City of Industry, downtown Los Angeles, Inglewood – and now Carson?
Yes, yet another site is entering the L.A. region’s pro football stadium derby, and this time it’s a county park and golf course in Carson.
In recent weeks, executives with National Football League teams have been scouting the 172-acre Victoria Regional Park and golf course as a possible location for a stadium and related entertainment complex. The park is just east of the interchange of the 405 and 110 freeways, and right next to the landmark Goodyear blimp field.
Executives with two of the teams widely considered to be looking to move have approached a local developer who is in escrow to become a major partner in the company that operates the golf course. These executives made queries about the site.
“Yes, I have been approached by two separate groups with NFL contacts,” said Jeffrey Klein, a Newport Beach developer. “And yes, there’s no question it’s an attractive place for a stadium.”
Klein would not name the teams, but the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams have all been mentioned as serious candidates to move to Los Angeles should negotiations for new or renovated stadiums in their home cities falter. The Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars have also been mentioned as possible candidates.
Klein, whose family also operates the Malibu Country Club, is buying into the company that holds the lease on Victoria golf course. The lease with Los Angeles County, which owns the land, is good for another 23 years. A stadium developer would likely have to buy out that lease before proceeding – though it would also need approval and a new lease from the county.
Klein said the stadium cost figure being tossed around by the groups looking at the site is “in the neighborhood of $1.2 billion.” And he said the talk is that it would host two NFL franchises.
As for ancillary development – likely including sports-themed entertainment and at least one hotel – he said that if a team commits to a stadium and if the approvals are secured, private investment would flow in.
He added that his main interest is in operating the golf course and that he is not directly involved in any attempts to develop a stadium. Rather, he said it’s been NFL teams approaching him.
As the golf course sits atop an old landfill, the site would have to be cleaned up before ground could be broken on a stadium. So it could be as much as five years before a stadium would be ready to host an NFL team. That puts the Carson park site years behind at least two of the sites contending for a stadium.
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