Stephen Ross: NFL team will move to L.A. within five years

Getty Images

The long-awaited return of the NFL to Los Angeles is five or fewer years away, according to one NFL owner.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said today that he can “see it coming,” and that a team will move to Los Angeles — not an expansion team — soon.

“Certainly within 5 years,” Ross said, via Kevin Clark of the Wall Street Journal.

That team will not be the Dolphins. Ross has repeatedly said that his focus is on keeping the Dolphins in Miami and getting the necessary stadium renovations to make the stadium an attractive host for the Super Bowl and other major events.

But Ross thinks one of his fellow owners will begin the process of moving to Los Angeles soon.

114 responses to “Stephen Ross: NFL team will move to L.A. within five years

  1. Could it be the same owner that bought a large tract of vacant land in Los Angeles last year and whose team originally was in Los Angeles?

    If Kroenke moves the Rams to LA the next day he will be worth at least 2 billion dollars more than he was worth yesterday. Easy decision.

  2. One set of fans will have their collective hearts broken. Enough already.

  3. L.A. had three chances and failed each time.

    How long will the NFL bang their collective heads against this wall?

  4. The league has to keep the “move to L.A.” bogeyman alive, or the gravy train from all those shiny new stadiums might dry up.

  5. We are not going to build a publicly financed stadium in southern california. So any owner is going to have to build his own stadium with his own money or sell his team to somebody who has the resources to build their own stadium.

    Nobody is going to build a billion dollar plus stadium with private money and rent it out. That’s just silly beyond measure. You’ll never recoup your investment.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that LA will never again see NFL football within its borders. I’m not even going to think about it anymore and watch my Sunday Ticket in peace.

  6. Either the Raiders or the Rams and both teams have a history in Los Angeles.
    Oakland’s stadium is in terrible condition and they haven’t found a satisfactory solution after many years. Don’t be surprised if the team that moves is the Raiders.

  7. Jags can’t move they have an iron clad lease that goes seemingly forever. But like 2022 or something

  8. Oakland for sure. They have the greatest need in the NFL for a new stadium, and even with the owner willing to put up $400 M the city doesn’t want to help out. I think they move next year.

  9. If the Lions move it would both break our hearts and put us out of our misery. It might be the kindest thing to do.

  10. The Raiders will never get anything done in Oakland. Anyone who thinks it’s going to happen are kidding themselves.
    Mark Davis knows it. He’s already starting to ease the fan base into the reality that he’s out of options short of moving.
    The “Coliseum City” thing is a pipe dream. No sane person would sink hundreds of millions into anything in that area. The idea is ludicrous.
    The ONLY way it could happen would be with taxpayer money and there is absolutely zero chance of that happening.

    Oakland is a festering sore of a city that owes it’s condition to decades of incompetent leadership. Elihu Harris? Ron Dellums? Jean Quan? They were elected by the voters who chose their own fate.
    Jerry Brown tried, but failed.
    I fully expect the Raiders to leave and the 5 year time frame sounds realistic.

  11. The NFL sure seems to be fond of using the L.A. threat as a potent lever to squeeze smaller market teams into compliance with the NFL agenda, one of which includes massive stadium overhaul or a even brand new stadium to the NFL’s liking.

    It’s kind of like how the NFL leverages the rights to a Super Bowl as a carrot — provided enough hoops have been jumped through … again to the NFL’s satisfaction.

  12. The problem with Los Angeles in the past was that the Coliseum was in an unsafe area. Most of the parking was out on the streets in residential areas and people had to walk to/from there to the stadium.

    The average NFL stadium received 65 percent of its funding from the public, the percentage has dipped slightly in recent years. The public paid nothing for New York’s $1.6 billion stadium and 44 percent for Dallas’ $1.15 billion stadium. The other NFL owners have a fund setup to contribute to new stadium construction in these cases.

    The increased media revenue alone might make the NFL as a whole to kick in much more to build a new stadium in Los Angeles. They’ll make it up in future broadcasting rights contracts, including Sunday Ticket which is being negotiated right now.

  13. Should either be the Jaguars (who have no place in a town like Jacksonville) or the Rams.

    Personally, let’s just put an expansion team out there. Everyone should be on board considering it creates hundreds of new jobs for coaches and players.

  14. Dolphins owner still bucking for tax payer money for that new stadium in Miami so he’s cranking up the rhetoric. The NFL desperately needs people to think that LA can support a team. Where else would be a credible place to make local politicians believe the threat of a move?

    No way an NFL team moves away from the city of Miami, Florida.

  15. The L.A. Chargers scare tactic hasn’t really worked in SD. Still playing in Qualcom. It’s a political quagmire I don’t want to go into detail about, but if the Chargers move they will take San Diego’s Big League status with them, leaving only the poor Padres in town.

  16. San Fran should just play in LA and continue to call themselves the “San Francisco” 49ers. They’re practically doing that already.

  17. No one in their right mind would move a team to L.A. The taxes are simply too high. Players wont like it much either. That’s why a lot of them are moving out of Ca. Just having to work in that state costs them 30+ percent.

  18. The way Miami has treated Ross – I wouldn’t blame him if he took his team to LA.

  19. Ross is simply adding credence to the threat of moving, that keeps other cities paying for statidums which Los Angeles will not do. We don’t need an NFL team to feel like a first rate city or any of those other reasons that cities pay for NFL teams. Plus, we have great weather during the NFL season so we have a thousand other options for spending a Sunday afternoon. Getting an NFL also means lots of traffic in a particular area. No one wants it. TV is great.

  20. LA will contribute to the stadium…just a question of how bet is 500 million. It would be foolish for a city not to have that attraction.

  21. It will be the Chargers. It only makes sense. They have been trying longer than any other team to get a new stadium with no luck. Also, they are very close by so many of the current fans would remain fans. They would get the stadium they need, and keep the fans they have.

  22. I see either the Rams or Raiders. Everyone else seems to have lease issues or a solid foundation to even be considered.

  23. What was the reason the rams left in the first place? Seems odd to move a team back to a city that they failed in.

    Rams moved to Anaheim in 1980 because the only stadiums in los angeles were designed and built at the beginning of the 20th century. They’re now a century old.

    Pasadena will not allow modernization of the Rose Bowl because of historic preservation and the Coliseum is in a destitute area with no ability to even expand parking.

    These palaces are from a different era that do not provide a modern fan experience. Even modern by 1980 standards. That’s why the Rams left. And it’s what Al Davis learned when he moved his team from Oakland and then moved them back.

    You cannot run a modern professional team with century old facilities. They’re too old to gussy up and Pasadena won’t even allow it anyway.

  24. Expansion teams in L.A. and San Antonio? I could go for that. Move the Jags, Bills, or Bucs? Never! Stop talking that nonsense.

  25. The argument that teams failing in LA means they will fail again are completely tone deaf.

    One previous franchise had an owner that was hated by the league and one had an owner that consulted astrological charts when making business decisions. Both were stuck playing in a college-level stadium they didn’t own and didn’t make much money from. And the TV money was a fraction of what it is today.

    If they manage to get a stadium built, and I grant that that is a big if, it will be loaded with revenue generating luxury boxes, ala Jerry World in Dallas, and the massive TV contracts will only get more massive.

    And the notion that a team in LA is worth more than a team in a smaller market is some myth made up by people who want teams there. Two teams were sold this year in the NBA, a league with nowhere near the revenue the NFL has: The small market Milwaukee Bucks, for $550M and the LA Clippers for $2B, almost FOUR TIMES as much. So yeah, the difference is very real. Don’t think Stan Kroenke missed that.

  26. “Certainly within five years”

    Sorry Charlie, the Bills are locked in until 2020 no matter who owns the team.

    Gotta be somebody else.

    A decrepit stadium, an out of town billionaire who can’t get any deal done with the local politicians combined with an apathetic fan base who won’t notice that their team is gone until Thanksgiving.

    The Los Angeles Dolphins of Anaheim makes sense to me.

    The ocean theme kind of carries over, don’t you think?

  27. yate3097 says: May 31, 2014 1:57 PM

    Could it be the same owner that bought a large tract of vacant land in Los Angeles last year and whose team originally was in Los Angeles?
    Rams were originally in Cleveland. I’ve heard that the league would block a Raider move to LA unless Davis sells the team. Don’t know if that’s true or not.

  28. Firt of all the Bucs and Bills aren’t going anywhere! Next I don’t understand why everyone is jumping on the Rams? Moreover, I believe the Raiders and Chargers to be much better choices. Finally, if we’re talking about expansion then I would love to see 8 teams added one for every division and just have the NFL take over EVERYTHING! Think about it, longer seasons, longer playoffs, and the 8 more cities with NFL teams.
    1. L.A.
    2. San Antonio
    3. Portland
    4. Saltlake city
    5. Las Vegas
    6. Toronto
    7. Mexico City
    8. London
    Think of the possibilities!?!?!?! lol

  29. i thumbs down your comment says:
    May 31, 2014 2:06 PM
    Seattle is the best choice. Worst fans in sports.

    Ken Behring already tried that and he failed. You LOSE.

  30. Why would the money be different in LA.
    Same TV money, share of other revenue. No stadium to play in and historically poor support. Stay where you are.

  31. Attendance wise….Who is the team, which cannot and will not fill their stadium with THEIR fans???

    By far, the worst…is the Dolphins, who would never sellout if it wasn’t for the Patriots, jets, Ravens etc

    DOLPHINS…are very much the favorites to move…Bills sell out, they will be kept in Buffalo

  32. Public financing for a new stadium will continue to be voted down by the public, that’s not changing in L.A. It will have to be private money. L.A. is not Cleveland or Minnesota.

  33. Jpaq68 I really admire your math skills as well as your reading comprehension skills.

    1) Buffalo has a lease stating it cannot move for 6 years and it will be virtually impossible for the 2 years to follow

    2) Ross explicitly mentions that one of the current owners will be moving. Considering that currently the Bills don’t have an owner, it would be difficult for his statement to match up with them.

  34. 700levelvet says:May 31, 2014 5:11 PM



    I love comments like this!

    1) Stadium newer than many in the NFL (17 years). The Stadium was financed with public money, and the Ravens get to keep vitually every dollar from concessions, parking etc…, and they pay $1 year in rent.

    2) Team owned by a lifelong Baltimorean.

    3) Team that has sold out EVERY home game in its 19 years in Baltimore.

    Do a little research before you post, dude…

  35. Well, if the worst owner in the history of the NFL says it, then it must be true.

  36. Seattle makes sense. When they don’t make it to the championship game this year and (surprise) aren’t a dynasty, their rookie annoying fans will desert them and won’t even notice them gone.

  37. The Rams are contractually obligated to play in the St Louis Edward Jones Dome until March 15, 2015. Then they can leave without any contractual issues. I would guess that the Rams give notice after the 2014-5 season, go year-to-year in St Louis until the new LA stadium is built (perhaps 3 years) and then they will be in Los Angeles. I would also guess that almost all the money to build the stadium will come from Kroenke and the league fund (with a promise for an early Super Bowl and perhaps Pro Bowl if it gets moved out of Hawaii). Everyone understands the financial limitations for such a proposal in California. But the economics of a Southern California franchise are too compelling to the NFL and Kroenke. I think the fix is already in and that is why Kroenke bought the land near Hollywood Park last year.

  38. raiderapologist says:
    May 31, 2014 4:46 PM

    Rams were originally in Cleveland. I’ve heard that the league would block a Raider move to LA unless Davis sells the team. Don’t know if that’s true or not.


    Indeed they were. Back in the 1930s and 40s, but they have a 48 year history in Los Angeles.

    Why would the league have it in for Davis? Didn’t know about that.

  39. The dolphins better not move to L.A. If I could curse on this I would. That would break so many fans hearts. Also it should never ever happen. This better not be a back door comment or hinting to something.

  40. If I had to post odds,

    Raiders – 3:1 the stadium issue. most urgent of all
    Jaguars – 4:1 They can’t sell out on a regular basis
    Rams – 5:1 stadium issue
    Dolphins – 6:1 stadium issue

    I would be shocked if it didn’t come from this group of 4 teams.

  41. California already has three NFL teams, they don’t need anymore. Move Oakland… it’s ridiculous that Oakland and San Fran’s stadiums are 10 miles from each other.

  42. Dolphins would do well in L.A.

    We know the Rams fans in L.A. are waiting for the return.

    St Louis gets the Jaguars , when the Rams return to Southern California.

  43. San Antonio? lol….. no way they’d spring for an NFL stadium there. Wayyyy too poor and democrat

  44. It’s going to be the browns someone on the inside slipped up at a party and said Haslam wouldn’t mind moving the browns to L.A for a bigger market. I’m a browns fan and I don’t trust that slime ball.

  45. The California state legislature and the governor are on record as saying that they want a team in Los Angeles to be from out of state; no in-state transfers, as that would result in a net gain of jobs. So you have the slick business savvy and cash of the NFL versus the monumentally bureaucratic, stubborn, and numb business-hating California government. Add the insane cost and red tape of building anything in this state – you need three permits and an environmental impact report to dig a hole in your back yard. If I’m an investor, I don’t want the headache.
    San Antonio gets a team before LA.

  46. “Ross said today that he can “see it coming,” and that a team will move to Los Angeles. That team will not be the Dolphins. Ross has repeatedly said that his focus is on keeping the Dolphins in Miami.”

    He’s a liar. How can he speak for any other team except for Miami.

  47. Sure would have been easier if they had just give LA an expansion team instead of wasting them on Jacksonville or Carolina but then OH YEAH the owners couldn’t have used moving their teams to LA as a threat to blackmail cities for new stadiums and huge sweetheart deals.

  48. I don’t think this is a positive or uplifting message coming from Ross and would make his teams fanbase uncomfortable.With the Clippers sale @ billion out west gets more traction its no wonder he talking or trolling if thats what he’s really doing. If the city of Miami wants to keep their Dolphins they might want to work with him a little better before its too late.

  49. @trytobnimble – you are so right. A new stadium will have to be a billion as starting point. Roger wants bells and whistles on the taxpayer’s dime.

    And why is Ross making these proclamations at this time. It’s weird and out of place. Here are the options in Miami: 1) Bankrupt the city 2) pay it yourself, 3) or Move your team. It’s how the fans roll in Miami. They won’t bat an eye when the Mayflower people come. Another team will move in in a split second.

    That stadium has been renovated already. It is getting old so he is better off going the distance and spend $800 or $900 million on a new one than $400 on new renovations. Makes no sense. Or maybe he wants the Clipper’s new owner to make an offer for the Dolphins.

  50. There are many people that would build a stadium in Los Angeles for an NFL. The problem is that no one will build it without at least a 51% ownership stake (if not 100%).

    Philip Anschutz is ready at a moment’s notice to tear down half the LA Convention center, build a 70,000 seat stadium with a retractable roof (think Olympics, Final Fours, etc.) right next to Staples Center.

    Again, the problem is that the Chargers won’t sell to Anschutz, the Jags won’t sell and the Raiders won’t sell. Until someone sells to a developer (or someone like Kroenke builds his own stadium in LA), the NFL will not return.

  51. They really need to tear down the Colisseum and use that land to build a modern stadium with decent parking – that would solve the problem, and there’s zero reason to keep the Colisseum. It was obsolete in 1950. And don’t tell me ‘keep it for its history’ – I’ve been to the Colisseum in Rome and the one in LA; Rome is a marvel of architecture and engineering that’s seen 2000 years – LA’s is a giant cement toilet that hosted an Olympics 80 years ago. Big deal.

  52. From an owners standpoint your 3 options aren’t very welcoming. They certainly don’t say we want you to stay. Ross is only asking for the same deal Micky Arison gets with the Heat. If you see Miami anywhere near where the Heat play property and buissiness value is at a high level. Ross is in Opa locka a much more difficult place to attract quality fans. It will not attract anything if its a dump in opa locka.

  53. LA could of had a number of teams for long time now..I think NFL owners like to keep LA open as leverage and once a team takes it then teams like Vikings 49ers would of never got there deals done…Even Mark Davis has openly said he wants to stay in Oakland…what Im saying is NFL owners dont really seem to want to bring there teams to LA or some team would of by now…they using LA as a last resort think about that

  54. Look I like my saints in nola and I think the Berg likes the steel city and even Dallas loves them cowboys but at the end of the day none of us are safe guy just tossed out 2 bill on a second rate NBA team in LA. Someone somewhere is gonna get greedy and pull the trigger. What would an nfl team in LA fetch. More than the dodgers I will say that. Someone will get $$$$ for eyes and pull it and it may be the least suspecting nfl city that gets whacked that’s crazy cash

  55. I really hope that the Rams don’t move. St Louis is a good sports town, and LA is the most fairweather fanbase in the entire world, that’s why they have two teams in every other sport.

  56. As soon as Brady retires he and his wife are buying the Patriots and moving it to LA. Boston fans are homers and because the world revolves around that city they won’t notice that it was moved.

  57. Buffalo isn’t going anywhere. Roger Goodell is a Bills fan at heart growing up in western New York as he previously stated. He will make sure the sale of the bills is to someone committed to keeping them in buffalo. In my opinion it will be the Rams for two reasons.

    1) that team will go from being worth $400,000,000 to about 1,000,000,000 so from a financial stand point it makes sense.

    2) Geographically where are the Rams located in regards to the rest of their division. Makes sense to move them out in the same time zone.

    Option 2 would be Oakland just because of the history and the situation regarding their home field.

  58. Screw LA. Blew their chances already. It’s not an NFL city. End. Of. Story.

  59. The fans in St. Louis won’t have their hearts broken. They don’t go to the games now. They’ll just keep watching them on TV and not even know they left.

  60. The Rams have a 21% winning percentage over the last 9 yrs and still average 40k at their home games. Even the most ardent LA fan would admit that would never happen in LA.

  61. To me the NFL is doing just fine without a team in LA.
    LA TV market has a double header each weekend due to local team never being at home.

    Selling out the stadium is an overplayed hand. Though a full stadium helps the image and ambiance of the game, the big money is not in season ticket holders. That is why they all want more luxury boxes. They don’t want new stadiums for more seats.

    Expanding 8 more teams? Heck even adding two? We already don’t have 32 quality QB’s or running backs. And how many teams can you think of that had lousy offensive or defensive lines last year?

    It does seem the land costs, tax costs, labor costs to build a new stadium in California are substantial hurdles. Though the Bills will face many of the same issues in NY (maybe not land costs). Though the Clippers sale nakes these hurdles worth fighting through.

    I am surprised so many people care. Outside of LA and the 50,000 that would attend games there, and the city that loses the team its not going to effect any of us.
    If the Rams move, their home game against the Cardinals each year isn’t going to look any different from my couch.

  62. Ross only said that as a thinly veiled threat to the taxpayers of Miami. Just another arrogant billionaire owner wanting the masses to pay for another new bandbox so they can entertain their “inner circle.” The average tax payer, paying for these stadiums, can’t even afford the PSL’s, let alone tickets.

  63. According to Forbes magazine last year, The Rams are the 29th valued franchise ($875m) in the league and the Raiders are 32nd ($825m). A move to Los Angeles would obviously at least double their value because of tv contract, probable stadium deal and the fact that they should sell more tickets. The Rams and the Raiders moved from LA before because of a lack of a stadium deal. If the LA people finally have a plan then this is doable. Plus do not count out the Dolphins and Jaguars from sniffing around the LA possibilities. What Ross said is basically telling Miami that the city is on the clock.

  64. Bills (new owner) and Jags (tarps + London deal helped stabilize) are both selling out most to all games — why move? No other existing NFL team will move to LA unless their host city totally stiffs them. Look for compromises with Tampa, Oakland, San Diego, St. Louis. No team would make more money in LA than staying put, especially after paying $1+ billion relocation fee to the NFL and contributing 100’s of millions to the new “SmogDome”.

    More likley: the NFL expands by four teams to get to 36, within 5-10 years, charging each new owner $2-$3 billion expansion fee :

    — LA

    — London

    — Toronto

    — San Antonio

  65. Who cares?

    The NFL hasn’t withered up and died because it isn’t in L.A., in fact it’s doing pretty well.

    I don’t think anybody really cares if there is a team there or not.

  66. Let’s trust the prophet who gave us clairvoyant predictions as:

    Jeff Ireland can build a successful team.


    Jonathan Martin will be a not-terrible football player.

  67. Jeff Ireland may be this and Jonathan Martin maybe that…but the Patriots TE is a cold blooded murderer

  68. Based on all these posts regarding a return to L.A., it’s easy to see the nation HATES Los Angeles and everybody HATES the Raiders. It’s match that should have never been broken. Come on home LOS ANGELES RAIDERS!!!

  69. The NFL needs a splash – in three years – they launch two LA area teams. award a team group led by Tom Brady and one by Payton manning – they can flip but of course, it makes sense for LA to get Tom and the OC to get Manning. That solves the issue of another team moving and they have all the glamour and PR anyone could need to launch an LA expansion team. That buys them enough PR to buy them 5 years time before they become competitive.

  70. Things will be much different with the Return of the Raiders to L.A.

    No more fear of ghetto your car taken or getting shot at the Coliseum. The new venues will be monitored to the teeth with great 21st Tech.

    L.A. Raiders should look forward to the return of the Raiders.

    Although it wont be as good as an area or venue as what the 49ers are getting, it will be decent.

  71. With the amount of taxpayer money the NFL owners take to build their cathedrals does anyone else think that teams should be set up like public cooperation with a board and the public should have and equal say in proportion to how much funding they give for stadiums? What a joke it is that these teams take money from taxpayer then liner their billionaire pocket with it and then when they don’t get there way they threaten to move the team it’s a joke. The NFL in no way, shape, or form resembles a capitalist structure at best it’s like the kings (owners) of the NFL telling their servants (fans) pay us for our cathedrals that we will become even more rich from; before you ever go to a game, turn on your tv, or buy a jersey. And if the public doesn’t fork over the money the teams just up and leave. STOP SUPPORTING THE NFL

  72. Expand by 8 teams:

    Hmmm means might not be so good….

    1. San Antonio
    2. Los Angeles
    3. Portland- hmmm
    4. Memphis
    5. Salt Lake City
    6. Las Vegas
    7. Birmingham-hmmm
    8. Hartford-hmmmm

  73. …Because how can anyone expect this injustice to continue?! California is and has been for many years now suffering the indignation of having only 3 professional football teams to represent it’s state! If it weren’t for these over-represented mugs in Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Hawaii etc. (a couple of those above states actually have a whole team to themselves! WTF?!) then we could get the deserved exposure for another California team. Then maybe we can get a third Texas team, a fourth Florida team, a third New York team, etc.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.