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L.A. isn't on NFL's agenda

March 27, 2007|Sam Farmer

PHOENIX — For the first time in recent memory -- more than a decade, some observers say -- the NFL has left the L.A. situation off its owners meetings agenda. Traditionally, this is when league officials do their most intense soul searching about the lack of a team in the nation's second-largest market.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that just because L.A. isn't on the agenda doesn't mean the situation is stagnant. Asked if things are moving forward, however, he said: "We've continued to work at it. I don't know if I'd characterize it as forward."

Even though the NFL and the Coliseum are no longer engaged in meaningful talks, City Councilman Bernard C. Parks, president of the Coliseum Commission, was outside the meetings Monday to mingle with owners and executives.

And there are indications of private talks about the L.A. situation. Goodell received a telephone call Saturday from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and last month at a Lakers game, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, chairman of the league's stadium committee, and Dodgers owner Frank McCourt were guests in Lakers owner Jerry Buss' suite. The league has long considered Dodger Stadium a prime location for a football stadium. McCourt said they did not discuss football.

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Sam Farmer

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Times staff writer Steve Henson contributed to this report.

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