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Disney chief executive Bob Iger believes the reality of bringing an NFL team to Los Angeles is moving closer.
In an interview on Thursday with CBS Los Angeles’ sports director Jim Hill, the 64-year-old Iger — recently becoming non-executive chairman overseeing a proposed football stadium project in Carson, Calif., which would house the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders — said a “real serious effort” was going to be put forth to “resolve something” in a meeting with NFL team owners next month.
“I don’t know whether something will absolutely be resolved there, but I think it’s a seminal moment in this process for the league and for Los Angeles,” Iger said. “I think there will be a lot of clarity that surfaces at that meeting where people will either form specific opinions or take specific sides, and the league will have a much better sense for what is right for the NFL going forward.”
Iger’s non-executive chairman appointment is for an initial term of five years, with an automatic two-year renewal option and an annual compensation of $1.
Iger called the talks planned for the mid-January owners meeting a “big step.”
“I can’t guarantee it’s going to be the end, but I think it’s critical, and I am confident that lot of progress will be made at that point,” Iger said.
Through the years, Iger, who will remain the chair of the Walt Disney Company through 2018, has been approached numerous times to help in the effort of bringing an NFL team to Los Angeles, ESPN reported. However, it was not until Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson asked him to work on a proposal that Iger’s interest was piqued, according to ESPN.
“Nothing really advanced until Jerry reached out to me this summer and asked me to consider helping the Raiders and the Chargers move to Carson together,” Iger said, according to ESPN. “He was convincing, mostly because he really believed in the proposal and was going to work hard to help these teams gain approval. He made a good sell to me, and then ultimately I met with [Chargers owner] Dean Spanos and [Raiders owner] Mark Davis and reached an agreement with them.”
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