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Expect more LA franchise talk

Expect more news items and discussion about possible NFL teams as targets for Los Angeles in the coming seven weeks. The leaders of the effort to build a new Southern California stadium want the Los Angeles city council to approve the issuing of $350 million in municipal bonds to help get the project going by July 31. That was the crux of last week's announcement by Tim Leiweke, chief executive of AEG (one of the world's leading sports and entertainment companies) that five teams had been contacted about a move to L.A. The Bills were not one of the five mentioned, because owner Ralph Wilson isn't selling. If he died before another team committed to L.A., the Bills would jump to the top of the list. AEG likely will want to step up the pressure on the council to get an agreement in place. AEG wants the council to act before it spends $45 million on an environmental study on the proposed stadium site, which is near the Staples Center. Can L.A. get its act together in order to aggressively woo an NFL team? That's a question that has been asked year after year since 1995, the year the Raiders and Rams both bolted the city. With the NFL due to strike a new labor deal, this would be an opportune time for L.A. to get its pro football act together.

---Mark Gaughan 

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