11:37am: In a separate piece, La Canfora reports that former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. is in discussions with Raiders owner Mark Davis about joining Davis’ ownership group. Davis, who has been actively seeking minority partners that would inject additional capital into his franchise in advance of the team’s potential move to LA, has previously been very reluctant to yield any controlling interest in the club to others, but given DeBartolo’s excellent reputation around the league, and given that the Carson project still needs to procure more support from other league owners to move forward, Davis may be willing to make an exception. Nothing is imminent at this time, but this is still a development worth keeping an eye on.
10:59am: We heard earlier this week that although the Carson stadium proposal put forth by the Chargers and Raiders continues to gain momentum– particularly now that Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger has agreed to become chairman of the project–there are still a number of high-profile owners who back the Inglewood project, which would see Rams owner Stan Kroenke move his club to Los Angeles.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, those high-profile holdouts include Jerry Jones of the Cowboys, Robert Kraft of the Patriots, Dan Snyder of Washington, Jeffrey Lurie of the Eagles, Woody Johnson of the Jets, Ziggy Wilf of the Vikings, and Steve Biscotti of the Ravens. Bengals owner Mike Brown, meanwhile, frequently abstains from voting and would therefore be counted as a “nay” vote for either project. The Bills, Falcons, and 49ers apparently hold the “swing votes.”
As La Canfora writes, a number of owners were concerned that the Spanos and Davis families’ lack of prior experience in deals of this magnitude would be a major blow to the Carson project. However, the inclusion of Iger, who would “oversee the design, construction and development of the stadium, as well as set the vision for the marketing, branding and in-game experience,” has largely assuaged that concern. But the Carson project still does not have quite enough support from other owners to move forward. Either bid would need the approval of 24 owners, and La Canfora says that while the Carson bid has grown increasingly viable with the addition of Iger, the Kroenke supporters could still quash it.
Nonetheless, Iger’s decision to come aboard at this point in the process could signal his belief that the Carson project will obtain the ownership support it needs. While the Carson team will need at least one of the current Kroenke backers to change his vote, it appears increasingly likely that will happen.