One of the two groups working on getting an NFL team for L.A. has received a huge shot in the arm, with Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger coming aboard to oversee the effort to create an NFL franchise in Carson.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Carson, where a $1.7 billion stadium project has been proposed that would be the new home of the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders, has been the underdog in the fight, with the front-runner being a proposal to bring the St. Louis Rams to a new stadium in Inglewood.
But Iger’s arrival appears to significantly shift the balance.
“Iger heads one of the most successful entertainment companies in the world. Disney also owns ESPN, a television partner with the NFL,” the Times reports. “Carmen Policy, a former NFL executive who now serves as executive director of Carson Holdings, the joint venture between the Chargers and Raiders, called the addition of Iger a ‘game-changer.'”
The article quotes Policy saying: “We now have the kind of leadership and expertise that should calm any concerns about any NFL teams going into L.A. and getting off on the right foot and pursuing the right course. Who could we get to better guarantee fan experience than the man who runs ‘the happiest place on earth’?”
Iger is adding the title of chairman of Carson Holdings to his current role as chairman and CEO of Disney, the report notes.
A yes vote by three-fourths of the 32 NFL team owners is required to approve relocation of any team to Los Angeles. A vote has been expected as soon as January, although the date is not guaranteed.
“The Iger move was viewed by some as window dressing for a project that isn’t expected to be ready until 2018,” the Times reports, adding: “In Inglewood, the stadium design is complete and developers are securing permits to begin construction should it be approved by owners.”