LOS ANGELES (AP) — A City Council committee on Friday backed AEG’s bid for more time to lure an NFL team to Los Angeles, a day after the mayor said it’s “highly likely” the city will get a team next year.
The Economic Development Committee approved a six-month extension of an agreement with Anschutz Entertainment Group to build a downtown stadium and convince a professional football team to play there.
The developer has had no luck and the deal inked in 2012, was scheduled to expire next week. However, the deadline could be extended to April if the full City Council approves the extension at a meeting next week.
Ted Fikre, AEG’s chief legal and development officer, told the council committee that the lack of success is disappointing but progress was being made.
The company has been in “renewed dialogue” with the National Football League and it was encouraging enough that “we felt it was worth taking some more time to continue the effort,” Fikre said.
Mayor Eric Garcetti also is optimistic.
It was “highly likely” that a team will come to the city in the next year, Garcetti said on Thursday’s “Ask the Mayor” segment on radio station KNX-AM.
Garcetti said that though the city doesn’t want to subsidize a stadium, he thinks the NFL is “finally interested” in Los Angeles again. The recent $2 billion sale of the NBA’s Clippers showed “just how valuable the LA franchise could be,” he said.
Team owners received an update on the LA situation from league executives at the NFL’s annual fall meetings in New York this week, the Los Angeles Times reported (http://lat.ms/1vR7X9U).
New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch told the newspaper there were references to potential new locations, including a couple in the Carson area of south Los Angeles County.
“It hasn’t gone backwards, but it hasn’t gone forwards,” Tisch said.
Los Angeles hasn’t had an NFL franchise since the Raiders and the Rams left after the 1994 season.