Los Angeles may represent the second-largest media market in the United States, but for the past 20 years, it hasn't had a team in the country's biggest sports league. Since both the Rams and Raiders of the NFL left the city in 1995 (for St. Louis and Oakland, respectively), L.A.'s nearest team to get a professional football fix from has been the San Diego Chargers. Now it appears those three teams all want to crowd that lucrative market at once — the Rams, Raiders, and Chargers have all filed for relocation to L.A.
On the first day of eligibility to submit the proposals, January 4, all teams pushed theirs through, with the Raiders and Chargers teaming up on plans for a $1.75 billion stadium in Carson that they would share, and the Rams offering to build and play in a $1.86 billion facility in Inglewood. The NFL has previously said it will only allow one new stadium in L.A. to be supported by two teams, so there will be at least one odd man out when the final decisions on these proposals have been made.
Those decisions could actually come as soon as the owners meeting on January 12-13 — the 17 members of the league's finance, stadium and L.A. committees will convene in New York Wednesday and Thursday to hear extended pitches for the potential new stadiums. From there, the L.A. committee may make a formal recommendation to the owners that they would all vote on in their meeting next week. Any proposal requires a 75 percent approval from the 32 owners (so at least 24 yes votes).
Naturally, this probably leaves fans in Oakland, St. Louis, and San Diego feeling a little betrayed. However, the NFL is a business first, even if money is not the ultimate draw for many individual players. It took the league years to start addressing its serious concussion problem, so it stands to reason that its teams may care more about taking advantage of a lucrative media market than maintaining loyalty to longtime fans. On the flip side, L.A. football fans are likely thrilled that the NFL could to return to their city soon.
Whatever happens, hopefully this all results in some awesome new logos.
Cover image: Wikimedia