Report: NFL Owners Want Players to Fund Part of $2.5B Needed for New LA Stadium

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2019

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 10: A fan takes a selfie photo with the Los Angeles Chargers cheerleaders in the background at the PepsiCo SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park Partnership Inaugural Tailgate Celebration on October 10, 2019 in Inglewood, California.  (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for PepsiCo)
Rich Polk/Getty Images

NFL owners reportedly want to offset the rising costs of SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, which has seen its cost balloon to an estimated $5 billion, by asking the players to offset some of those costs in collective bargaining agreement talks.

Dan Patrick said on his eponymous radio show Wednesday: 

"The league is proposing that maybe they give players 49 percent of the revenue, but they want to use the extra money they get—the percentage [point] is about $150 million I was told—they want the players to then help finance the Los Angeles stadium. We'll give you 49 percent of the revenue, but we want to use 2 percent of that revenue—so $300 million over the next couple years—to help the stadium."

Originally projected at a $2.5 billion price tag, SoFi Stadium has seen its cost rise precipitously ahead of its 2020 opening. Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Rams, is privately financing the stadium.

Patrick notes that it's unlikely that the players would agree to any CBA in which they help finance a stadium. Ownership was entirely responsible for approving the plan, along with the Rams and Chargers relocating to Los Angeles. SoFi will be the home for the two L.A. franchises.

Players currently receive 47 percent of revenue under the CBA signed in 2011. That deal is due to expire after next season, but the two sides have been in negotiations about striking a potential compromise early. Patrick said owners have targeted Thanksgiving as their preferred date, which would give them a united front going into renegotiations of the league's television deals, which are also nearing their conclusions.

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Owners have also been pushing for an additional regular-season game and/or an expansion of the playoffs as a way to generate revenue. Given there has been no formal agreement on any of these tentpole issues, these goals seem particularly unlikely. 

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