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Report: NFL Owners Prefer Chavez Ravine Over Downtown LA

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Could the future site of an NFL team in Los Angeles find a home next to Dodger Stadium?

KNX 1070’s John Brooks reports NFL owners reportedly reached a consensus that could derail the proposed Farmers Field stadium.

League owners support bringing at least one team to Los Angeles in the near future, but they apparently envision any new stadium to be built in Chavez Ravine, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider’s Jason LaCanfora.

Leaked details from a meeting of the NFL’s Los Angeles committee shows owners remain skeptical about several elements of AEG’s plan.

LaCanfora told KNX 1070 regardless of what owners want, it remains highly unlikely the city will see any football action until 2014 at the earliest.

“First of all, a lot of people don’t think the existing deal for Farmers Field would have ever happened had they not been in a position to sell or otherwise, but then you still got the infrastructure issues down there,” said LaCanfora.

Owner Philip Anschutz put AEG – which owns the Lakers, Galaxy, Sparks and the Kings – up for sale in September, adding fuel to speculation that any change in ownership might jeopardize plans for a downtown stadium.

Smith College economics professor Andrew Zimbalist said the pending sale of AEG has forced the company to backpedal on promises to build the stadium with its own money and may pose the biggest threat to any future site.

“The NFL has not had a team in L.A. for 17 years, and they expect that when they do allow a team to go back, that they’re gonna have people on their knees and begging and providing…almost all the financing,” Zimbalist said.

But while there are other possible Southland locations being considered, LaCanfora said none has proven as attractive to NFL owners as Chavez Ravine.

“Things in Carson aren’t moving as some would have hoped, some public funding they thought would be there now isn’t,” said LaCanfora. “You’ve still got the City of Industry, but if they really wanted to be in the City of Industry, that would’ve happened by now.”

Even if a series of financial and legal hurdles could be overcome, however, some Dodgers fans say the NFL should leave Chavez Ravine alone.

“A baseball stadium’s more open, you can see out, you can see the ravine, a football stadium’s all enclosed,” said one fan. “I hope it changes their mind.”

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