Policy: Look for NFL to act on Los Angeles move(s) by January

49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo (with trophy), QB Steve Young #8, 49ers president Carmen Policy (right) and head coach George Seifert (far left) after winning Super Bowl XXIX 49-26 over the San Diego Chargers at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida on 1/29/95. Photo courtesy of Al Messerschmidt, NFL Photos.

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(Photos courtesy of San Francisco 49ers)

The Talk of Fame Network

The NFL hasn’t had a pro football team in Los Angeles in two decades, but it is expected to have at least one … maybe more … by next year, with one interested party predicting the NFL makes a decision on L.A. in January.

That would be former San Francisco and Cleveland executive Carmen Policy, who is heading an effort to gain NFL approval for the Chargers and Raiders to move to a site in Carson. Policy, who made a presentation to owners last week in New York, told the Talk of Fame Network he thinks a decision on the country’s second largest market comes before Super Bowl L.

“Probably sometime in January would be my estimate,” he said. “We’re going to have a vote that allows somebody … or somebodies … to move to L.A. The moment that vote is final everyone will hit the ground running.

“The Chargers and Raiders have done so much work, have invested so much money and are so ready to go that, as a practical matter, they could even start moving dirt sometime during the latter part of the summer as far as the Carson site is concerned. So you’re going to see some rapid movement the minute the league makes the decision and gives the OK to whomever to move to that marketplace.”

Naturally, Policy is not neutral on this score – calling Carson “the perfect site,” and he explains why. But he also explains why he thinks the two-team solution involving the Chargers and Raiders could trump the Rams’ anticipated move to Hollywood Park – even though most league observers believe the Rams are packed and halfway out the door.

“My belief,” Policy said, “is that when the league looks at the Carson site they will say that is the best site. And once the league decides Carson is the best site, they will look to solving the California dilemma.  And the California dilemma is three teams in California, two of which are playing in the worst facilities in the NFL.

“And I think you have to solve the California dilemma before you can go to another level or talk about another team. And I’m not sure the league would want four teams in California — especially when you have two teams that are in trouble from the standpoint of venues and facilities. It just doesn’t make NFL sense.

“So the logic and the charm of dealing with these two teams moving to Carson … the best spot … totally financeable … solving all the issues California is facing right now from a project and facilities standpoint … is just too positive to be overlooked and too positive to stray from. I’d be surprised if this two-team solution is not acceptable.”

Naturally, if that were to happen, it would cause realignment issues. The Chargers or Raiders not only would have to switch divisions but might have to switch conferences – an issue, Policy acknowledged, not only is possible; but is probable.

“It’s going to be an NFL call,” he said. “We’re ready for it.”


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