UPDATE, AUG. 9, 2:22 P.M.: The Los Angeles Chargers of San Diego are coming! (One can only hope.)
Earlier this afternoon the Los Angeles City Council voted 12-0 in favor of a tentative agreement with Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), which outlines the framework for financing the $1.2 billion dollar NFL stadium and relocation of the Los Angeles Convention Center. While the vote is a major indicator that Farmers Field is going to be built, it is just the beginning of negotiations with AEG, which is expected to span nine months. If the project moves forward as currently planned, the 72,000-seat stadium is expected to open for the 2016 season.
ORIGINAL POST, FEB. 1, 4:59 P.M.: This morning, AEG and its head honcho, Tom Leiweke, announced what most every Angeleno and Southland citizen has been hearing for the past couple years: LA's on the cusp of building a $1 billion stadium and hopes to bring an NFL franchise back to the area. There was one bit of new news: if and when that team comes, it could be calling Farmers Field its home.
Which begs the question: What does Los Angeles have that Irvine doesn't?!
Okay, we kid. We know that no NFL player with heaps of cash and a body pumped full of 'roid rage would really want to live within the cookie-cutter confines of a city with one of the country's lowest crime rates. No NFL player wants that sort of attention, aside from Plaxico Burress.
Did anyone really believe Irvine and its proposed El Toro Marine Corps Air Station location stood a chance over downtown Los Angeles?
Oh, really? You did? And what exactly did you plan to call this Irvine franchise: Irvine Spectrums? Irvine 405ers? Irvine Nice Guys? We got a good one: Irvine Anteaters. (Yeah, right, like that makes any sense! What? Oops. Sorry, UCI.)
No reason to bicker; it ain't happening. AEG has Farmers Insurance signed to a $700 million deal for naming rights–Farmers Field, such a fitting name for a stadium sitting in the middle of a major metropolis, right?–and now it just needs to find a team willing to move in.
The leading candidates for relocation, per the sportswriters' rumor mill, are the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Oakland Raiders (oh, yay, wouldn't we love to have them . . . again), the Minnesota Vikings (pictures of Brett Favre's manhood are not included in the deal) and the San Diego Chargers.
It also needs to get the city to sign-off on a final decision to allow the group to break ground, which would demolish the old convention center across the street from the home of the Lakers, the Staples Center. It also needs a $350-million bond from the city. And, again, a team.
An NFL franchise is coming. We think.
Eh, probably not. What's a few more years of incessant talk and zero delivery? Maybe it's not too late for Irvine to sweeten the deal.