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New owners have not been approached by NFL about Dodger Stadium

June 30, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • New owners of the Dodgers, from left, Robert Patton, Stan Kasten, Mark Walter, Magic Johnson, Peter Guber, and Todd Boehly.
New owners of the Dodgers, from left, Robert Patton, Stan Kasten, Mark Walter,… (Damian Dovarganes / Associated…)

The Dodgers’ new owners have not spoken to the NFL about building a stadium next to Dodger Stadium and have no immediate plans to do so but are open to the possibility.

Clarity can sometimes be derived from reading between the lines. Which might just be what’s required here.

Mark Walter, the Dodgers’ new controlling owner, was in attendance at Dodger Stadium on Friday, the same day The Times’ Sam Farmer broke the story about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell setting guidelines for any teams interested in moving to Los Angeles.

Goodell made specific mention of AEG’s design for a stadium downtown and Ed Roski’s plans for one in the City of Industry, but also wrote: "We are also exploring the availability of other sites in the Los Angeles area."

Potential sites, according to Farmer, are believed to be Carson, Hollywood Park and Dodger Stadium.

“We haven’t talked about it or thought about it a lot,” Walter said. “It’s not on our radar screen. I mean, we’re trying to fix this place and get our team running and make this the best experience possible for our fans.

“If that came on our radar screen, we’d deal with it. But it’s not right now. The NFL has not approached us with anything.”

Walter said he was not particularly familiar with the NFL or its history about returning to Los Angeles since both the Rams and Raiders left after the 1994 season.

“I just don’t know what’s going on there,” he said. “You do know we’ve only had the team for only two months? To buy another one that quick would be kind of a lot.

“It’s not just money, there’s time and people and talent and other things. I’m not saying we have no interest in it, it’s just not on our radar.

“We have a lot of work to do here and if that came up, I guess we’d listen to it or somebody would analyze it. I’m certainly not an expert on any of this.”

Peter O’Malley first wanted to build an NFL stadium next to Dodger Stadium, but unfortunately when civic leaders asked him to back down he did because they were supporting the Coliseum bid.

Frank McCourt also explored the possibility, but that was before he sold the team and became a billionaire. McCourt does, of course, still own half of those parking lots.

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