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NFL owners hear presentations for Los Angeles stadiums

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San Diego Chargers' fan Johnny Abundez protests outside of the NFL Owners Meeting at the Hyatt Regency hotel, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, in Schaumburg, Ill. San Diego Chargers' fan Johnny Abundez protests outside of the NFL Owners Meeting at the Hyatt Regency hotel, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, in Schaumburg, Ill.
Carmen Policy, who is overseeing a stadium project for the Chargers and Raiders in Carson, Calif., responds to a reporter at the NFL Owners meeting Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, in Schaumburg, Ill. Carmen Policy, who is overseeing a stadium project for the Chargers and Raiders in Carson, Calif., responds to a reporter at the NFL Owners meeting Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, in Schaumburg, Ill.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at a news conference at the league's owners meetings at the Hyatt Regency hotel, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, in Schaumburg, Ill. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at a news conference at the league's owners meetings at the Hyatt Regency hotel, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, in Schaumburg, Ill.
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SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (AP) — Three NFL teams. Billions of dollars in play. One big opportunity.

A whole lot more than California dreamin' on a warm summer day.

NFL owners met in suburban Chicago on Tuesday to hear more about moving at least one team to the Los Angeles market. The Chargers and Raiders presented a proposal for a stadium in Carson that includes eight-plus acres of rent-free land for the league to use as it sees fit, and Rams owner Stan Kroenke also talked about his plan for a facility in Inglewood.

While Commissioner Roger Goodell said no voting of any kind occurred at the meeting, it was clear the momentum was rolling toward at least one relocated team in the Los Angeles area possibly as soon as the 2016 season.

"My own personal point of view is that I feel the likelihood is good," New York Giants owner Steve Tisch said. "I think it's better than 50-50."

The traditional window for applying for relocation runs from Jan. 1 to Feb. 15, but Goodell said that timeline could be moved up or tightened. He also felt the league would decide on a relocation fee this fall.

Los Angeles hasn't had an NFL team since the Rams and Raiders departed after the 1994 season. Now they want to resume their L.A. story, and the Chargers are looking to leave their home city since 1961.

At stake is one of the country's largest markets, and the NFL is focused on a long-term solution.

"That's the key issue for us, making sure that whatever we ultimately decide as a membership, that we have the ability to be successful in Los Angeles for the long term," Goodell said, "and that's why we spent the last two decades trying to come up with a solution that we felt would provide that kind of foundation."

The high-stakes game of musical chairs likely will send at least one team back to a market it tried to leave, but Goodell said the teams know the risk.

"Those are the circumstances as they are," he said. "You take a risk if you file for relocation of whether it'll be approved."

The Chargers and Raiders, long-time AFC West rivals, are pushing a shared $1.7 billion venue involving about 170 acres in Carson, a city of 93,000 people south of downtown Los Angeles. Owners Dean Spanos of the Chargers and Mark Davis of the Raiders spoke during their 30-minute presentation at the meetings, and Carmen Policy, a former 49ers executive who was hired to help oversee the project, said the group touted the transportation and location advantages of its proposed site, and the history of the teams.

"It cures the California dilemma and you're not only curing the California dilemma, but you're curing it with California teams," Policy said. "These teams have been born and bred in California. They never left California. They've always been in California."

Davis said he talked about the progress that the group had made over the past six months, and he thought the presentation went well.

"You never know," Davis said. "As I've said all along, Oakland is still the place that we wanted to be and we'll just see what happens."

The city of San Diego had its chance to speak to the NFL on Monday, making a presentation in front of the league's Committee on Los Angeles Opportunities. Then the city and county unveiled updated plans for a new $1.1 billion stadium that were criticized by the Chargers.

Eric Grubman, the NFL's point man on relocation, said the city's proposal "evidenced a significant amount of progress," but the committee still had several questions about possible risks and threats. The Chargers have expressed concerns about an environmental study collapsing in court.

"Those questions remain open," Grubman said. "They are working on responses and how to mitigate those risks."

Kroenke is proposing a $1.8 billion venue on the site of the former Hollywood Park horse track, as part of a sprawling development of homes, parks and office space. But St. Louis also is proposing a new stadium.

"The presentations that were made today by the Raiders and Chargers group was really, really well done, as was Stan's presentation," Tisch said.

The owners meet again in October in New York, but no relocation vote is expected at that meeting. Policy said he got the impression it would be decided by the Super Bowl.

While the special meeting was focused on the possibilities in Los Angeles, the league also announced the draft would return to Chicago next year. The location has not been finalized, but it will be near Grant Park and run from April 28-30.

The league also said it would create a selection process for future draft sites. There was no commitment made to Chicago beyond 2016, but the NFL said it will be considered for future drafts.

"We're not afraid of moving it around," Goodell said. "It gives people an opportunity to experience the draft that never had and may never will if we don't. And it's been good for the draft, it's been good for the league, overall."


This is a story update. The previous story is below.
 

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The former football executive spearheading efforts by the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders to jointly build a stadium in Carson said today he's "absolutely certain" the teams will be based in the Los Angeles area by 2019, but National Football League executives were more cautious.

Carmen Policy, a lawyer who was president and CEO of the San Francisco 49ers in the 1980s and 90s, told reporters outside a meeting of National Football League team owners in Chicago that the Carson project would be "shovel ready" as soon as approval is given for the teams to move from their respective cities.

[RELATED: City & county representatives brief NFL on stadium]

He said the proposed Carson stadium would be ready in time for the 2019 season.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which is covering the meetings because that city's Rams are also eyeing a move to the lucrative Los Angeles market, reported that Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos and Raiders owner Mark Davis also made brief remarks to their colleagues.

Rams owner Stan Kroenke was also scheduled to discuss his planned stadium project at the former Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood.

Returning a team to Los Angeles is a major priority for the NFL. The Los Angeles area has not had an NFL team since 1995, when the Rams moved to St. Louis and the Raiders returned to Oakland.

[RELATED: Concept Art: A look at the proposed Chargers stadium throughout the process]

The office of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who is trying to keep the Chargers from moving, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Monday, city and county of San Diego stadium negotiators met with a small group of team owners to discuss a proposal to replace Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley. They unveiled renderings of a design concept by the firm Populous and a proposed financing package, under which the city and county would pay about one-third of the total construction cost.

The financing proposal calls for the Chargers to contribute $362.5 million and the NFL $200 million, and for $187.5 million in personal seat licenses to be sold, with the county and city making a combined $350 million contribution. The proposal does not rely on income from other development on the site, like shops and office buildings.

[RELATED: The latest concept renderings of the proposed Chargers stadium]

Also made public on Monday was a 6,000-page environmental impact report, which is now available for public comment. Chargers officials have objected to the study's expedited time line.

Team special counsel Mark Fabiani said that never in California's history had a controversial billion-dollar project relied on environmental review documents prepared in just three weeks. Environmental studies usually take 12-18 months.

Following the meetings, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters that all possibilities remained on the table, and the league could still keep teams in their home markets.

NFL Executive Vice President Eric Grubman, who is in charge of relocation, said a team representing the city and county of San Diego made "a very thorough" presentation Monday to a committee of owners.
   
"The city of San Diego evidenced a significant amount of progress in terms of putting together something which is beginning to be defined," Grubman said.

"They also went through their strategy for dealing with various risks and threats -- it could be a litigation threat over environmental permitting and certifications, there could be threats from the standpoint of obtaining the necessary public support that the mayor has called for, and so forth and so on," Grubman said.

He said the NFL's goal is to create a scenario that brings about certainty.

[RELATED: Chargers slam San Diego's latest stadium proposal]

City officials maintain that the EIR will hold up to scrutiny because the project is merely replacing one stadium with a similar and smaller, facility, so the impacts are already largely known.

The efforts to keep the Chargers in San Diego come years after the local NFL franchise began asking for a replacement for aging Qualcomm Stadium, where, long before it acquired its current name, the first game was played in August 1967.

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