It's been a long time since Hollywood Park has been discussed as a serious NFL stadium site, but it's apparently coming back into the fold. According to Jason Cole of the National Football Post, at least two NFL teams have spoken with the owners of the site about moving there.
Cole notes that it's unlikely to happen, because Stockbridge Capital Executive Managing Director Terry Fancher, whose company owns Hollywood Park, would likely demand $500 million to sell the land. Fancher reportedly has no interest in investing in a stadium or being a part-owner of an NFL team. A new stadium at Hollywood Park would probably cost over $1 billion, making any such move extremely expensive.
Still, I wouldn't completely dismiss this report. Hollywood Park has always been a great NFL stadium site. It's much closer to the wealthier west side of LA than the City of Industry. There's considerably more land than at the proposed Farmers Field site, allowing for more tailgating. The NFL reportedly likes the site as it could house studios for the NFL Network (currently located in Culver City) along with a west wing for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And unlike Dodger Stadium, Frank McCourt has nothing to do with Hollywood Park.
If two teams were to hypothetically move to LA, then the costs could be split. The NFL would have double the money available to loan for the project with two franchises. It would only help if the NFL is using the site for a network studio and a Hall of Fame expansion.
The article incorrectly states:"In the early 1990s, late Raiders owner Al Davis tried to build a new stadium on the Hollywood Park site. When the project failed, Davis returned the Raiders to Oakland."
That is not exactly true. The project failed because of Davis. He had a deal finalized to move the Raiders to Hollywood Park, and a press conference was even called. But Davis backed out of the deal at the last minute, mainly because he didn't want to share Hollywood Park with another team. Instead, he chose to move back to Oakland where he could share the Bay Area market with the 49ers. It's not clear if LA would have gotten a second team back in the 1990s, but the Raiders would definitely be a more valuable franchise today sharing a Hollywood Park stadium than they are playing in a dilapidated O.co Coliseum and splitting the SF market.
It's clear that the NFL isn't particularly excited about the City of Industry site. While Farmers Field is appealing, it doesn't seem like there's a compromise deal on the table for both Phil Anschutz and the NFL. Dodger Stadium is still a great site, as long as Frank McCourt can be cut out of any deal.
It sounds like there's significant financial hurdles to making Hollywood Park work. And that's even without figuring out which team could move here. But it makes sense to consider Hollywood Park as a site when discussing stadium options in LA.
LA Observed file photo