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Senior NFL exec assigned to Los Angeles franchise efforts

Eric Grubman, executive vice-president of American football league the NFL, has been handed a specific remit of returning a team to the Los Angeles area, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In a memo obtained by the newspaper detailing a reshuffling of senior management, Grubman has been assigned to “stadium development, the return of a team presence to the Los Angeles area, the league’s strategic investment fund, and other key strategic initiatives.”

The Times said the move is an indication of the league’s “intensified interest” in securing a franchise for Los Angeles. It comes with the St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers having, for the first time simultaneously, year-to-year stadium leases. Rams owner Stan Kroenke has also purchased 60 acres of potential stadium land in Inglewood, a city in southwestern Los Angeles County.

Asked if Los Angeles demands a more sustained focus by the NFL, Grubman said: “We think it does. The building blocks are there. There remain multiple sites available. So the focus is demanded.”

The Times added that the Grubman move represents the first time in more than a decade that such a high-ranking league official has been assigned to the Los Angeles question. The city has been without an NFL franchise since the Raiders and Rams left for Oakland and St. Louis, respectively, after the 1994 season.