Los Angeles closer to pro football team

Robert Downs

Owners around the NFL often use the prospect of moving their teams to Los Angles as leverage against fans for new stadiums or projects requiring public funding. Now, that pressure may be applied more aggressively.

The city of Industry, CA approved a settlement Thursday with neighboring Walnut, CA – a city that had opposed plans for an $800 million NFL stadium – clearing a hurdle in efforts to bring a pro football team to the Los Angeles area, the Associated Press reported. The stadium would be built 15 miles east of Los Angeles.

This is especially pertinent to Minnesota Vikings fans, who fear that owner Zigi Wilf may threaten to move the team once the 48-year-old NFL franchise wears out its Metrodome lease.

The Vikings’ current lease with the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission (MSFC), signed in August 1979, keeps them in the Metrodome until 2011.

The deal approved unanimously by the Industry City Council grants the city of Walnut $9 million, an annual cash payment of up to $500,000 and other concessions, Industry City Manager Kevin Radecki said.

The deal also requires developers to pay for noise monitoring around the stadium and prohibits loud events after 10 p.m., a policy that may stifle raucous celebrations after prospective night games.

Stadium developer Majestic Realty Co. will wait for all legal hurdles to be cleared before it begins contacting teams about moving to the proposed stadium, about 15 miles east of Los Angeles, John Semcken, managing partner with Majestic said.

– Associated Press reports were used in this blog post