Although nearly 50 percent of you think the NFL shouldn’t return to Los Angeles and fewer than 40 percent believe it should (if you want to try to move the needle, you can still vote), it’s inevitable in our view that the NFL will be back.
One fairly well-known L.A. resident believes that a new stadium will eventually host two teams.
NBC’s Al Michaels, who enjoys a corner view from the Mt. Rushmore of sports broadcasting, recently told the Los Angeles Times that, in time, a pair of franchises will call his home city home.
“There’s no question in my mind that if a stadium gets built, they’ll start with one team but get another team,” Michaels said. “The league may not come out and say this overtly, but where would you rather play a Super Bowl than Los Angeles? It’s a great sports town, it’s always been a great sports town. People denigrate it because people leave a Dodger game early. Does that mean you’re not a great sports fan?”
Making a two-team arrangement more likely is the increasing revenue pressure that franchises will experience after the next labor deal is completed. Eventually, teams that can’t generate the kind of money they need in order to be competitive will look to L.A. — or those teams will be sold to someone who realizes that the biggest return on the investment will come from moving to the nation’s second biggest market, which has more than enough people and businesses to sell all available non-premium seats, premium tickets, and luxury suites.
“What really bothers me is that when I see it written that L.A. won’t support professional football because everybody is off surfing,” Michaels said. “So let me get this straight: In Southern California there’s like 15 million people or something, and they’re all out surfing, on a Sunday? When they say you won’t have enough support, I say excuse me, so you can’t sell 75,000 tickets on a Sunday? Of course you can.”
Al is right. Even though it means that I’ll eventually have to take a long car, bus, or train ride across the country for the Super Bowl — or that I’ll have to drink a lot of Coke and even more rum and climb inside the belly of a steel monstrosity that looks ill-suited to float on water much less air.