LOS ANGELES (AP) — No NFL team has expressed serious interest in moving to Southern California, according to a top executive with the company proposing to build a football stadium in downtown Los Angeles.
AEG President Tim Leiweke told The Los Angeles Daily News in an interview Monday that he hasn’t heard from any team that plans to apply to move to Los Angeles for the 2013 season. The NFL opened the application period on Jan. 1. Franchises have until Feb. 15 to apply.
“I haven’t been made aware of any team that is going to file for a move in 2013,” Leiweke said.
The impending sale of Anschutz Entertainment Group, a $6 billion conglomerate of sports and entertainment enterprises, may be a concern for team owners, the executive said.
“What I would guess … is that there is no club currently that’s going to file for a transfer simply because they are waiting to see what happens with our ownership situation,” Leiweke told the Daily News.
In September, AEG’s parent company, Anschutz Co., announced that it was selling AEG, which owns the Staples Center, the Los Angeles Kings NHL team and dozens of other music and sports properties.
Leiweke told the Daily News that about a dozen individuals or companies are on a short list of possible buyers. A deal could be reached in the first quarter of 2013, he said.
“We need to finish this last piece, which is an ownership group committed to the deal that we have outlined, and committing financially to building Farmers Field, and I think that it’s going to happen,” Leiweke said.
AEG can’t start construction on the $1.5 billion Farmers Field stadium until it secures a team. It also faces a competing stadium proposal by developer Ed Roski in the City of Industry and NFL interest in converting Dodgers Stadium to a football venue.
Los Angeles has been without an NFL team since the Rams moved to St. Louis and the Raiders departed for Oakland in 1995. The city and its surrounding area boast two major league baseball teams, two basketball teams and two hockey teams.
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