Los Angeles wants back in the NFL game. The nation's No. 2 media market has been without a team since the Rams and Raiders relocated to St. Louis and Oakland, respectively, in 1995. WAGA-TV in Atlanta reports Falcons owner Arthur Blank has been courted by business interests in Los Angeles about a potential move.
Two unnamed Atlanta city council members said Blank shared the information in a meeting with top city and Georgia state officials while discussing financing for a new open-air stadium in downtown Atlanta. Mayor Kasim Reed insists that talks between the Falcons and the city have not been contentious. In fact, it's believed that Blank might be willing to increase the percentage the team is willing to pay to make the $1 billion deal possible.
The report begs the question: What is Blank's motivation for revealing the interest? Both Blank and Reed reportedly are prodding city council members to "take a more aggressive lead in the public financing portion" of the stadium financing. Public support for the project to replace the Georgia Dome hasn't been strong to date.
The upshot is that Blank isn't seriously considering a relocation to California. "Arthur Blank has never played that card, and I give him credit for that," Georgia govenor Nathan Deal said.
The Falcons hope to open their new stadium by 2017.
Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.