The push to bring an NFL team (or two) to Los Angeles just got a major boost of momentum. Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger has taken the lead on Carson Holdings, LLC’s stadium project. According to CBS Sports sources, Iger has made an agreement directly with the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders to head their bid for a prospective stadium that would be built in the LA suburb of Carson contingent on the NFL owners approving the plan for construction.
As chairman of the bid, Iger will be in charge of all major initiatives, from stadium design and construction to naming rights and fan experience; he’ll even settle any disputes that arise between the Chargers and Raiders. For his work, sources say he’s expected to earn an annual salary of just $1. On top of that, though, Iger will have the option to become a minority owner of either the Chargers or Raiders, should he wish to buy in. Iger and Carson Holdings have established a five-year contract, with an option for a two-year extension.
The Wrap reports that, depending on how things shakeout, the teams could be relocated to the LA area as early as next season.
Iger’s work on the stadium project won’t interfere with his Disney responsibilities. In fact, there’s a clause in the contract that specifically ensures that none of his duties come into conflict. He’s under contract with the media and entertainment colossus until 2018, and he’s expected to retire from the company then.
As the No. 2 U.S. media market, the Los Angeles area has caught the eye of more than just the Chargers and Raiders. The St. Louis Rams are also attempting to relocate, with owner Stan Kroenke eyeing Inglewood as the future home of his team. NFL officials and owners are meeting Wednesday about the bids.
Either initiative would need 24 votes from owners to move forward, and the Carson project was previously estimated to have 16 of them. The addition of Iger to the Carson project may sway owners, as his Disney track record would seemingly transfer well to the NFL.