The TV networks with NFL rights have been salivating at the thought of putting a pro football team back in the ultra-lucrative Los Angeles market. Today, the Los Angeles City Council has become their new best friend by voting to approve a memorandum of understanding that outlines the financial framework of a $1.2 billion stadium, Farmers Field, to be built in downtown LA to house the first NFL team here in 16 years. The deal between the city and Anschutz Entertainment Group, which would see a 68,000-seat stadium attached to a new wing of the LA Convention Center, still must pass environmental-impact hurdles, but the tentative plan is for AEG to begin construction in 2012 for an opening in September 2016. The Council vote was unanimous today, mostly thanks to amended bond agreements that reduces the amount the city would have to shell out for the convention center upgrade. Last week on ESPN Radio’s local Mason and Ireland Show, former stadium skeptic Councilman Bill Rosendahl said he was on board with the deal but that he didn’t want ground broken on a new stadium if a team hasn’t been lined up yet to play there. AEG president Tim Leiweke has previously said he’s had discussions with the Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings and the San Diego Chargers (always a top candidate to head north thanks to a shaky stadium deal of their own).
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