Los Angeles extends deal to snag NFL team

AEG via AP file photoA rendering of what would be Farmers Field in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES — The City Council on Tuesday gave developer AEG another six months to lure a professional football team to the nation's second-largest city, which has lacked one for two decades.

Without discussion, the council extended AEG's 2012 agreement to build a downtown stadium and convince an NFL team to move there. The original deal was set to expire on Saturday but the new deadline to obtain a team commitment is April.

AEG would then have until October of next year to finalize the deal.

AEG has had no luck getting a team to come but its chief legal and development officer, Ted Fikre, told a council committee last week that there has been “renewed dialogue” with the league.

In addition to receiving more time, AEG agreed to cover the $750,000 it would cost for a “Plan B.” If no new stadium is built, the money would pay the early design and study costs of expanding the existing Los Angeles Convention Center — next door to where the proposed Farmer's Field stadium would stand.

Los Angeles hasn't had an NFL franchise since losing the Rams and Raiders after the 1994 season.

However, Mayor Eric Garcetti told radio station KFWB-AM on Tuesday that the recent $2 billion sale of the Clippers basketball team showed the value of a Los Angeles franchise.

Garcetti said it is possible that someone at the NFL owners' meeting next spring will decide to take their team to Los Angeles, and a football team worth perhaps $1 billion or less would be “smart to come.”

Garcetti has said that no public money will be used to build a downtown stadium, although ideas such as tax incentives have been floated in the past.

Downtown isn't the only place where an NFL team could choose to settle.

Over the years, proposals have been floated for NFL stadiums in the Los Angeles suburbs of Carson, Irwindale and Industry, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, in a remodeled Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and near Dodger Stadium.

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