Former team exec Carmen Policy to guide Chargers-Raiders stadium build

ByEric D. Williams ESPN logo
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders hired an experienced hand to oversee their effort to build a proposed $1.7 billion stadium in Carson, California.

Former NFL executive Carmen Policy has been retained by the Chargers and Raiders. Policy will serve as director of Carson Holdings LLC, overseeing the teams' plans to build a football-only stadium in the Los Angeles market.

"I see it as a little bit of unfinished business," said Policy, who was appointed to a three-person committee by former league commissioner Paul Tagliabue to keep the NFL in Los Angeles in 1995.

"I'm looking forward to playing a role in trying to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles," he said. "It's an opportunity to reconnect with the NFL. I've always thought of the NFL as show business, and I'm looking forward to enjoying that aspect of Los Angeles, as well."

Policy, 72, made his mark with the San Francisco 49ers during that organization's Super Bowl success in the 1980s and '90s. Policy was named president and CEO of the 49ers in 1991 and earned NFL executive of the year honors in 1994.

He held a similar role for the Cleveland Browns from 1999 to 2004 when that city received a new NFL franchise after a three-year hiatus.

"We're now moving on from 'Can you build a stadium on this site?' to 'How do you ensure the NFL and teams re-enter Los Angeles in the best possible way?'" said Mark Fabiani, the Chargers' point person on the stadium issue. "We realized that we needed some extra assistance on that.

"Carmen understands how to market a team and get a team into a market that hasn't been there before. We thought it was a great opportunity that we can get him, and we're thrilled that he can do it."

Policy said Chargers president Dean Spanos reached out to him to see if he would be interested. After several conversations with Spanos and Raiders owner Mark Davis, Policy was brought on to lead the project.

Policy met with Spanos and Davis at the NFL owners meetings in San Francisco on Monday.

"I really and truly believe that the Carson site is going to be a perfect place for the type of experience that these two teams are hoping to create," Policy said. "It's a football facility and not a real estate development. The way it's planned and laid out will really give it a major boost."

Meanwhile, a complex land transaction has closed that marks another step toward development of a shared NFL stadium for the Chargers and Raiders near Los Angeles.

Fabiani says the transaction for land in Carson closed Tuesday.

The centerpiece of the deal sends the deed for 157 acres of a former landfill to an entity controlled by the city. That entity will own and control the site and lease it to a stadium authority.

It's a model similar to one used by the 49ersfor their new stadium in Santa Clara.

The Carson proposal is one of two being advanced in the Los Angeles area. St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is part of a group proposing a stadium in Inglewood.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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