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01-06-2010, 09:36 AM #1
LA stadium builder chasing Jaguars, Bills
The company behind a plan to lure the NFL back to Los Angeles said Tuesday the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills are the first teams it will try to relocate.
Majestic Realty Co. managing partner John Semcken said the company is still considering at least seven franchises for a new stadium just east of Los Angeles.
They also include the San Francisco 49ers, San Diego Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders.
But he said the Jaguars and the Bills are at the top of the list because they play in small markets that hurts their earning potential and because they have little hope of building larger venues in their home regions.
"Jacksonville and Buffalo are two teams in very, very small markets, he said. "They are teams that have either outdated stadiums or are having trouble filling their stadiums or both."
The Jaguars have struggled for years to fill Jacksonville Municipal Stadium and had several games blacked out on local TV this season. The Bills, meanwhile, have been playing some home games in Toronto in an effort to expand their market.
Messages were left seeking comment from the Jaguars and Bills.
Jaguars majority owner Wayne Weaver and Bills owner Ralph Wilson have steadfastly dismissed any suggestion they will sell or move their teams.
Semcken said Majestic won't approach the 49ers, Chargers or Vikings as long as they are seeking stadium plans of their own. He said it would not be fair to interfere with their efforts to remain in their home markets.
Semcken also said Majestic chief executive Ed Roski's preference is to find owners willing to sell their franchise to a consortium of investors that he would lead, rather than buying a minority stake in a team that would move with its existing majority owner at the helm.