LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger has been appointed by the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders to head their joint stadium efforts in Carson, the Chargers announced Wednesday.
Iger, who will remain as Disney’s chairman and CEO, will serve as the non-executive chairman of Carson Holdings, LLC, overseeing the new 65,000-seat, $1.78 billion stadium’s design and construction, naming rights and operation of the facility.READ MORE: Protests Continue Outside Sigma Nu House On USC's Fraternity Row As New Sexual Assault Allegations Emerge
The deal, however, is contingent on the NFL owners approving the Carson stadium for construction. NFL owners are expected to decide in January which, if any, teams will move to Los Angeles.
“Should owners approve the move, Los Angeles will proudly welcome two incredible teams to our community and build a stadium worthy of their fans,” Iger said in a statement (PDF).
Iger signed on for five years and will be paid just $1 a year, but has the option of buying a minority stake in the Chargers or Raiders if the teams move to Los Angeles. He’s expected to retire from Disney when his contract ends in 2018.
Smith College economist Andrew Zimbalist told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the Iger announcement is good news for the Carson project.READ MORE: Lawmaker Calls For Change On California Film Sets After Prop-Gun Shooting Death Of Halyna Hutchins By Alec Baldwin
Inglewood Mayor James Butts discussed Inglewood’s position in the race to keep up with Carson as a potential landing spot for a stadium.
“It doesn’t matter who is associated with a project, it matters more whether you’re going to get the job done,” Butts said. “We’re prepared to break ground in December, but we’ll wait until the decision is rendered. Hopefully it will be in January.”
“I think that one of the deficits that Carson has had, at least in perception, has been its financing,” said Zimbalist. “If Iger is involved, one would think that the financing issues are at least diminished, if not entirely eliminated.”
The announcement coincided with an NFL owners’ meeting in New York City Wednesday to discuss the status of L.A. proposals from the Chargers, Raiders and St. Louis Rams. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer gave a 45-minute presentation to team owners on why the Chargers should stay in San Diego.
Faulconer will also discuss the city’s proposed 67,500-seat facility in Mission Valley adjacent to Qualcomm Stadium.MORE NEWS: Inland Empire Commuters Dealing With Wet And Dangerous Road Conditions
Rams owner Stan Kroenke is also proposing a facility in Inglewood on the site of the former Hollywood Park racetrack, but those plans ran into some trouble Wednesday after Los Angeles International Airport officials said the proposed design is a hazard to planes landing at the airport.