NFL says L.A. void will be filled with relocation, not expansion

Last Sunday, Peter King of NBC and SI.com made clear that the NFL is ready to return to Los Angeles, and that once the labor situation is resolved efforts to make that happen will accelerate.

ESPN delved deeply into the story during Sunday’s Outside the Lines.

Commissioner Roger Goodell made clear the league’s belief that the NFL can’t return to L.A. without an acceptable stadium.

NFL V.P. of ventures and business operations Eric Grubman made clear the league’s belief that the team to play in an acceptable stadium will be an existing franchise.  “Los Angeles is among our top goals, and there has to be a franchise,” Grubman said.  “We’re not in an expansion mood so that means you’d have to attract a franchise from another market.”

Grubman and the league wouldn’t talk about teams that could relocate.  ESPN identified the seven franchises most often linked to the vacancy in L.A.:  the Jaguars, Bills, Vikings, Rams, 49ers, Raiders, and Chargers.

“There’s a number of teams that are challenged right now,” said Ed Roski, who wants to build a stadium in the City of Industry, and who wants to own a chunk of the team that makes the move.

Tim Leiweke of AEG, which is proposing a stadium in downtown L.A., said that his group is willing to defer to the NFL when it comes to picking the team that would move to L.A.

In a discussion after the main segment aired, Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times said that the league prefers the downtown option, which becomes even more viable now that the Coliseum is out of the question.

Chris Mortensen of ESPN said that the Chargers and Rams are the most interesting options to move, that the Jaguars most likely won’t be moving to L.A., that the Vikings are more interested in staying in Minnesota with a new stadium, and that the Bills situation is “interesting” given the advanced age of owner Ralph Wilson and the lack of a clear plan for the franchise after the nonagenarian is called up to the great gridiron in the sky.

Mort also suggested that, eventually, a second team could be added via expansion, even though the league isn’t currently in the mood to grow beyond 32 teams.

Either way, once the league gets in the mood to do a new labor deal, the L.A. issue will move to the front burner.  How long it stays there — and whether it ever reaches a full boil — remains to be seen.

35 responses to “NFL says L.A. void will be filled with relocation, not expansion

  1. The City of Industry plan is a loser. It’s half way to Palm Springs, for God’s sake.

    If you are going to do LA football right, you’ve got to go Jerry Jones style. Huge, glitzy stadium with hundreds and hundreds of luxury suites (JJ has 300) in the middle of the action to attract business and entertainment big wigs.

    Those people ain’t schlepping out to COI, I promise.

    Plus, the non-football options (concerts, fights, etc.) are hugely multiplied if the stadium is downtown near LA Live.

    Assuming the downtown deal is viable (and I admit I don’t know much about it), this is a no brainer.

  2. The Vikings’ lease at the Metrodome expires at the end of 2011. While I’d hate to see it for the loyal Vikings fans in Minnesota, they seem like a very strong candidate to relocate to Los Angeles if the opportunity avails itself. After the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis in August 2007, priorities for spending public money on sports stadiums changed considerably.

  3. The Spanos family announced earlier this week that they are trying to sell a minority stake in the Chargers as part of “estate planning.” Alex Spanos is getting up in age and is in poor health. Opening a piece of the team for sale could work for Roski. Assuming, of course, all this is not already a done deal behind the scenes.

  4. San Diego sounds like a perfect fit for a move to LA. The NFL might as well take one of the teams from the state of California, it seems the most plausible. Besides, the city of LA has failed more than once in the past, it could very well happen again.

  5. Screw L.A, Cali has enough damn teams. They better just pick a team from Cali already if they do, or I’m gonna go burn that damn place down if/when it’s finished

  6. No way San Francisco and Buffalo leave their respective locales.

    The Raiders did it once. They won’t budge.

    Comes down to Vikes, Jags, Chargers and Rams.

  7. Fire Roger Goodell! He is ruining the league!
    I am sick to death of his outrageous plans for the NFL. Playing out of the country is bad enough, but he wants to add an expansion team from the U.K.! WTF is he thinking. He wants the field wider, padding on the outside of player helmets, … and now wants to move a team back to L.A. Terrible idea Roger, terrible! All he can think of is $$$$. I do like where the NFL seems to be heading… The NFL should be run by the players! FIRE ROGER GOODELL, GET HIM OUT OF THERE!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. I really can’t understand why they wouldn’t just hire Ari Gold to make sure it all happens. He’d really be great at getting it all done.

  9. As a Browns fan, I find the word “relocation” to be an incredibly vile term. Might as well call it what it really is and that’s stealing. The NFL will exploit the awful economy in this country and break the heart of fans in one city in order to relocate to an area that doesn’t seem to care too much for its product in the first place. Unless the team moving to LA is St. Louis, Oakland or San Diego (all three of which have been in LA before) I hope like it did with the Browns, the NFL forces the team to leaves its colors, history and name behind in the city it’s screwing over.

  10. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    NFL can’t remember Los Angeles Rams or L.A. Raiders?

    Why will it be different this time? Stop beating a dead horse!

  11. realitypolice says:
    Nov 21, 2010 9:36 AM
    “The City of Industry plan is a loser. It’s half way to Palm Springs, for God’s sake.”
    ——————————————————————–
    Get your facts straight “realitypolice.” The actual distance between Downtown LA to the City of Industry is 28 miles. From Downtown LA to Palm Springs, a whopping 107 miles.
    So, Industry maybe “half way to Palm Springs” from where ever your geographically-challenged self may be but in reality
    the Industry location, headed by Ed Roski, is actually centrally located between LA, Orange, San Bernadino and Riverside Counties.

  12. Its the Vikings, their entire history is a case study in band wagon fans. When they are in contention for a playoff spot and their usual choke job once they get there, the fans are all on the bagon wagon screaming Superbowl or bust (bust it is) but whenever the wheels are falling off the bagon wagon, the fans are nowhere to be found.

    Their lack of support is mostly felt by the local Fortune 500 companies in the area who are constantly harassed to buy the left over tickets to avoid the blackout. General Mills, Target and 3-M would be happy to see the Vikings go to LA.

    Its the best of both worlds really, the local corporations are free from this pressure and the local Fox affliate can show real professional football games, like the Packers.

  13. Toronto is the Bills next move. Its already in place folks. Unless Trump saves the day there. Forget Kelly nothing but talk.

  14. wewantchillywilly:

    You were obviously nothing more than a bandwagon Viking fan for your entire life. People like you are the people that make Vikings fans look bad.

  15. It will NOT be the Vikings. Do you think the new governer is gonna let them leave on his watch? The last time the Vikings had a blackout is in 1997. California has 3 teams already (and none of them sell out now) it won’t have that much of a local impact to relocate one of those teams or the Jags. Florida has 3 teams too. It will be either the Chargers or the Jags. The stadium is a done deal here so Viking haters move to another post! WE lOVE OUR VIKINGS! KEEP THEM OUT OF THIS POST!

  16. Let’s drop that miserable franchise from MN in there! They’re used to playing in a substandard stadium! LOL

  17. The real question is where the new LA franchise will relocate after LA fan quits coming when they don’t go to the Super Bowl in the first two seasons?

    LA sports fans have about as much of an attention span as a five year old.

  18. The team nickname used to reflect upon the city or state the team was in, like the Patriots for Boston and its history in the Revolution, the Jets for NYC’s fast pace and two international airports, the Cowboys for the predilections of lonely Texans – which means there are only two reasonable choices for LA and/or California the free spending, deficit riddled and soon to be bankrupt state: its either the Chargers or the Bills and they already got the Chargers.

  19. I am against LA getting a team AGAIN but christ almighty there are teams that do not support their teams anywhere near what they should, ie Jacksonville

    So, if LA gets one of them, I am for it.

    Jacksonville? Who cares about them anyway?

  20. realitypolice says: Nov 21, 2010 9:36 AM

    The City of Industry plan is a loser. It’s half way to Palm Springs, for God’s sake.
    _________________________________________

    For someone named Reality Police, you have no sense of reality to operate from. Suggest you check your map again. Are you even in LA?

    Al Davis does not own the LA rights. See below:
    2/24/05
    Appellate court rules for NFL in Raiders case
    The California Court of Appeal issued a unanimous decision in favor of the NFL in a lawsuit filed by the Raiders in Los Angeles.

    (Feb. 23, 2005) — The California Court of Appeal issued a unanimous decision in favor of the NFL in a lawsuit filed by the Raiders in Los Angeles. The decision, which addressed a number of issues, including the proposed stadium at Hollywood Park and the Raiders’ claim they owned the “Los Angeles opportunity,” upheld the league’s position in this litigation.

    Following a lengthy trial in 2001, a jury found in favor of the league on all counts. The jury ruled that the Raiders did not “own” Los Angeles and that the league did not interfere with the Raiders’ negotiations to build a stadium at Hollywood Park.

  21. As mentioned in the report AEG just has to go through the environmental process. No mean feat here in Cali.

    I am suspect of anything Sam Farmer writes. He and the LA Times have been cheer leading the AEG effort since it was announced and dismissing the CoI effort since the beginning. They have a downtown agenda, not a get an NFL team in LA agenda.

  22. recon, you better look up that lawsuit once again. that suit had nothing to do with the rights to LA. It had to deal with the nfl throwing a wrench in the hollywood deal.

    In another lawsuit the raiders had Taglibue on the stand , where he testified under oath that the raiders paid for the rights to LA. Immediately there after after the raiders dismissed the lawsuit.

    Bottom line league can say what they want, but 100% guaranteed unless Al gets paid for LA , the laegue and whatever team goes there will be sued….it really is that simple.

  23. radrntn,

    Nope. No confusion. The Raiders do not own the LA rights.

    But you are welcome to prove me wrong . Just post it up.

    Al forfeited LA when he left. And as some wag pointed out Al can claim he owns LA all day, but then again with a $300 filing fee so can I.

  24. aious – when you refer to nobody cares about the Jags and the fans do not support the team you should explain exactly what you mean with some facts that prove your point. Stats like the Jags haven’t had a blackout all season and had the most new ticket sales in the NFL last offseason are facts! See how it works! I dispute your post with actually facts! You just make a statement with nothing to back your statement up with. You should actually do some research before posting on here about something you heard one of your buddies say last year.

  25. If you take my Chargers, that’s fine, but you’ll lose me as a loyal, money-spending, NFL fan.

    Not a threat, it’s a promise.

    And in 10 years, the NFL will be complaining about the new LA team being a being a money-losing franchise, like it has historically been.

    Don’t these idiots ever learn from history?

    I’m not that old, but even I remember the LA Rams and the LA Raiders…

  26. For really35 and natelan,

    From ESPN NFL attendance:

    Jaguars- #23
    Chargers- #27

    At least the Chargers didn’t discount their tickets, offer special financing or have the city buy extra tickets to avoid blackouts but they still don’t have much to brag about.

  27. recon163 – You do what you have to do to survive! The Jags didn’t do any of this last year and they blacked out 8 of 9 games at home. This year they haven’t had a blackout. Maybe the Charges will do the same next season.

  28. @recon163

    Uhhhhm, I never disputed that the Chargers attendance figures were low this year, so what are you trying to prove to me…?

    Yeah, who would’ve thought that a team sitting on the doorstep of the Pacific Ocean, in a small metropolis full of immigrants from other cities and countries, would have trouble selling tickets to sporting events during the nation’s worst financial crisis in 70 years?

    All I said was, if they want to take my Chargers to LA, that’s OK with me, it’s obviously within their power to do so, but that they will lose me as a fan; as in, I will not follow them where they go and my wallet is staying put.

  29. That being said, if a team DOES end-up in LA, it will undoubtedly be my Chargers, despite my fierce protest.

    They will regret their decision in 10 years or fewer.

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