As people fixate on the proposed downtown Los Angeles and City of Industry sites as the top two locations for a new NFL stadium in Southern California, one spot nestled in the L.A. hills could emerge as a game-changer in the NFL's attempts to return to Los Angeles.
Chavez Ravine, currently the home of Dodger Stadium and the Los Angeles Dodgers, is on the mind of the team's new owners as a potential home for an NFL team. A league source recently told The Los Angeles Times that the buyers had preliminary discussions with the NFL about just that.
A group led by Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson and veteran baseball executive Stan Kasten agreed to buy the Dodgers this week for a record price of more than $2 billion. St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke was one of the three finalists for the team.
The development comes one day after Yahoo! Sports reported that the plans for a downtown stadium could be on the verge of extinction because of Anschutz Entertainment Group's (AEG) unwillingness to alter its financial plan. AEG's terms included a clause that would allow the firm to buy a stake in the franchise at a discounted rate in addition to another clause that dictates AEG -- and not the owner -- would control the team's marketing, relationships with club-seat customers and things of that nature, according to The Times.
The Times reported that Chavez Ravine has been the subject of past failed stadium projects. Owner Frank McCourt had a plan for a stadium project nicknamed "Five Ton Gorilla" that included a retail complex, and former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley had his own proposal get derailed by the city when it backed the Los Angeles Coliseum, which now is out of the picture because the University of Southern California has right of first refusal on an NFL team.