Disney CEO Joins Carson Stadium Project

The Chargers and Raiders have reached an agreement for Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger to become the chairman of their bid to build a stadium in Carson, California, reports Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. The Carson stadium group has since confirmed the news, officially announcing it in a press release.

According to La Canfora, the move is a potential game-changer, given Iger’s “world-renowned reputation” in the entertainment business, and his expertise on the Los Angeles market. Iger will oversee all the major initiatives on the project, including stadium design, naming rights, and fan experience, in addition to guiding the construction and operation of the new building.

“We now have the kind of leadership and expertise that should calm any concerns about any NFL teams going into L.A. and getting off on the right foot and pursuing the right course,” said Carson Holdings executive Carmen Policy, per Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. “And certainly if you’re going to do two teams it really lends a layer of talent and experience, plus unbelievable know-how to the whole effort. … Who could we get better to guarantee fan experience than the man who runs the happiest place on earth?”

Of course, before the Carson project is able to move forward with Iger at the helm, it will have to get approval from the NFL. Prior to this development, the Carson stadium plan already had about 16-20 votes of support, by some owner’s estimates, says La Canfora. It would require the support of 24 of the league’s 32 owners in order to proceed.

Several high-profile team owners are believed to be leaning toward Stan Kroenke‘s Inglewood project, believing that the location may be stronger and expressing confidence in Kroenke’s “exhaustive real estate experience.” However, given Iger’s inclusion in the Carson plan, there’s a chance some of those owners re-evaluate their preference. It’s also worth noting, as Farmer points out, that Iger has a working relationship with many NFL owners, as well as commissioner Roger Goodell.

With meetings taking place this week on Los Angeles relocation, there are plenty of other items to round up related to the Rams, Chargers, Raiders, and L.A. Let’s dive in….

  • There’s significant tension between NFL owners over possible Los Angeles relocation, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). The owners of the Raiders and the Chargers believe that the league is pushing for a relocation of the Rams to Inglewood. Meanwhile, Cole says that the Raiders are keeping their possible new L.A. investor under wraps because that individual would be embarrassed if the Raiders are ultimately unsuccessful in their bid to move.
  • Kroenke’s proposed Inglewood stadium is facing scrutiny from the Federal Aviation Administration, which has released a preliminary report suggesting that the venue is “presumed to be a hazard to air navigation.” Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times has the details. I wouldn’t expect the FAA’s complaint to be a major deterrent if the NFL decides to move forward with the Inglewood project, but it’s another roadblock to overcome.
  • As Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today Sports outlines, despite the fact that Los Angeles is a major market, there’s some skepticism in certain circles that the city could support two NFL franchises after getting by without a single team for so long.
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3 comments on “Disney CEO Joins Carson Stadium Project

  1. Rory Parks

    Recent reports indicated that the Carson project had more support, numbers-wise, than the Inglewood proposal, and this latest development might push it over the top. I don’t know who the high-profile owners are who support the Inglewood plan, but I’m not sure they’ll be able to sway their colleagues at this point, given the inclusion of Iger. When the race to LA began, it looked as though Kroenke had a sizable lead on his competition, but the Carson team has picked up momentum in a big way over the course of the past few months.

    • Brendan

      I can see Iger addition two ways. 1)Carson knows they are in trouble and this is a Hail Mary type of move. 2) Carson has been told that the NFL doesn’t trust Spanos/Davis with the L.A. market and placed Iger.

      It reeks a little of desperation if Iger is being given sweat equity in the Carson complex (to me).

    • Brendan

      “Recent reports indicated that the Carson project had more support, numbers-wise,” I feel INITIAL reports said that Carson had the ownership numbers.

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