NFL zeroing in on Dodger Stadium site?

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any screwier in the NFL-to-Los Angeles rumor wars, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports that owners at the league meetings don’t like either of the two proposed sites, and would rather see a stadium at Chavez Ravine:

Several league sources expressed doubt that the would-be buyers of AEG — the entertainment giant is for sale and could fetch upwards of $10 billion — would be willing to pour massive amounts of money into the downtown project, as the current deal for prospective funding required AEG to do. A change of ownership at AEG could also lead to a more viable agreement at that site, some inside the effort to build in Los Angeles suggested, though there remain significant issues regarding parking and infrastructure in this area.

Areas around Dodger Stadium, where parking and space is abundant, are highly desirable to the league, sources said, and discussions in that regard are ongoing. This site has not received the national attention of others, but is very logical, particularly if the Dodgers were to move downtown. I asked commissioner Roger Goodell about the area around Dodger Stadium during his post-meeting press conference, and he called it “a terrific site” and seemed enthused about the possibility. One highly-connected source maintained that Dodger Stadium has been and still is “the preferred choice” of all the current options.

That’s pretty thin sourcing to base a story on, but it’s an indication of some interest, anyway. Recall that there were rumors a little over a year ago about the Dodgers moving to AEG’s downtown L.A. site and the NFL building atop Dodger Stadium; that never went anywhere, and now that the Dodgers are pursuing imminent renovation plans, isn’t all that likely to soon. Building an NFL stadium in the Chavez Ravine parking lot, though, could work — though you’d still be stuck with the same problem of who would pay for it. Things were so much easier in the days when building a stadium was as easy as hopping in a helicopter, pointing at some land, and saying, “Give me that.”

2 comments on “NFL zeroing in on Dodger Stadium site?

  1. People far more familiar with the LA area will certainly know more about this than I do, but ingress-egress for Chavez Ravine is a really sore spot down there. I just doubt that’s a good location for a football stadium.

    Bill Plaschke wrote a good article about this in August. I won’t put a link to it here, because whenever I try to put links in posts, my comments never come out of moderation. Just do a Google search for “Bill Plaschke Dodger Stadium Gridlock”, and the article will appear near the top of your search results.

  2. Mike:

    Having driven by Chavez Ravine last year during a game, yes there are issues with traffic (as there are pretty much across the vehicular paradise that is the Los Angeles basin).

    I struggle with this notion too… nobody walks in LA, as the song said, so adding a football stadium to the parking lot isn’t the great idea it might sound like… unless the plan is to prevail upon the bankrupt state (or city) to build a municipal transit system to serve it.

    Also suspect is the “Oh, we’ll just move the Dodgers downtown” argument. I’m thinking that, at a minimum, you’d have to run that one by them, and it doesn’t seem like anyone has done that.

    Also at issue is parking lot ownership… last I heard McCourt still has his feeding tube sunk in to at least some of the land around the stadium (after the sale)… and as ‘forced partnerships’ go, McCourt isn’t a guy I’d want to inherit.

    As unpopular as the original Chavez Ravine development was with Angelinos, the Dodgers are now part of the fabric of the Ravine (or former ravine…). It’s hard to see them leaving absent an absolute sweetheart deal. And the traffic associated with 80+ games a year downtown vs 10 football games makes a downtown baseball facility seem far less likely to me.

    I’d put this story under “don’t hold your breath”, along with many of the others written since the Rams & Raiders skipped town.