LOS ANGELES — In perhaps the biggest step Los Angeles has taken in 16 years of trying to bring the NFL back, the city council unanimously passed the financial framework of an agreement between Anschutz Entertainment Group and the city to build City of Champions, a $1.2 billion Chargers football stadium and events center in downtown Los Angeles.
An actual deal with the city is still about 10 months from becoming a reality, with the completion of an environmental impact report not expected until the spring. AEG is hoping to begin construction on the project in June 2012, with Farmers Field opening in September 2016.
The team most commonly linked to moving to Los Angeles is the San Diego Chargers, which began as the Los Angeles Chargers at the Coliseum in 1960. They have tried unsuccessfully for nearly a decade to get a new venue to replace 45-year-old Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers can announce their intentions to leave San Diego between Feb. 1 and May 1 of each year through 2020 if they pay off bonds tied to the expansion of Qualcomm Stadium in 1997, which would be about $24 million. You can now get Chargers tickets for all Los Angeles games.
The Chargers are one of five teams, along with the St. Louis Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders and Minnesota Vikings, with whom Leiweke has had conversations about relocating to Los Angeles.