Magic Johnson Trying to Bring NFL to Los Angeles

NBA Great Magic Johnson arrives at the Black Enterprises Top 50 Hollywood Power Brokers Celebration at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on February 21, 2007 in Los Angeles, Calif. CBS

Magic Johnson recently sold his interests in the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team and is focusing on trying to bring the NFL back to L.A., the Sporting News reports.
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Businessman and basketball legend Magic Johnson announced on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" that he is putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to his desire for the NFL to come back to Los Angeles.

Johnson, who Sporting News reported has recently sold a 4.5 percent stake in the Los Angeles Lakers and his Starbucks franchises, told Kimmel: "I definitely want to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles. Nobody knows this, I'm announcing this today. I teamed up with Tim Leiweke and AEG and we're going to come together to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles."

AEG Worldwide is the sports and entertainment subsidiary of the business giant, The Anschultz Corporation, and it owns the LA Kings NHL team, two Major League Soccer teams, as well as interests in the LA Lakers NBA team, among others.

AEG also owns the Staples Center in Los Angeles, home to the Lakers and LA Clippers franchises, and would like to park the NFL Los Angeles team right next door in the middle of downtown in an retractable-roof stadium, according to a recent interview with Tim Leiweke, AEG's CEO, on ESPN.

"I think the owners want a team here," Johnson told Kimmel. "I think the commissioner, who is doing an incredible job with the NFL, I think he wants it here. I think we want it here as fans."

According to ESPN, there are at least six teams that have the potential to be moved to Los Angeles: Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers.

Sporting News reports that AEG reportedly offered to purchase 35 percent of the San Diego Chargers, but an attorney for the Chargers denies that report on Tuesday, claiming there's no "truth to the rumor out of Toronto that the Chargers have agreed to sell a portion of the team to Mr. Anschutz."

The Minnesota Vikings also reported Tuesday to have been contacted by AEG and their chief rival in bringing a football team to Los Angeles, Ed Roski, a California real estate mogul who is leading a separate investment group that wants to build a stadium 15 miles from downtown in Industry, Calif., ESPN reports.

Johnson said he doesn't believe the NFL will expand, Sporting News reports, but rather an existing franchise would most likely be relocated to Los Angeles.

"I think it would probably have to be an existing team because I don't think the NFL wants to expand," Johnson said. "I'm sure some teams out there would be willing to move here."

  • Joshua Norman

    Joshua Norman is a Senior Editor at CBSNews.com.

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