This is a three part series that is a response not only to the constant media articles seemingly saying the Jaguars are going to LA, but for any fan of any team who hears those dreaded two letters. Part one is some back story to those unaware of the events that have been going on for the last 14 years and why LA still does not have a team.
Prior to the 1995 season, the Raiders left the LA Coliseum for their former home of Oakland while the Rams left Anaheim for St. Louis. Since then, there has been an almost zealous movement within the media and the NFL owners to come back to the City of Angels.
It would seem to make sense, it would place a team in the 2nd largest market in the nation, which would seemingly boost TV revenues and cement the country's most popular league in every major market.
Commissioner Goodell has made no bones about how he feels a team should be place in Los Angeles soon. However, what has this long, bizarre fourteen year trip really brought us?
What has there been?
From the moment the Raiders and Rams left the LA market, the speculation started almost immediately. This article from 1999 mentions quite a few names and scenarios that seem to be discussed to death.
As our AFC South mates in Houston remember, the Texans were originally going to be in Los Angeles before the usual problems of public financing and stadium issues that saw the Raiders and Rams leave, and have derailed even the most determined plans since to bring a team back to Los Angeles.
So then, why has it seemed as if it is inevitable that a team will call Los Angeles home again, but as that decade old article suggests, its been a long journey?
Currently, Los Angeles is home to two major football stadiums, the Los Angeles Coliseum and the Rose Bowl. Both have hosted NFL teams in the past and two of the nation's major college programs, USC and UCLA, still call them home today. However, both have their share of problems in terms of NFL standards. Both stadiums lack many standard features common in NFL stadiums today, including numerous luxury suites, club sections, as well as upgraded concession stands, rest rooms, etc.
It was speculated that recent developments between USC and the LA Coliseum for renovations were put off to try and save money to lure an NFL franchise; however, those have since been finalized. Either way, both stadiums would have to receive multimillion dollar upgrades to make them attractive to maintaining a NFL team long term.
In addition, both stadiums have seating capacities that would put them in the top 3 in the league. While this might not seem a huge deal, remember one of the reasons the Raiders and Rams skipped town was because of their large sizes and constant black outs.
With the Cardinals moving out of Sun Devils stadium, I doubt the NFL would permit a team to move to a stadium it would have to "defer" to a college team. While the Steelers share Heinz Field with the Pittsburgh Panthers and the Dolphins will share their stadium with the Miami Hurricanes next year, those are decidedly "Pro" facilities where they simply drape over some covers a few times a year when the college teams play. For the other two facilities, it would be the other way around most likely, where the college team may well be seen as the "Primary" tenant.
The newest hope for a team in LA is the proposed Los Angeles Stadium which will have a capacity of 75,000 and include numerous suites, retail, and the rest of the laundry list you would expect from a new state of the art stadium. However, without any serious public funding for the moment, at best the stadium only exists in CGI and blueprints. With the state of California virtually bankrupt, pulling billions of dollars from schools or healthcare for a stadium would be political suicide.
Los Angeles reprents a huge market for the NFL, a statement that has been written numerous times since 1994. LA has already been a dread to many other franchises, ripping away the Lakers, Dodgers, Clippers, and even the Raiders and Rams from former cities.
However, does LA currently warrant a team? Countless opinion polls seem to come to the conclusion that LA is rather apathetic about whether or not it receives a team or not. The city has lost the Chargers, Raiders, and Rams already. Does the NFL really believe another team will stick in a fickle market?
The most concerning part of this is what team would want to make Los Angeles their new home? Part two will take a look at what teams have been mentioned, and why or why not they might want to call the City of Angels home.