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Could fall of Frank McCourt mean NFL's return to L.A.?

May 5, 2011 | 12:08 pm

Ljz9qvnc It’s a 2-for-1 special! The best of two sporting worlds!

Here’s a fascinating angle written by Yahoo Sports’ Jason Cole:

The demise of Frank McCourt’s ownership might not only provide a welcome new owner to the Dodgers, but hasten the return of the NFL to Los Angeles.

Cole writes that the NFL has always loved the idea of building a football stadium in Chavez Ravine in the Dodger Stadium parking lot. This was first pursued by Peter O’Malley, who was talked down by then-Mayor Richard Riordan, who wanted the NFL back in the Coliseum.

(Now that I think about it, this whole Dodgers mess is Riordan’s fault. If he had gotten behind a Dodger Stadium site for the NFL instead of the ill-fated Coliseum bid, O’Malley could have generated the funds to keep the Dodgers and probably would still own them today.)

McCourt was also interested in building an NFL stadium in his parking lot, but Yahoo Sports' Cole said the NFL took one look at his finances and passed.

The most radical and intriguing idea would be for the NFL to build in Chavez Ravine -- where the team could build a larger stadium than downtown and have ample parking for larger crowds and tailgating -- while a new ballpark would be built downtown at the proposed convention site Anschutz Entertainment Group President Tim Leiweke is currently pushing for a football stadium.

Writes Cole:

"You must have been listening in on my conversations last week," said a source involved in the pursuit to bring the NFL back to L.A.

That source wasn’t alone.

"Let’s just say you’re not the only one speculating on it and, no offense, some of the other people speculating actually have the money to get it done," said a source familiar with the L.A. stadium landscape.

There are 81 home games a year for baseball, which could be more attractive for AEG’s whole L.A. Live development. That’s a lot more visitors during the course of the year than 10 football games.

There are problems and obstacles galore -- like financing two stadiums -- and, sure, traffic might not be pleasant around gametime, but as Cole notes, it’s not like there isn’t traffic getting to Dodger Stadium now.

The other way to go, of course, is to simply keep Dodger Stadium where it is and build an NFL stadium next to it, as O’Malley originally envisioned.

That would require someone with some serious cash to purchase the Dodgers, but it wouldn’t hurt their value, either. Which just might have occurred to Commissioner Bud Selig, too.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt listens at a news conference about increased security at Dodger Stadium on April 14, 2011. Credit: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

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