LA City Council to discuss resolution that urges the NFL to bring a football team back to the city

Mayor: NFL team not his top priority

LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles City Council committee is expected Tuesday to discuss a resolution urging the National Football League to bring a team back to the city.
   
The resolution, which will be considered in the City Council's Economic Development Committee meeting, was introduced by City Councilman Tom LaBonge.  It reaffirms and reiterates the City Council's support for the efforts of the National Football League to bring a franchise back to Los Angeles and states that a second team would also be desirable.
   
LaBonge earlier this month delivered a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell urging an end to an 18-season NFL drought in Los Angeles. In his missive, LaBonge professed his deep love for the sport and said that it's time to "call an audible" after years of unfulfilled plans.
   
"We've waited far too long to root for the home team," LaBonge said of the renewed efforts to show the NFL the city's enthusiasm for the sport.  "Our collective excitement for the new NFL season is dampened by Los Angeles's lack of a team," he said.
   
The Los Angeles area has not had an NFL team since 1994. In 1995, the Los Angeles Raiders returned to Oakland after playing at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum from 1982-1994 and the Los Angeles Rams, who played in Anaheim Stadium, moved to St. Louis.
   
City leaders last fall signed a deal with entertainment and sports events company AEG to redevelop the Los Angeles Convention Center to include additional exhibition space. The agreement includes using a football stadium project at the site as leverage for bringing in financing for the convention center improvements.
   
Earlier this year, the announcement by Tim Leiweke, a key AEG negotiator in the deal, that he would be resigning from the company cast doubt on the future of the convention center improvements. By then the latest deadline for securing an NFL team to play at the proposed stadium had also come and gone without any action taken.
   
The mayoral transition also brought a shift in the city's attitude toward bringing in an NFL team, with new Mayor Eric Garcetti saying that while he would welcome a team, it was not his top priority.

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