L.A. may have gone from luxury to necessity for NFL

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Nearly 20 years ago, the Rams and Raiders left Los Angeles.  Since then, talk has persisted regarding a potential return.  Primarily because talk of teams moving to Los Angeles often helped certain teams get public money for new stadiums.

Meanwhile, the NFL stubbornly has waited for the right deal to emerge in L.A.  Which is a simple way of saying an opportunity pursuant to which the NFL will make a ton of money and whoever builds the stadium or otherwise helps pony up the cash needed to lure the league back will possibly lose a ton of money.

But there’s been, as Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times put it during a recent visit to PFT Live, a paradigm shift.  Instead of L.A. being a luxury, it’s becoming a necessity.  And that’s because a trio of franchises with obvious connections to Los Angeles (indeed, the Rams, Raiders, and Chargers each previously resided there) that have substandard stadium situations and easy escape routes, a sense of inevitability has emerged.

For plenty of other details from the guy who is as plugged in as anyone on the issue of the NFL in L.A., click the thing below and listen.

43 responses to “L.A. may have gone from luxury to necessity for NFL

  1. LA losing teams can’t be used against the city:

    Cleveland Bulldogs, Rams, Browns
    Boston Redskins
    Chicago Cardinals
    Dallas Texans
    Oakland Raiders
    Baltimore Colts
    St Louis Cardinals
    Houston Oilers

  2. If you have to sell PSLs before you build a new stadium for a team you don’t have…you don’t have the fanbase required to support a team.

  3. LA is a fickle city which is why they have never been able to support bad teams. Look no further than the Clippers vs. the Lakers for that.

    Goodell has made it clear, he doesn’t care about fans in other cities or their loyalties, all he does is threaten 6-8 cities/franchises w/ the thought he’ll gladly relocate their team.

  4. The Dodgers had a 20 year playoff drought, the Clippers were god awful until lately, and the King never won anything….again, until lately. All of them were supported during those bad times…the L.A “only supports a winner” is mostly myth.

  5. I don’t see an LA franchise happening. As Florio points out, there is a lot more value in NOT having an LA franchise than having one. By not having one, it means that 30 other franchises can extort public funds for their private benefit. Without the carrot of moving to LA, owners have no stick with which to clobber the pocketbooks of their local taxpayers.

  6. The NFL is doing everything possible to alienate their core fanbase and appeal to those “since 2010” fans. Once the genie that is an LA team is out of the bottle, then what is used as a scare tactic then? A London team that will tank in 5 years?

  7. All 5 Professional Sports teams in LA have a waiting list for season tickets. But nobody would have interest in the most popular sport in the country LOL.

    I know some fans are worried about losing their team but let’s stop pretending that the 2nd biggest city in the USA is a bad football market.

  8. how about an expansion team, and they can call them maybe the LA Replacements, LA Relocators, LA Rejects (rejected by all 32 other teams. LA Londons (this way the nfl can have their cake and eat it to) or maybe the LA Smog,

  9. jjb0811 says: Oct 22, 2014 3:30 PM

    LA is a fickle city which is why they have never been able to support bad teams. Look no further than the Clippers vs. the Lakers for that.
    ———————————————

    You do know that the last place Lakers have a 3 year waiting list to buy Season Tickets, right? Longest list in the NBA. But do please tell me more about the horrible sports fans in LA.

  10. Why is it a necessity? The NFL has gone from success to greater success without a Los Angeles based team. Record profits are believed to be generated for all teams based on the progressive increase in the amount required to buy an NFL team.
    The people stating that it is a necessity, seem to have an agenda.

  11. Not one single cent of taxpayer money should go towards building any lavish palace for multibillionaires. I live in LA but still own property in Alameda County and am STILL paying taxes for Al Davis’ return to Oakland. I love the NFL and wish for a team here, but not if these greedy 1%ers are going to demand public money.

    Developers spent billions revitalizing downtown Los Angeles with condos, restaurants, skyscrapers, and Staples Center (Lakers, Clippers, Kings). No public money was given. The NFL can pay for their own damned stadium here and in any other city in America.

  12. LA can and will easily support two teams. The problems the Rams and Raiders had there in the 80s and 90s were due to the facility — not the size, wealth or demographics of the Southern California market.

    As soon as the NFL gets the right stadium deal, the league will be back there in a heartbeat. And the Rams are not going to miss out on the opportunity to make this move the first chance they get.

  13. Let LA and London form their own league. Maybe throw in Toronto and Mexico City as well. That way all of the existing fan bases don’t get screwed by losing a home game to another city.

  14. As a 49ers fan, I do miss the old rivalry vs. the LA Rams and Everett, Dickerson and Ellard v Montana, Craig and Rice

  15. Not one football team left LA because it didn’t have a fan base large enough. The teams left because the public wouldn’t pay for upgrades to the stadiums. Both owners tried this at the same time and we the taxpayers said you millionaire owners can pay for the upgrades yourselves.
    So then they said “We have other taxpayers in other cities willing to give us multi millionaires as much money as we want to build a stadium as long as we take your team away from you.”
    So, they did.
    It had nothing to do with lack of fans!

  16. The NFL is a multi-billion dollar per year business as it stands. LA is not a necessity. It is simply a bargaining chip. The “big market” mantra doesn’t make too much sense. Most of the money is made via the network TV contracts and I am pretty sure they already televise the games to the LA market. MLB style TV contracts (owned by specific teams) would make sense of the LA market argument but there is no way in hell the NFL would ever let the teams have specific TV contracts. (parity would suffer and small market teams would be forced out)

    LA sports venues have always been places “to be seen” at as long as the team is winning. When they don’t win, the “fans” move on to something more socially prestigious.

    Just keep things as is, quit tinkering and watch the money pie grow. Keep tinkering with things and the fans will eventually start to leave and the $10-$15B pie shrinks to $5B.

  17. firerogergoodell says: Oct 22, 2014 3:53 PM

    jjb0811 says: Oct 22, 2014 3:30 PM

    LA is a fickle city which is why they have never been able to support bad teams. Look no further than the Clippers vs. the Lakers for that.
    ———————————————

    You do know that the last place Lakers have a 3 year waiting list to buy Season Tickets, right? Longest list in the NBA. But do please tell me more about the horrible sports fans in LA.
    …………………
    Pretty sure you missed the point entirely.

    LA Lakers draw, the historically bad Clippers don’t- THAT was his point. Good follow up, though.

  18. How about a team in Las Vegas? Seems like I recall the NFL considering it for the draft and betting is legal there and there is an abundance of showgirls to act as cheerleaders. Start with expansion teams if the NFL is Hell bent on expanding and quit messing with the natural order of things and individual fanbases; this is NOT Roger’s personal little fiefdom!

  19. ENOUGH ALREADY!!! LA had and lost several teams. I’m tired of talking about a team in LA. Can we go back to talking about Favre retiring, Tim Tebow, Michael Sam?? I talk about Ray Ray Rice, the situation in the Middle East, politics, pro-life/pro-choice, gun control…ANYTHING but moving a frickin’ team to LA!!

    Thank you.

  20. Yeah, put a team in Las Vegas. Open stadium where the players can play in 115 degree weather.
    Why would you think a team would work in Vegas? It would be like an away game for the home team every time.
    Dumbest idea ever. London.
    Ok, second dumbest idea.

  21. jjb0811 says:

    LA is a fickle city which is why they have never been able to support bad teams. Look no further than the Clippers vs. the Lakers for that.

    Los Angeles fans won’t throw money away supporting a historically bad team. It’s not that we won’t support a team that’s going through a bad season or two; of course we will. If, on the other hand, there is a team that is bad year in and year out, with cheap/incompetent/just plain bad ownership, why on earth would we keep buying tickets? That’s not “fickle,” that’s just common sense.

    You wouldn’t keep eating at a restaurant that served bad food, you wouldn’t keep going to a bar that served watered-down drinks, you wouldn’t follow a musical tour if the band couldn’t play their instruments . . .

  22. I love non LA/California people with their “expert opinions ” on LA fans. 80,000 plus every Saturday for UCLA. 80,000 plus for Sc games. 17-18,000 plus every night for Kings/Clippers/Lakers. 40,000 a night for the Dodgers. But please tell us how we won’t show up

  23. There are two stadiums too large for the NFL(over 100K capacity), the Rose Bowl and the Coliseum. They were built before WWII so they don’t have enough luxury boxes and internet connections at every seat.

    Public money for a smaller stadium with mostly luxury boxes? Only if there is no vote (that by definition is a corrupt deal). Local politicians have to deal with more important infrastructure projects than another rarely used building.

    Remember the owners that moved away from LA for short term deals were Al and Georgia. Why should those franchises get any deal to return?

  24. The Rams are coming back and if you think they won’t make a ton of money in a new stadium close to the city than you need to visit the brain fairy. L.A.RAMS4LIFE!!!!

  25. People act like LA is the only city to ever lose a sports franchise. Google “Relocation of professional sports teams” for a list. Even NY has lost two sports teams…baseball Giants and Dodgers. Fact is, LA has gained more sports teams than it’s lost.

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