in enhancing overall production statistics. Please visit http://www.dilemma-x.com for more information

View all posts by Dilemma X


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: