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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS | NEWPORT / COSTA
MESA / IRVINE: IRVINE

NFL Executive Says City Still in Game

October 13, 1998|LORENZA MUNOZ

Hoping to assuage fears that Irvine is out of the running for a professional football team, the National Football League's vice president met with city leaders to tell them that Irvine is still a "serious contender" for a franchise site.

Mayor Christina L. Shea and Councilman Dave Christensen met with Roger Goodell, executive vice president of the league, on Friday to discuss the stadium plans and tour the proposed site.

The city says it has secured financial backing from a private sports group to build a stadium on a 440-acre site next to the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station.

Irvine was not invited to an NFL owners meeting this month, while Los Angeles and other cities lobbying for a franchise were. Some city leaders feared Irvine had lost its chance.

But Shea said they were told Friday that they are still "high on the radar screen" and that a decision would not be made on the next franchise until mid-1999.

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