City of Industry approves proposal for NFL stadium outside L.A.

  • By Associated Press
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LOS ANGELES -- Council members in the city of Industry on Thursday unanimously approved a proposal for a professional football stadium intended to lure a team back to the Los Angeles area.

The vote helped clear the way for developers of the $800 million venue to begin talks with NFL teams about a possible move to the industrial and warehousing city 15 miles east of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Football Story

Southern California has been the home of many professional football teams, from the L.A. Buccaneers in 1926 (a traveling team that never actually played in Los Angeles) to the XFL champion L.A. Xtreme in 2001. The Avengers are the last active team in L.A., but folded after Arena Football League announced it would not play a 2009 season.

Teams that have called Southern California home
Years Team League
1926 Los Angeles Buccaneers NFL
1940-45 Los Angeles Bulldogs PCPFL
1940-42 Hollywood Bears PCPFL
1943 Los Angeles Mustangs PCPFL
1944-45 Hollywood Wolves PCPFL
1946-1994 Los Angeles Rams NFL
1946-49 Los Angeles Dons AAFC
1960 Los Angeles Chargers AFL
1967 Long Beach Admirals Continental
1967-68 Orange County Ramblers Continental
1974-75 Southern California Sun WFL
1982-1994 Los Angeles Raiders NFL
1983-85 Los Angeles Express USFL
1988 Los Angeles Cobras Arena
1996-97 Anaheim Piranhas Arena
2000-2009 Los Angeles Avengers Arena
2001 Los Angeles Xtreme XFL

Majestic Real Estate Co. managing partner John Semcken said the company would begin shopping for a team on April 1, the deadline for opponents of the project to file a lawsuit.

At least eight franchises, including the Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings, have been identified as possible targets for relocation, he said, and developers are confident the NFL would approve a move.

"They understand the stadium, they understand the economic opportunity," Semcken said. "All they want is certainty. They want to make sure our stadium is getting built."

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league was monitoring potential stadium developments in the Los Angeles area, but he declined to comment on specific sites.

"We would like to return to the area but only under circumstances that would benefit both the community and the NFL," he said.

Majestic intends to pay for the stadium with private funds and start construction as soon as a team has committed to playing there.

The neighboring cities of Walnut and Diamond Bar, fearing traffic-clogged streets and rowdy fan behavior, have threatened lawsuits to stop the project.

Walnut Councilman Joaquin Lim said officials in his city likely would decide whether to file a lawsuit on Wednesday, after Industry had filed stadium documents with the county.

Two Walnut council members were targeted with recall papers this month by critics who said they hadn't opposed the stadium strongly enough.

Diamond Bar City Manager Jim DeStefano didn't return a call seeking comment.

Semcken said Walnut officials have refused to meet with Majestic representatives. The company had been negotiating with Diamond Bar officials over paying to widen streets and hire additional security guards to ease concerns in that city, Semcken said.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press



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