Rooney thinks NFL will be back in L.A. within five years


Plenty of owners have mused over the years about the possible return of the NFL to Los Angeles.  When the owner who serves as chairman of the league’s stadium committee chimes in, it’s time to listen closely.

Steelers president Art Rooney, II, whose pre-draft trip to Minnesota helped light a fire under the process of taking the Vikings out of the running for running an out route to L.A., thinks that the 17-year vacuum will be filled in the not-too-distant future.

“I would think that, within five years, L.A. would have a team,” Rooney recently told Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.  “I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s two teams.  I wouldn’t want to make a prediction, but I would be comfortable saying one.  But there’s certainly a chance there will be two.”

Putting two teams in L.A. helps justify the cost of a stadium, which for one NFL team is used only 10 times per year, plus possible playoffs.

The process of negotiating a stadium deal while also lining up a team to play there gets delicate the closer it comes to fruition.  The venue won’t get the green light without a team, and the team won’t commit to coming without the green light.  Both ends need to come together simultaneously, and it’s critical that the NFL keep it all under wraps as long as possible, so that if it falls apart the team that would have abandoned its current market can still survive there.

A shovel-ready project exists in the City of Industry.  The preferred location seems to be the Farmers Field, the downtown spot that has a naming-rights deal without a stadium deal.  “I think progress is being made,” Rooney said. “I’m not sure I’d say it’s a done deal yet; some work needs to be done.  But they’re making progress, and I think site selection will probably be the next thing that happens.”

Though Rooney isn’t quoted as identifying teams, the story lists the Chargers, Raiders, Rams, and possibly the Jaguars as candidates for relocation.

It’s easy to dismiss the talk based on the fact that there has been plenty of past talk, but no action.  Still, Rooney doesn’t seem like a guy who wastes words.  And he’s in as good a position as anyone to know what’s going on.

48 responses to “Rooney thinks NFL will be back in L.A. within five years

  1. If its one team… Id like to see the rams go back.

    if its two I like to see the rams/jaguars and raiders.

    Sorry Jaguar fans… your team just doesn’t have the history that some of the other squads do.

    that’s why even non bills fans dont want to see them move.. because they are one of the original teams.

    With a history such as KC, MIA, NE and other AFL squads.

    Its not that we dont like the jaguars.. but they are kind of the new employee at the place who wants to start relocation temps… the new guy is the first to go.

    The Raiders and rams have been there… so i dont see any prob with them going back.

  2. Really…. Again the Jags in this crap talk…! Shove it and shove it deep all you haters…!

  3. The only thing that compels a team to relocate is that they are losing money where they are. Is Rooney sayibg he expects at least two NFL teams to be losing miney that badly?

  4. “unfkwthabl says:
    Aug 20, 2012 8:30 AM
    If its one team… Id like to see the rams go back.

    if its two I like to see the rams/jaguars and raiders.

    Sorry Jaguar fans… your team just doesn’t have the history that some of the other squads do.
    Its not that we dont like the jaguars.. but they are kind of the new employee at the place who wants to start relocation temps… the new guy is the first to go.”

    The Jaguars aren’t moving. Sorry to rain on your parade. There are a lot of reasons why they won’t move but I don’t feel like typing them out. Why does anybody think the Jaguars would move to LA but the Chargers wouldn’t?

  5. I believe two teams should move, and it needs to be one NFC team and one AFC team. That’s tough though, because the Chargers, Raiders, and Jaguars are all in the AFC. The lone NFC team in my opinion will get a deal done to upgrade their facilities in St Louis. Just my gut feeling.

    I simply don’t see San Diego getting a stadium bill passed, and they know they’re only moving a short drive up the coast, maintaining their Southern California fanbase.

    If I had to bet, I would bet on the Jaguars and Chargers to be the teams who move. But if it is only one team, my guess is the Jags. New owner from out of the area. Awful team. Tarps galore. Small market.

    The writing is on the wall.

  6. I know the league loves the symmetry of 32 teams and how all of that is divisible.

    But don’t overlook expansion….2 or maybe even 4 teams. There’s always Canada which has been mentioned now and then. Europe, Mexico?

    Portland, San Antonio, Sacramento and Orlando are actually larger US metro population markets (acording to Wiki) than Cincy, KC, Charlotte, Indy, Milwaukee (Green Bay), New Orleans and Buffalo.

  7. Who cares?
    Certainly not those in Los Angeles.
    The fact of the matter is: there are too many terrible teams in the NFL, which causes too many mediocre teams to qualify for the postseason.
    Last season, the Steelers, Bengals, Patriots and Broncos qualified for the postseason without having to post a single significant win. Even the Super Bowl champion Giants were an iffy playoff team at best.
    Instead of the NFL reshuffling the deck, it needs to play with fewer cards.

  8. I actually don’t want to see the Jags go as I used to live there & enjoyed the small rivalry between the Titans & Jags. But honestly, the only 2 teams that make any sense are the Jags & Chargers. Living in Jax for bit, I can tell you, there was simply not enough interest for that team. We used to go to games all the time & there would consistently be more fans of the other team there. Maybe because you could get tix for like $10-20? They were always looking for some local business like Winn-Dixie to buy up tickets to keep it from getting blacked out. Sorry Jax, start buying tickets or you will lose that team.

  9. Shad Khan just spent over 3 million dollars renovating the Jaguars locker room. That isn’t exactly what someone would do if they plan on moving the team. On top of that the City of Jacksonville gave Khan the ability to negate the lease this past year, he called the council out on their actions and solidified the agreement. The Jaguars are Jacksonville’s. What don’t you understand about that?

  10. Most hurt the NFL to see the size of the L.A. TV market, and not be able to charge TV networks accordingly. And that is the only reason the NFL wants teams in L.A., the money they will be able to charge TV networks and advertisers for the rights of airing games and/or airing commercials in the L.A. metro area. Maybe Rooney will put his mouth where his potential money is and move his Steelers there? Or is it the plan of the league to further dilute the product by adding yet more teams to the league?

    As for whoever mentioned size of metro areas, that only matters when talking TV contract, not fan bases. For example, sure, the L.A. metro area is much more dense population-wise than Charlotte, but the Panthers includes both Carolinas, and the fans aren’t as feeble as they are in L.A. And teams like the Packers have nationwide fan bases.

  11. Go old school and have the Rams and Chargers share the stadium. Keep Jax out of it. Raiders can stay up north, S.D. doesn’t move far and the Rams come back home. We don’t need another AFC team in California but, a return of the Rams would be nice. This time without the crazy B*@#! owner this time.

  12. The Steelers made the playoffs without posting one significant win? They beat the AFC Champion Patriots, as well as the playoff-bound Bengals twice.

    The logic behind that statement is off. Part of the reason why the victories by the Steelers, Patriots, Bengals and Broncos were against “bad” teams, is because those teams had to play against the Steelers, Patriots, Bengals and Broncos.

  13. I am not an expert on the subject but I will add my two cents.

    Chargers are currently the highest on the list off teams considered for Los Angeles as seeing a new stadium in downtown San Diego are very slim right now. But, so was getting a deal done in Minnesota for a few weeks.

    Then, we have the return of the Rams to Los Angeles. I don’t see to much improvement happening in regards to that stadium except they have signed a contract with the stadium sponsor for 10 more years. I don’t see why the owner would sign anything if he thought the team would be gone in 8 months.

    Raiders returning to LA??? Maybe but a better business decision for Mr. Davis would be to strike a deal with the 49ers and share the new stadium currently being built in Santa Clarita.

    Bills moving? If they are going anywhere outside of Buffalo its going to be Toronto.

    Jaguars??? I don’t know why this team gets brought up on a regular schedule since they have just been sold and the owner is spending millions on improving conditions for the team including 3 million on a lockerroom. Also, the deal the team has with the stadium is supposed to be iron clad and will keep the team in Jacksonville until 2023+

    Browns moving to LA? The NFL would never allow it for a second time and that’s is pretty much the end of discussion.

    Expansion team a new team, no history, new colors, logo etc is in reality the best possible solution. I know, 32 teams work out so great right now and if they expand they have to expand to add a min of two teams. I live in Los Angeles and want a team in Los Angeles but why take it from a city and market that has been supporting its team and it has a history there?

  14. People who say the Jaguars are going to move to LA have NO CLUE as to the commitment of the owner, the stadium lease, or the ticket sales.

    The owner says he is totally committed to Jacksonville, and has just spend several million dollars of his own money renovating the locker room, the lease is ironclad and lasts until 2027, and the ticket sales are about 61,000 per game, which is better than a lot of other cities, in spite of having a bad team the last few years.

    Please, people, the facts say the Jaguars are NOT MOVING.

  15. If you polled Angelenos, they would almost to a man prefer the Rams return home. Missouri has turned into a cesspool with people who believe rape victims don’t get pregnant. The NFL really doesn’t need to have sympathy for those people.

  16. I feel your pain Jags fans — thank God the Viking stadium legislation passed last spring so we don’t have to read the LA Vikings crap every other week.

  17. @SJ39 – No it is about making MORE money.

    @tomthebombtracy – Your population stats on the Cincy market likely aren’t including the Dayton/Springfield metro area. From what I’ve read, the US Census Bureau will be making them one metro area in the near future since they essentially butt against one another. Plus, The Bengals lease is until like 2030 or something like that.

  18. Of the teams to move in the last 30 years (Colts, Cardinals, Rams, Raiders, Browns, Oilers) all did so because of stadium issues, solely. Teams currently with the most prominent stadium issues are Oakland, St. Louis, and San Diego. The Raiders and Chargers both play in stadiums built for baseball that have been converted for football. Frankly, the Raiders and Chargers play in the worst, outdated stadiums in the league. They are the two most likely candidates to move.

  19. ziggy26: OK, the Steelers beat the Patriots. But how good were the Pats? They beat zero teams in 2011 that had a winning record. To reach the Super Bowl, they beat up on a bad Broncos team, then escaped the Ravens, who dropped a game-winning TD pass before they missed a game-tying, chip-shot field goal.
    The 13-3 Patriots were playoff frauds.
    The reason the Steelers and Bengals reached the playoffs was because both teams were assigned to play teams from the putrid NFC West, which featured only one good team, the 49ers, who stymied the Steelers on a Monday night game.
    The Steelers compiled a 12-4 record by having to beat just two teams with winning records, the Patriots and Bengals.
    I rest my case.

  20. bobzilla, so is it pittsburgh’s fault that that was their schedule?!

    how about atleast mentioning the number of injuries they were dealing with last year enroute to that 12-4 record. oh wait, you’re just a steelers troll that has no clue what he’s talking about, nevermind…

  21. stuartscottscrazyeye says:
    Aug 20, 2012 10:51 AM
    L.A. PACKERS!!
    That would be
    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  22. unfkwthabl says:
    Aug 20, 2012 8:30 AM

    Its not that we dont like the jaguars.. but they are kind of the new employee at the place who wants to start relocation temps… the new guy is the first to go.

    I hate to break it to you, but the Jaguars aren’t the “new guy”… The Texans and Browns came into the league after Jacksonville, who came in with Carolina.

  23. Rooney, Mara and Kraft will let Roger know who will be aloowed to move to LA. In the meantime, all four of these clowns will make sure that the RAIDERS have a difficult path to a new stadium/ LA move.

    The league is run by these three owners- Roger is their puppet.

    Simple as that.

  24. Not sure what teams he’s talking about. Jacksonville, I could eventually see, though that would force a division change at some point. The Rams might work, but if St. Louis loses a second NFL franchise inside of 30 years, they won’t get one again in our lifetimes.

    The NFL is trying too hard to land a franchise in LA. They had the NFL ready to hand them the 32nd franchise about 12 years ago, and their presentation was so awful, the league had no choice but to select Houston.

    It’s up to Los Angeles. If they want a team, they’ll get one, but I’m not so sure they want the NFL as much as the NFL wants them.

  25. “gmsalpha says:
    Aug 20, 2012 8:42 AM
    If I had to bet, I would bet on the Jaguars and Chargers to be the teams who move. But if it is only one team, my guess is the Jags. New owner from out of the area. Awful team. Tarps galore. Small market.

    The writing is on the wall.”

    New owner that has been doing business in Jacksonville for 30 years. Khan’s big break in the auto industry actually came in Jacksonville when he struck a deal with the Toyota right down the street from the stadium. And he’s already spent millions of his own money upgrading the locker room, the stadium speakers and the monitors around the stadium.

    And I’ll mention this again. Three teams in Florida. Guess which one of the team had the highest attendance??

    The Jaguars are not moving.

  26. “greatminnesotasportsmind says:
    Aug 20, 2012 12:10 PM
    Maybe that’s why Rooney said within 5 years. You know when the agreement between Kahn and Weaver expires, where he is free to move the Jags at his will.”


  27. With the NFL requiring a $600-800 million Relocation Fee, we won’t be seeing any team move to LA for quite awhile. The economics just don’t pencil out.

  28. greatminnesotasportsmind says: Aug 20, 2012 12:10 PM

    Maybe that’s why Rooney said within 5 years. You know when the agreement between Kahn and Weaver expires, where he is free to move the Jags at his will.

    He’s not free to move the Jags. The stadium lease expires in 2027.

    Also, he just spent 3 million dollars renovating the locker room. Would he do that if he intended to move to LA?

    And why would be move to LA? Money? The man is worth 2.5 Billion dollars. He doesn’t need the money.

  29. Don’t rule out both Industry and Farmer’s field happening – Chargers and Rams. The Chargers have a huge fan base in OC.

    Folks outside So Cali don’t seem to understand that prior to the two current stadium plans, the NFL expected the good citizens of LA County to buy them a stadium. That was never going to happen.

    @ rmdz7 — I disagree. I think the population of Charlotte is much more dense. (sorry, couldn’t resist)

  30. Goodell has had a hard on for LA since he was a kid. Of course he is going to try and get a team there. He does not care if he ruins the NFL or a teams legacy. I would not be surprised if he does not try to make it the LA Cowboys.

  31. And that team will be out of LA by the time that first lease is up. People that live in Southern Cal. do not attend pro football games. They will fill it up for one game and the rest of the season will be blacked out.

  32. The League would fold before the Steelers leave the ‘Burgh. Put one of those teams that nobody cares about like the Browns, Bills, Bucs, Chargers, Vikings, Jags, Rams, etc. in LA

  33. Call it a hunch but I don’t see any team moving I see expansion by four teams. I see two going to LA maybe one to London and possibly San Antonio. I think this happens in conjunction with a move back to 3 divisions per conference and an expanded 18 game schedule.

    I could also see the league moving its scheduling to some type of TV lotto, after all if it is about keeping it a 365 day season what better than a televised scheduling lotto to add an additional television date. I for one would tune in to find out who my non-division opponents would be. Besides, a lotto system makes it more fun it gets boring knowing who your going to play years ahead of time on a repeating cycle. Make it more variable and make it another event.

  34. The logical choices choices are:

    1. Ram. They already have a fan base there. It’s just like going home.

    2.Chargers. Their current fan base has a short trip and adds into whatever new fans they pick up.

    Not that logic ever counts for anything.

  35. San Diego has had a semi successful team the last decade, yet they still have a problem drawing enough interest locally to consistently sell out. They are a California team so I’d like to imagine there may be some fan base in LA for them already. They have a stadium issue that is no where near close to being resolved. I can’t believe they aren’t brought up more when people consider team that could relocate to LA..

  36. LA needs a team for sure. People here love football and has no real team. Im seeeing younger people being packer fans, steeler fans, bronco fans with no reason other than they like their uniforms. Get LA a team and we will support them (unless its in the colluseum)

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