League wants to fill 9-year void

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The NFL has approached Anaheim city
officials about possibly building a stadium complex for an NFL
franchise that could begin play as soon as 2008.

The area has been without an NFL team since the Rams moved from
Anaheim to St. Louis and the Raiders went from Los Angeles to
Oakland before the 1995 season.

"We're evaluating a possible stadium project in Anaheim with
city officials along with the three sites in the Los Angeles
area," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said late Wednesday by telephone
from New York. "The discussions are exploratory and preliminary at
this point."

Aiello referred to the Los Angeles Coliseum, where the Raiders
played before returning to Oakland; the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and
a proposed site in Carson.

"We're working off a time line that would have us make a
decision next May," Aiello said. "As far as when a team could
start playing there, it could be '08, it could be '09. We haven't
addressed the issue of a team in the Los Angeles area.

"Our sole purpose at this time is to develop some stadium
alternatives for the league. This is part of our due diligence in
terms of identifying outstanding potential stadium sites in the
best markets."

The proposed site in Anaheim is located next to Angel Stadium,
where the Rams played. Anaheim Arena, where the NHL's Mighty Ducks
of Anaheim play, is also located nearby.

"There is significant interest from the Anaheim City Council
and City management in bringing additional professional sports
franchises to the city of Anaheim," Mayor Curt Pringle said. "The
success and popularity of our teams -- the Anaheim Angels and the
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim -- prove that fans from all over California
travel to Anaheim to watch quality franchises and having an NFL
team return to our city would be a welcome addition."

John Nicoletti, Anaheim's public information manager, said NFL
officials have made several visits to Anaheim and the prospective site.