NEW YORK (AP) — Roger Goodell says the two stadium projects in the Los Angeles area look promising enough to lead to the return of the NFL to the nation's second-largest city.
The NFL commissioner told the Associated Press Sports Editors group Friday that he thinks the projects in Inglewood and Carson are "viable," and have a "great deal of potential to be successful."
"We had presentations earlier this week that are very exciting," Goodell said. "Not just for a return but to continue being successful going forward."
St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is involved in the Inglewood project, while the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders have combined to work on the Carson proposal.
Goodell also acknowledged there is some urgency in the matter. The league has not had a franchise in Los Angeles since the 1994 season.
Indeed, the window for applying to move to LA, currently early January, could be moved up, he said. The owners would need to vote on any franchise transfer at next March's annual meeting.
He also noted that a move to Los Angeles "is not a new issue in any of these communities."
New designs for the proposed $1.7 billion Carson stadium that could be shared by the Chargers and Raiders were released this week, days after the city council approved the project
Members of a St. Louis stadium task force hoping to keep the Rams there met with league officials on Wednesday. The St. Louis group showed the NFL officials revised renderings and video of plans for a stadium along the Mississippi River that would cost around $1 billion.
Goodell said he thought progress had been made in St. Louis.
But Kroenke has made it clear he is intent on building a $1.8 billion venue in Inglewood.
Two days after handing down a 10-game suspension to Dallas defensive end Greg Hardy, Goodell and recently hired special counsel Lisa Friel explained why the league does not have a zero tolerance policy concerning domestic violence and sexual assault.
"I would not recommend it, with the experience I have," said Friel, who was the head of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit in the New York County District Attorney's Office for more than a decade. "My experience is that it would further drive reporting (incidents) down. I think the policy of somebody we find committed such a violation, we dispense discipline appropriately and give him a second chance. If there is a second violation, he is barred from the league."
NFL general counsel Jeff Pash said a league probe of the Dolphins' hiring of Mike Tannenbaum for their front office did not violate the Rooney Rule requiring minority candidates be interviewed for jobs.
Goodell addressed several other topics:
—The league is not investing in fantasy football when it allows teams to partner with outlets such as FanDuel, which 16 teams have done. Team owners have discussed fantasy football "internally."
"We're making sure we understand that fans are doing this, but we don't want to move across the line to something we think is gambling," he said. "Other leagues potentially are investing in these. We are not."
—Indicated there will be more regular-season games played at international venues.
—Expressed confidence that Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, the presumptive top pick in the draft next Thursday, "understands what it means to be a player in our league. I had the opportunity to meet with Jameis and had a good session with him. We talked about what it means to be an NFL player, what we expect, the services and resources available."
—Praised Chicago for "overdelivering" on next week's draft, saying "we reinvented the event." He also suggested the league "might reinvent it again," possibly in other cities.
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