It has been nearly twenty years since an NFL franchise called Los Angeles home. Rumors of teams potentially relocating to Southern California have come and gone with such frequency that they hardly register as news.
There is momentum building again however, and there are reasons to believe that the NFL will put forth a concerted effort to put a team in Los Angeles.
Sam Farmer of the LA Times recently wrote an article noting that-in addition to the San Diego Chargers-the Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams now have options to leave their current stadiums after this season, a vital piece of flexibility in relocation.
- Farmer states that Rams owner Stan Kroenke has looked into buying additional land around the 60-acre parcel he bought in Southern California last year. The parcel is big enough for a stadium, but additional land would be needed for parking.
- Farmer also writes that the Raiders have no interest in sharing a stadium with San Francisco, and the Chargers fear the impact of what a team in L.A. would have on the San Diego market. Both are factors that could drive the respective teams towards relocation.
Separate and apart from the wishes of the individual franchises, is the desire of the NFL. The reasons for a franchise in L.A. are obvious, and the idea of relocation meshes with the current geographical diversity espoused by the league.
Southern California and Chicago are the two finalists for the 2015 NFL Draft, and recently, the NFL has grappled with the idea of moving the Pro Bowl and the Scouting Combine.
“We’re excited about that,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week, via the LA Times. “We’re investing billions of dollars in new stadiums. We’d like to do that here. We think there’s a great opportunity here. We think opportunities are starting to develop, maybe in part because we have that long-term planning in front of us.”
It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out, but it appears clearer than ever that the NFL is intent on moving a team to Los Angeles in the near future.