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Old 10-24-2009, 06:56 PM   #1
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Default Developer targeting Vikings, six others for L.A. stadium

By JACOB ADELMAN , Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - The developer working to bring the NFL back to the Los Angeles area with a sleek, new 75,000-seat stadium has a 600-acre site to build the proposed venue and is close to having the legal go-ahead to break ground.

Now all that's needed is a team.

Majestic Realty Co. plans to build the $800 million stadium in the city of Industry — about 15 miles east of Los Angeles — and it's casting a wide net in its search.

Majestic named seven teams it believes are ready for a new home.

The Buffalo Bills, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Minnesota Vikings, the St. Louis Rams, the San Diego Chargers, the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers are on developer's list of possible targets.


The teams are in stadiums that are either too small or can't be updated to cash in on the box seats, naming rights and other revenue sources that an NFL club needs to thrive, Majestic managing partner John Semcken said on Thursday, a day after the California Senate approved an environmental exemption bill allowing the stadium's construction.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office didn't immediately respond to an inquiry on whether he planned to sign the bill, which would nullify a lawsuit over the project's environmental impact report by citizens in the neighboring city of Walnut.

Majestic helped develop downtown Los Angeles' Staples Center, home of several sports franchises, including the NBA's Lakers and Clippers and the NHL's Kings.

Semcken said the company plans to begin approaching teams after the Super Bowl in February and could have a team playing at the Rose Bowl starting from nest season until 2013, when the company hoped to have the new stadium built.

The NFL is aware of Wednesday's Senate vote and other potential stadium developments in the Los Angeles area, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. He declined to comment on specific sites or teams that might move to the region.

Marc Ganis, president of Chicago-based consultancy SportsCorp, said persuading a team to move and getting the NFL's approval would be Majestic's greatest obstacle yet.

"Having the legislation and the environmental impact statement is lovely and it's a good thing," he said. "But without having the team in hand, it's just a very nice piece of paper to put up on your wall."

The Jaguars and the Bills are in areas too sparsely populated to make financing a new stadium feasible, Semcken said. The Jaguars' TV market ranks 29th among the NFL's 32 teams, while the Bills' is 31st, according to Nielsen Media Research Inc.

The Jaguars have struggled for years to fill Jacksonville Municipal Stadium and are in danger of having all their games blacked out on local TV this season. The Bills, meanwhile, have been playing some home games in Toronto in an effort to expand their market.


Jaguars majority owner Wayne Weaver and Bills owner Ralph Wilson have steadfastly dismissed any suggestion that they will sell or move their teams.

Other teams would have trouble raising the cash for a new stadium, Semcken said.

Mark Fabiani, who has been overseeing the Chargers' seven-year struggle to have 42-year-old Qualcomm Stadium replaced with a newer venue, said it's harder to finance a stadium in San Diego than Los Angeles because of the smaller market.

He said the Chargers are concentrating on keeping the team in San Diego, but noted that Majestic chairman and chief executive Ed Roski has a long-standing friendship with Chargers owner Alex Spanos and that the team's current lease enables it to move for a fee.

He said the team views a new venue as a necessity and wouldn't wait indefinitely for one to be built in San Diego.


"I can't predict what would happen if he called us in a year or six months," Fabiani said, referring to Roski.

The 49ers' could fall off Majestic's list of targets if residents of the San Francisco Bay Area city of Santa Clara vote to authorize nearly $80 million in public funds for the 75,000-seat venue for the team.

49ers spokeswoman Lisa Lang said managers are striving to keep the team in the area and that she expects Santa Clara voters to approve the $937 million stadium when they cast ballots within the year.

She also said planners were seeking approval to have two NFL teams play at the new stadium and that 49ers representatives have discussed sharing the venue with the Raiders, also on Majestic's list.

The Raiders, who moved to Oakland after playing in Los Angeles from 1982 to 1994, are free to leave Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum when their lease expires next year.

Rounding off the list are the Vikings, whose lease at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome runs out after the 2011 season, and the Rams, whose lease allows them to move as early as 2014 if the Edward Jones Dome is not deemed among the top quarter of all NFL stadiums.

Messages left with the Rams and Raiders were not immediately returned.

The Vikings are asking state legislators to issue at least $215 million in bonds to build a stadium that would keep the team in the Twin Cities, team spokesman Lester Bagley said.

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Old 10-24-2009, 07:01 PM   #2
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No N.O. Saints on that list......wonder why that is.
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:08 PM   #3
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I can see the Jag's moving and the Raiders can move anytime. I just can't see the Bills,Vikes, 49ers or Chuggers move.

But to me Rams should be back in L.A.
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:12 PM   #4
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I can see the Jag's moving and the Raiders can move anytime. I just can't see the Bills,Vikes, 49ers or Chuggers move.

But to me Rams should be back in L.A.
The Chargers could go "back home"....I'd hate to see that though because I do like going to San Diego on vacation.
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:18 PM   #5
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I'm just thinking more about the NFC West and how in the hell is St.Louis out west... St. Louis is a baseball town and will only support the Cards.
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HEAV View Post
I can see the Jag's moving and the Raiders can move anytime. I just can't see the Bills,Vikes, 49ers or Chuggers move.

But to me Rams should be back in L.A.
I'm really hoping for it to be the Rams.....The site is probably closer to Anaheim Stadium than the Coliseum anyway and The Rams have history in both LA & OC.

I wouldn't mind the Raiders so much b/c it would mean being able to see Denver twice a year again with no travel.

STL and the existing Cali teams have to be the front runners becasue anyone else would involve some sort of re-alignment.
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:31 PM   #7
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STL and the existing Cali teams have to be the front runners becasue anyone else would involve some sort of re-alignment.
nah - how long were the cardinals in the NFC east? It'll be sub-optimal, but doable.
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:43 PM   #8
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Hope it's not Jacksonville. America's Team should stay in Florida imo.
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:03 PM   #9
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It's hard to understand the NFL's obsession with LA. Granted, it's a big market but two teams have already been there (Rams, Raiders) and the support didn't last. The Lakers have a huge following, there are too many things to do and sporting events to follow. And the Vikings playing in LA is absurd:

LA Vikings (WEIRD. They're a northern cold weather team!)
LA Jaguars (LAME. Sounds too stupid to process.)
LA Bills (CRACK. Even dumber than Vikings. They actually play in cold weather.)
LA Chargers (WEAK. This might work, but the Diegoans are still waitin' for a bowl)
LA 49ERS (POINTLESS. They're the Bay team, for crying out loud. Not inland!)

doesn't work, any way you slice it.
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:06 PM   #10
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It's hard to understand the NFL's obsession with LA. Granted, it's a big market but two teams have already been there (Rams, Raiders) and the support didn't last.
If I recall correctly, both the Rams and Raiders leaving L.A. had virtually nothing to do with fan support.
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:09 PM   #11
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I'll check into that, not sure. I know the Raiders had a good run while in LA, although Oakland was still considered their main fan base. Howie Long actually said he hated the neigborhood around the Coliseum, it was terrible.

Not sure if the Rams deal had to do with a lease or ownership transferral.
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:10 PM   #12
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No N.O. Saints on that list......wonder why that is.
they just got a 20 year extension in NO i think.
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:10 PM   #13
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Move the Rams back to LA and the Cards back to St. Louis.
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:10 PM   #14
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49er's moving would be ****ing retarded.

Vikings... how the **** are they going to shuffle up the divisions to make way for this ****.

Chargers... makes sense.

Rams... makes THE MOST SENSE. Give 2 Cali teams in the AFC and NFC + the Rams are already in the NFC WEST so if anything it would make travel even EASIER within the division.

Also the Rams have been in Los Angeles before.

The only reason the dev wants the Vikings is because the team is actually competitive and not in a **** hole mess like the Rams currently are.
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:11 PM   #15
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they just got a 20 year extension in NO i think.
I hope so.....it's one of the few away cities I like seeing games in
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:12 PM   #16
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If I recall correctly, both the Rams and Raiders leaving L.A. had virtually nothing to do with fan support.

Heres why the rams left LA.

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Old 10-24-2009, 08:13 PM   #17
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I'll check into that, not sure. I know the Raiders had a good run while in LA, although Oakland was still considered their main fan base. Howie Long actually said he hated the neigborhood around the Coliseum, it was terrible.

Not sure if the Rams deal had to do with a lease or ownership transferral.
I thought both moves had to do with $$$ more than anything else, but I could be wrong....Georgia F wasn't very far removed from evil Al when it came to NFL team ownership.
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:13 PM   #18
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chargers, oakland or rams are best bets.
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:44 PM   #19
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It'd be a shame if the Vikings or Bills left their homes. Who cares about the others.
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:45 PM   #20
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It'd be a shame if the Vikings or Bills left their homes. Who cares about the others.
are the vikings more popular than the twins or no?
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:04 PM   #21
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The only teams i see moving is Jax and Buffalo..maybe the Rams! The Vikings are in the works for a new stadium...i'd be disappointed to see them leave Minn. actually!

http://football.ballparks.com/NFL/Mi...s/newindex.htm
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:09 PM   #22
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It's gonna be Jacksonville.
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:16 PM   #23
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Ram it! that is soooo funny
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:24 PM   #24
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are the vikings more popular than the twins or no?
Yeah, pretty much. I don't live there, but my family lives there and in North Dakota and the majority of them and their friends are hardcore Vikings fans.

The Twins have grown in popularity and just got an awesome new stadium, but overall I think the Vikings own that town.
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:42 PM   #25
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The MetroDome is being torn down this year and Ziggy Wolf is buiding them another one last I checked ....so why is the Vikings on the list? The Vikings fans love and support them! 49'ers same thing, and they are getting a new stadium soon also! Buffalo..Hell No! They will never leave!

Saying SanDiego is too small a market is stupid to say the least. San diego County and surrounding area has 11 million people and is one of the densest areas in Cali..My GF is from Chula vista and an Ex Charger Girl! The SD problem is they sucked for so lomng and there is a lot of apathy for the team. They will move because the City of SD won't approve a new stadium site or a Bond because they can't sell tickets to the one they have. They will be moving to LA asap! They hired a marketing research firm last year to assess the fanbase to get fans for the Chargers.

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