Not only are the Atlanta Falcons offering a stadium down payment nearly twice what the Vikings offered up front -- it looks like fear of the Vikings moving to Los Angeles might have been overblown, as well.
Yahoo Sports's Jason Cole says NFL officials told him they're all but writing off the plan to put a team in downtown L.A., in a new stadium near the Staples Center. Cole says the economics of the NFL don't work out for a downtown L.A. expansion. The development has also been complicated by the proposed sale of the Anschutz Entertainment Group, the lead developer of the project. It's the same outfit that the Vikings were talking to in 2011, just a day after the Legislature adjourned without a stadium deal.
There is another option in the L.A. area: billionaire Ed Roski, Jr. and his Majestic Realty Co. have proposed bringing an NFL team to the City of Industry (yup, that's the city's name), about 20 miles east of downtown L.A. But the San Gabriel Valley Tribune said in February that Roski is having his own problems, including a December letter from the state of California blocking public money for the project.
The Los Angeles threat was an unspoken but much feared motivation driving Minnesota's stadium talks last spring, including a closed-door meeting between NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Gov. Mark Dayton in April. NFL vice president Eric Grubman even suggested back in 2011 that L.A. was "shovel ready" if Minnesota wasn't -- which could still be true. It just doesn't look like it's checkbook ready.