Carson dropped out of contention

WASHINGTON -- NFL owners received updates this week on the
three remaining sites that could host a team in Los Angeles,
although the talk of returning to the country's second largest city
was overshadowed by the league's labor situation.

The league is working on contingency agreements with the three
sites: the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and a
parking lot next to Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

Owners had discussed trimming the list from four sites to three
at the meetings, but that task was done for them when the city of
Carson dropped out of consideration over the weekend.

"I think we've made good progress," commissioner Paul
Tagliabue said Wednesday at end of two days of owners' meetings,
"and certainly we're going to keep focused on that and keep that
process moving on."

The Los Angeles area has been without an NFL franchise since the Rams left Anaheim for St. Louis and the Raiders left the Coliseum
for Oakland, both before the 1995 season.

Still to be determined are whether Los Angeles would get an
expansion team or an existing team and when the team would begin
play there -- likely not before 2008.

Tagliabue said there was no timeline for selecting a stadium
site, instead emphasizing that his focus for the next five months
is on the league's negotiations with the players' union.

"The uncertainty about where we are with the collective
bargaining agreement has slowed things down a little bit, but
hopefully that will be a temporary slowdown," Tagliabue said.