Chargers, Rams First To New, Empty LA Stadium?

Eight months ago I suggested that AEG CEO Tim Leiweke and L.A.-based sports biz mogul Casey Wasserman had plans to build a downtown L.A. football stadium without the benefit of a pre-commitment from an NFL team to move into the facility.

Los Angeles NFL Stadium Map

(Where the L.A. NFL Stadium would be located)

Excerpt:

So what has to happen for the project to get done? While some may think that an NFL team pre-committing to such a venue would be critical to the process, I’m not so sure.

… I don’t think its an impossibility that a domed stadium in downtown L.A. could get done without an NFL team initially. And when it comes to the Chargers, you can bet that if an L.A. stadium is suddenly available, San Diego’s hand on a new stadium will be forced. 

Friday during a radio interview, Leiweke confirmed exactly that prospect. Read more…

Unique LA Stadium Deal May Cost SD Its Chargers

In the aftermath of the news of the first legitimate Los Angeles NFL stadium plan in eight years, I’ve freshened up my investigation into what team is most likely to move to L.A. if the project happens. With all signs pointing south.

Los Angeles Chargers 2010

(San Diego: Nothing Personal)

There’s two critical things you need to know about the L.A. situation as it pertains to what current NFL team will end up here.

1) The guys who are leading the charge for the L.A. facility, Tim Leiweke of AEG and Casey Wasserman, have every intention of getting the facility built with or without an existing commit from an NFL team. And unlike what outsiders might think, these guys absolutely have the capacity and staying power, thanks to local political clout and financial resources, to get that done.

2) In talking to several San Diego-based media and political sources today, I’ve been told that the financial state of the city and county is in such disrepair that barring a miracle, there will be no new stadium for the Chargers.

The “miracle” would involve a facility erected with zero public funds. If the Chargers were serious about making that happen, the process would’ve started long ago.

It’s undisputed that the the main reason the NFL is not in Los Angeles is the old guard of NFL owners, who for so long have been accustomed to raping cities for new, free stadiums, has been unable to secure a similar, ridiculously lopsided deal in L.A.

With this new, downtown Los Angeles stadium bid, that is not going to change.

But what if the stadium gets built without the NFL’s involvement? That, my friends, is L.A.’s secret weapon in this case. Read more…

Finally! All Of The Pieces In Place For NFL-To-LA

If you asked me yesterday afternoon what the chances of an NFL team moving to L.A. were in the next five years, I’d have told you zero. I’ve contended from the very beginning that the City of Industry stadium bid by Ed Roski will never happen, and there’s been nothing in recent months to suggest otherwise.

NFL Stadiums in Los Angeles Comparison

(1201 Figueroa St.: NFL’s newest address?)

But last night here in Los Angeles something happened that makes me think we will indeed have NFL football here in the next five years. Maybe sooner. Read more…

Vince McMahon Gets His Revenge On Nugs Owner

We’re all familiar with the Denver Debacle by now - how the WWE was kicked out of the Pepsi Center for Monday, May 25, because the Nuggets were facing the Lakers in Game 4 of their NBA Western Conference Finals series. Well, Vince McMahon vowed he would get his revenge on Stan Kroenke, the owner of both the Nuggets & the Pepsi Center.

And last night from Staples Center, he got it. Sort of. Kind of.

Oh, just see for yourself:

You go, Vinnie Mac! Kudos to you for that funny XBA joke. And who knew Kroenke’s real first name was Enos?

Week In Review: QB Sanchez Does GQ, Gets Girl

• He hasn’t even thrown a pass yet, but Jets QB Mark Sanchez is already cementing his status as a Big Apple sex symbol with a GQ photo spread:

Mark Sanchez Hilary Rhoda GQ shoot

And Hilary Rhoda, the bikini-clad babe sharing the snapshot spotlight, is also apparently Mark’s new main squeeze.

Tony Kornheiser gives up his “Monday Night Football” gig, so ESPN tabs Jon Gruden as his replacement. It should be fun, considering what the ex-Bucs coach has said in the past about the Worldwide Leader.

• Will recent sex scandals cause Australian rugby to ban its cheerleaders?

• The Pepsi Center double-books a Nuggets-Lakers playoff game & WWE’s “Monday Night Raw” on the same night. Of course, Vince McMahon is going to have lots of fun with this Denver Debacle.

• Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger is hoping her boyfriend, Formula One star Lewis Hamilton, will soon race with her to the wedding altar.

Read more…

Vince McMahon Still Continues to Needle Nuggets

Say what you will about Vince McMahon (and many people have), but the guy is a marketing genius. When it turned out that the WWE & the Denver Nuggets were both booked for the Pepsi Center this Monday, McMahon let loose in verbally vilifying Stan Kroenke, saying how the Nuggets owner “did not have enough faith in his own team” to leave an open date for a possible playoff game, and how he should be “arrested for impersonating a good businessman.”

Vince McMahon Stan Kroenke

(Watch your back, Stan - Vince is ready to cut you down! And he even brought his own clippers!)

But even with a guaranteed sellout, the WWE was told in the end to hit the road. So Vince has moved his “Monday Night Raw” to L.A.’s Staples Center. Still furious with the eviction, McMahon has challenged Kroenke to a steel cage match on ESPN (which would complement well with the AWA reruns ESPN Classic has been showing). Obviously, Stan has declined, with a team spokesman adding, “We’re preparing for basketball games. Whatever (McMahon) does from here is of no concern.”

Well, you may have won the battle, Kroenke, but you haven’t won the war.

Read more…

Nuggets, WWE Fighting Over Pepsi Center Time

Usually, if you own a basketball or hockey team that has a legitimate shot at reaching a deep round of the playoffs, you don’t rent out your home arena. Evidently Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke wasn’t too sold on this year’s Denver team, because his basketball team is currently embroiled in a battle of smack talk over who will get the Pepsi Center next Monday night, as both WWE’s “Monday Night RAW” and Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals are scheduled to be there.

rocky nuggets mascot

(Rocky vs. The Big Show. For the arena, winner take all.)

According to the web site for Denver ABC affiliate 7NEWS, WWE’s Vince McMahon is not the least bit happy about the scheduling snafu, which threatens to send his weekly event to a smaller venue, or outside of Denver altogether, if the NBA doesn’t step in and move the date of Game 4, an outcome which is extremely unlikely at best.

Read more…