In their efforts to move to Los Angeles, the Raiders and Chargers just announced they have added some serious muscle, bringing on Disney chairman and CEO Robert Iger, to serve as the Non-Executive Chairman of Carson Holdings, LLC with the option to buy into either franchise at a later date.
This announcement comes on the same day the two teams are to meet with with the NFL about relocation and it significantly strengthens their bid to be the teams and stadium project chosen to make the jump to LA.
Recently, there was a growing sentiment among league owners that if the Raiders were to have any hope of making the jump to LA, they would need a significant partner to properly market the two teams in the area. Iger and Disney fits that bill.
Disney is one of the most powerful companies in the world, let alone Los Angeles. Among the properties they own are Marvel, Pixar, ABC Network, and ESPN -- the latter two have long time relationships with the NFL.
"Should the owners approve the move, Los Angeles will proudly welcome two incredible teams to our community and build a stadium worthy of their fans," Iger said in a statement. "LA football fans will enjoy unprecedented access to games during the season, in a state of the art stadium designed to deliver the most entertaining, exciting and enjoyable experience possible."
Wednesday afternoon, the Raiders, Chargers and Rams will meet with the NFL's six-member L.A. owner's committee in New York. The committee will also hear 45-minute presentations from St. Louis, Oakland and San Diego stadium organizers.
Iger joins the Carson effort on a five-year basis with an automatic two-year renewal option. He will have a hand in all phases of the $1.78 billion, 65,000-seat stadium project including the design and construction of the stadium, the fan experience on game day, the marketing of the stadium to the Los Angeles region, the branding of the location and venue.
Iger will continue to serve as Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company under the terms of his contract. That contract is up in 2018, at which point he will have an option to acquire a minority non-controlling equity ownership interest in one of either the Raiders or Chargers.