Venue News: New Dodgers Owners May Play Role in NFL’s Return to L.A.

Amidst the fixation on the proposed downtown Los Angeles and City of Industry sites as the top two locations for a new NFL stadium in Southern California, one spot nestled in the L.A. hills could emerge as a game-changer in the NFL’s attempts to return to Los Angeles. Chavez Ravine, currently the home of Dodger Stadium and the Los Angeles Dodgers, is on the mind of the team’s new owners as a potential home for an NFL team. According to a league source, the buyers have had preliminary discussions with the NFL. The development comes one day after Yahoo! Sports reported that the plans for a downtown stadium could be on the verge of extinction because of Anschutz Entertainment Group’s (AEG) unwillingness to alter its financial plan. AEG’s terms included a clause that would allow the firm to buy a stake in the franchise at a discounted rate in addition to another clause that dictates AEG — and not the owner — would control the team’s marketing, relationships with club-seat customers, and things of that nature…

…With the roof closed and the thermostat set to a rather delightful 72 degrees, it was uncharacteristically comfy for the Miami Marlins’ first exhibition game in their new home. If Sunday’s soft opening was any indication, the dog days of summer are about to become much more bearable for players and fans alike. The roof was open when the Marlins took the field for their pregame stretching exercises about 2 1/2 hours before first pitch, but was later closed. In the 13 minutes it took to complete its long crawl and once the air conditioning was turned on, the place cooled quickly. A sudden downpour Saturday caught everyone by surprise, and by the time the roof could be closed, the field was drenched. It was still soggy Sunday when players showed up to take batting practice, but dried out enough to make it playable…

…Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new 49ers stadium in Santa Clara have been scheduled for April 19, a source familiar with the project confirmed Monday. The event, which will both cap off years of planning for the new stadium and initiate construction for the facility, will begin at 5 p.m. with activities continuing into the early evening. The stadium, which is scheduled to be completed for the 2014 NFL season, will be built adjacent to the 49ers practice facility in the overflow parking lot of Great America theme park. Capacity is expected to be 68,500. The 49ers have been selling luxury suites and seat licenses for the stadium, with team officials saying that sales are running ahead of projections, no doubt helped by the team’s 13-3 record and advancement to the NFC championship game during the 2012 season…

…Miami-Dade’s inspector general has launched an audit of the Miami Heat’s profit-sharing contract with the county, which has not received any money from the NBA team despite record revenues of $60 million in the Lebron James era. Inspector General Chris Mazzella said Friday he is trying to determine whether any profits generated by the Heat should have been shared with the county under a joint agreement to build the team’s $213 million arena on Biscayne Bay. Miami-Dade government donated $38 million worth of land toward the arena and pays a $6.4 million annual subsidy toward the venue’s operating expenses under the 1997 deal with team owner Micky Arison.

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