Two unrelated stories at ESPN about the NFL and Southern California might not be so unrelated.
First, there was a meeting in L.A. yesterday about getting the NFL back into the nation’s biggest television market.
Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t want one NFL team in Los Angeles. He wants two.
After meeting with the owners, the actor-turned-politician emerged to say he was there to make sure “we’re getting not only one NFL team to the Los Angeles area, Southern California, but to actually get two teams. That’s why I came. Why limit it?”
New York Giants chairman Steve Tisch, a longtime Los Angeles resident who is on the committee, said that was highly unlikely. “I’d be shocked if the suggestion internally to recommend two teams ever comes up. I think the numbers are too big. I think it would be an overwhelming suggestion,” Tisch said. Added Tagliabue: “One team is our immediate goal. Long-term, I think two is a realistic goal.”
Los Angeles plans to construct a stadium within the shell of the existing Los Angeles Coliseum. Anaheim is offering a 53-acre tract of land for the stadium and economic development. Pasadena, considered a long shot, provided an update on the Rose Bowl.
Meanwhile, the San Diego Chargers are looking for a new home.
The City Council unanimously agreed Monday to amend the San Diego Chargers’ lease to allow the NFL team to look for a new stadium site within the county. The action came less than two weeks after Mayor Jerry Sanders said the cash-strapped city doesn’t have the money to help Southern California’s only NFL team build a new stadium.
If the team fails to strike a deal in the county before Jan. 1, the Chargers would be free to negotiate a deal anywhere in the country.
Until Katrina, the New Orleans Saints were the most obvious candidate for a move. Now, that’s politically unlikely for years. But the Chargers were, once upon an AFL time, an L.A. team. They woul;d be the most likely team to relocate, given the need for a new stadium and the relative proximity of their existing fanbase.
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