Commisioner: NFL cannot guarantee LA a team

Professional football fans in the Southland will have to keep waiting for a team to cheer for, since the NFL cannot guarantee that Los Angeles will get a team, Commissioner Roger Goodell said today.

"I think we are working hard to get a team back into the Los Angeles market because we know there are millions of fans that would love to see NFL football as part of their community,'' Goodell said in his annual Super Bowl State of the League news conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

"The good news I think is that at least clearance has been given to getting a stadium built, but you point out the key issue, which is the challenge of financing a facility in this kind of an environment.''

The team's owner would have to pay almost all of the cost of building the stadium under the league's collective bargaining agreement, Goodell said.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill last year exempting activities associated with the development and operation of a proposed 75,000-seat stadium complex in Industry from the California Environmental Quality Act, removing legal challenges.

Project developer Edward P. Roski Jr. has not obtained financing for the stadium or a commitment from or a team to play there.

Roski, the chairman and chief executive officer of Majestic Realty Co., has said the stadium will not be built without a team first making a commitment to play there.

There was no immediate response to a request for comment from Majestic Realty Co. officials.

There has not been an NFL team in the Los Angeles area since the Los Angeles Raiders, who played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and the Anaheim Stadium-based Los Angeles Rams both moved following the 1994 season.