Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle said Wednesday that city officials are engaged in their "most serious discussions" with the NFL and next week plan to elaborate on their vision for a football stadium in the so-called Platinum Triangle.
The city, which to this point has been especially low key about its discussions with the league, has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday to introduce an economical-impact study, announce projects and discuss land-use ideas for the area surrounding Angel Stadium.
"The point of this is we're trying to show that this is a great opportunity, not just for the NFL but for everybody," said Pringle, referring to Anaheim residents and developers.
The increased efforts come as the NFL prepares for its May 24-25 meetings, when league officials will present team owners with their findings on the four competing L.A.-area stadium sites: the Coliseum and Rose Bowl, Anaheim and Carson. Neil Glat, leading the site-evaluation process for the league, said owners this month would be presented with the information they need to choose a site. How soon the choice will be made is unclear; it is not unusual for such decisions to be delayed for months.
If a final decision was not made at these meetings, Glat said the field of stadium concepts could be narrowed to three or two.
"Certainly [the owners] will be in position to make cuts," said Glat, the league's vice president of strategic planning and business development. He met in L.A. this week with representatives from the four sites.
Darryl Dunn, general manager of the Rose Bowl, characterized this month as "crunch time" in his stadium's bid to become home to an NFL team. The Pasadena City Council will vote Monday to certify an environmental-impact report, or EIR, that includes a redesigned Rose Bowl. So emotionally charged is the issue that the council meeting has been moved from city hall to the Pasadena Civic Center to accommodate the expected crowd.
"We've always said we recognize the challenges that exist with our stadium's future," Dunn said, adding that the NFL could be a great solution. "We want to do a deal, provided it's the right deal for Pasadena."
Although the EIR for the Carson site will not be finished until the end of the year, developer Steve Hopkins, who controls the site, said he was encouraged by progress made with the league in recent weeks. He was part of a six-member Carson contingent that met in New York last month with NFL executives.
"We're the guys playing catch-up," Hopkins said. "But we're knocking items off our checklist."
Hopkins said he expected to provide the league in the coming weeks with two schedules, one giving a timeframe for cleaning up the site -- a toxic dump -- on his company's pace, and another for preparing the land in tandem with the NFL.
Hopkins said among the league's concerns was sufficient parking at the site and within a half-mile radius. The league wants about 21,000 parking spots, roughly 9,000 more than the current site plan has.
Furthest along in the stadium derby is the Coliseum. Officials there have had a certified EIR for more than a year, and have been engaged in specific deal-term negotiations with the league for months.
"Ours is a rent issue," said Pat Lynch, the stadium's general manager. "We're dealing with technicalities, nuts-and-bolts issues that are much more real than EIRs, parking-replacement plans, toxic-land cleanups or neighborhood issues."