With three NFL teams running year-by-year stadium leases, the rumours of a potential franchise in LA have gathered serious momentum over the past months.
St Louis, San Diego and Oakland are the teams with the short leases and are reportedly unhappy with their current stadiums.
One or two teams
Different owners feel differently about the idea of a new LA franchise, but that doesn't mean its not going to happen. This Wednesday, in the week of the owners meetings held in New York, owners got a status update from league officials regarding Los Angeles.
New York Giants co-owner John Mara however, went on record and said he believes the Rams aren't shoe ins for LA but there will be a franchise in Los Angeles sooner rather than later:
“I think it’s a lot more complicated than that,” Mara said. “There are other teams that are interested, and that’s going to be a complicated situation to sort through....Do I think we’re going to be in L.A. within the next few years? Yeah, I think somebody’s going to be there.”
Houston Texans owner Bob McNair is also hopeful that a franchise would return to LA but said they are "far from any resolutions, but we're optimistic something might happen."
The rumors were fuelled when Rams owner Stan Kroenke purchased a 60 acre plot of land next to the Forum in LA last December, and last week ProFootballTalk reported that the NFL has plans to move one or two teams to LA within 12 to 24 months and for years it has viewed LA as a two-team market that should have a stadium that is two-team compliant, much like LA's basketball.
No jumping to conclusions
As always Commissioner Goodell was impartial when he was questioned on the topic, saying that until there's a clear opportunity then he wouldn't discuss the possibility of the move, but that it was a goal for the NFL:
“What we want to do is make sure we’re doing the work to evaluate those alternatives, understand those alternatives, and if there’s an alternative that makes sense, bring that to the membership. Until we do that I couldn’t make any projections about whether we’re close or not. To me, at the end of the day it’s not about whether we’re closer, it’s about whether we get there.”
Probably the most convinced about the idea of an LA franchise was Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross:
"I know L.A. and I know a lot that's going on in L.A. because we do a lot of work out there," Ross said. "I know the league wants it, and they'll find a way. Stay tuned."
We will Stephen, we will.