NFL team in Anaheim a ‘dead issue’

by Associated
Press

ANAHEIM,
Calif. — The hope of an NFL team returning to the
Los
Angeles area seems to be fading after city officials in

Anaheim said they plan to
sell a potential stadium site to a developer who plans to build shops and
office towers.

“The
NFL’s train has left,” councilwoman Lucille Kring said Wednesday. “It
would cost the taxpayers too much money, and the return on the investment does
not warrant it.”

Anaheim
is expected to officially end its
chase of an NFL team in a few months when it sells the 53-acre stadium site to
Archstone-Smith and Hines.

And, with
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa saying last week that the Los Angeles
Memorial Coliseum is no longer a viable option, NFL fans may have another
season without a hometown team.

“It’s
a completely dead issue with us,”

Anaheim
councilman Harry Sidhu said. “If there’s any chance of this coming back,
it’ll have to be in discussions with Archstone and the NFL.”

Archstone
officials declined to say whether they would be interested in continuing to
negotiate with the NFL once they purchase the land, but one of the company’s
plans incorporates an NFL stadium.

There have
been discussions about an NFL team playing in

Anaheim but when the estimate to build a
stadium topped $1 billion, city officials shied away from the project.

The city
gave exclusive development rights to Archstone in May.