The successful beginning of the approval process of AEG's proposal to build a new stadium in downtown Los Angeles means that the NFL is finally on track to return to Southern California. There will be delays, environmental impact reports, opposition by taxpayers, twists and turns galore, but the train delivering NFL football to our region is firmly on tracks that will lead to a new stadium and possibly two new teams.
I have been involved in saving or attracting franchises for many years. In 1992, I was asked by Mayor Frank Jordan of San Francisco to lead an effort to stop the San Francisco Giants from going through with a signed deal that would move the club to Tampa Bay. We needed to convince Major League Baseball to disapprove the move as "against the best interests of baseball."
We needed to advance a new stadium plan in a city with Byzantine fractionalized politics. And we needed to assemble a new group of local buyers. We succeeded, which resulted in being sued by the Tampa Bay group for a billion dollars.