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SPORTS WEEKEND

Former Trojan McKay Joins New Coliseum Team

November 20, 1998|T.J. SIMERS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The New Coliseum project, which gained momentum with its presentation before NFL owners in Kansas City, Mo., last month, has hired former USC football player J.K. McKay to join its effort, with the expectation of his playing a prominent role.

McKay, who had worked on behalf of Hollywood Park earlier, will leave the downtown Los Angeles law firm of Allen, Matkins, Leck, Gambel & Mallory to work full-time for Majestic Reality to help owner Ed Roski win the NFL derby for an expansion team.

"We just nailed this down today and I couldn't be more excited," said McKay, son of former USC coach John McKay. "I really believe in Ed Roski and I believe he's got the deal now that's doable. I saw what they did in Kansas City and some of the hurdles that they had to get over. Some that were considered insurmountable, they've gotten over. That's what I'm hearing from around the NFL."

At the same time the New Coliseum project has extended invitations to all NFL owners to be its guests at next weekend's Notre Dame-USC game at the Coliseum, and has gone so far as to provide private jet service for owners who have games on the West Coast.

"We want to take advantage of the opportunity to keep it in front of the owners that the Coliseum can be a great place for football," said John Semcken, Roski's point man on the project. "We're fortunate that the Redskins are playing in Oakland, Denver is in San Diego and the New York Giants are in San Francisco that weekend, so we can provide the opportunity to see the Notre Dame-USC experience and still get them back to their teams as soon as they like.

"It's a 5 p.m. game, which is great, because it will show them a night game and all the tailgating and great things that are involved with Exposition Park."

NFL representatives visited Los Angeles last week to meet with Roski, who is working now to add new ownership partners to his group.The NFL will have a special owners' meeting in Dallas on Feb. 16, with the expectation that the league's stadium and finance committees will recommend awarding the NFL's 32nd franchise to either the New Coliseum, Michael Ovitz's plan for a stadium in Carson or the city of Houston.

McKay will work with the NFL owners, as well as with the league office. His brother, Rich, is general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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