No NFL In LA
Los Angeles is home to over 3.7 million people in the city core. The greater LA region has nearly 13 million residents. Many of these people are football fans but there is no local team in the National Football League. The city hosted football teams as far back as 1926. Starting in 1946, the city was home to the LA Rams and the LA Raiders. The Raiders were the last NFL franchise in the city but they left for Oakland in 1994. Since then, various agencies have worked to re-establish football in the city, but to no avail.
Rams And Raiders In The City
The Los Angeles Rams played in the city the longest. Moved from Cleveland in 1926, they represented the area until 1979 when they moved to Anaheim, about 30 miles from LA. Soon afterwards, in 1982, the Oakland Raiders moved to fill the void left by the Rams. For more than a decade, the LA area was home to both the Raiders and the Rams. On December 24, 1994, both teams played their last games in Los Angeles and Anaheim. The Raiders returned to their Oakland origin while the Rams moved to Saint Louis.
No NFL Team in Los Angeles 1995 - 2012
After the departure of both the Rams and Raiders, the second largest city in the United States experienced the next 17 years without a local NFL team. During this time, several initiatives were started to bring a team to LA but none were successful. Meanwhile, local fans were left to support distant teams. Doubtless, many residents support other California city teams, (Raiders, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers), but many do not. Without a local team, these fans likely support NFL franchises in distant cities.
Notable Efforts To Establish A New NFL Team
In 1996, the owner of the Seattle Seahawks took steps to move to LA. Met with league opposition, the effort was quickly abandoned. In 1999, a new franchise was approved for Los Angeles. Unfortunately, an agreement could not be reached to establish a suitable stadium and the new team was started in Houston, Texas.
Minor Efforts To Establish A New Football Team
Through the 2000-2011 time period, various efforts surfaced which seemed to be working towards establishing a new football franchise in Los Angeles. All of the actions were unsuccessful. Some were unable to establish a deal for a suitable stadium. Some were unable to reach agreements with league of government officials. Still others were possibly decoy actions designed to help existing teams reach better agreements with officials in their home area officials.
2012: A Team Nearly Moves West
In 2012, the Minnesota Vikings were considering a move due to the inadequacy of their existing stadium facilities. Since the team lease had expired, the owner could explore any option, including a move of the team to Southern California. In May, 2012, however, the Vikings reached a deal to stay in Minnesota after all.
Latest Efforts To Finally Bring The NFL Back To Los Angeles
In 2012, the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, announced that he didn't want to see a franchise re-locate to Los Angeles. He said that if LA did finally get an NFL team, it would be through an expansion of the league to 34 teams. This statement by the commissioner likely represents a setback in the struggle to establish a new team. Despite the popularity, and success, of the existing football teams, a wholly new expansion team would be met with great risk.
Stadium Trouble For A New Team
Many of the efforts to re-establish an NFL team in Los Angeles have run into great trouble with suitable stadium facilities. In order to profit at the box office, a football stadium should have the capacity for many thousands of fans. In addition, there is a need for extensive support areas for sports media, locker rooms and infrastructure. In addition, modern football stadiums contain elegant premium box seating sections. These facilities add considerable extra revenue to the team through corporate sponsorship but they do cost a lot to construct. Many of the existing stadiums are not able to be renovated to include such features. As the LA region has seen, the omission of such box seating areas often results in no deal for a team.
Los Angeles Has Waited Long Enough For An NFL Football Team
During the past 17 years, LA has endured the reality of having no local NFL team to cheer for. During this time, untold millions of ticket sales have been lost by the football league. Fan support in the region is strong for other NFL teams but that support is nothing compared that which would be bestowed on a real Los Angeles franchise. In fact, many locals still cheer for both the Rams and the Raiders despite those teams haven moved from the city so very long ago. The residents are more than ready for a new team. With an area population approaching 13 million, there is certainly the financial market which could sponsor a team. In fact, how many of the existing teams operate profitably in markets far smaller? Teams like the Green Bay Packers enjoy lucrative receipts despite the apparent dearth of local fans.
NFL, Get The Job Done
The NFL commissioner has stated that he supports a new franchise for the Los Angeles area rather than the move of an existing team. There are various agencies ready to operate a team. The local and state governments know how much revenue would be attracted by another professional football team in California. The fans are ready. There are several stadiums that are ready for renovations needed to bring them to league standards. Other cities have built new stadiums, such as Seattle. Perhaps their plans could be used to construct a new stadium in LA, if that was the best option. In any event, the fans of the Los Angeles area are ready to have their own local NFL team. Their 17 year wait has been difficult to endure. The league should take all steps necessary to ensure that a franchise starts to play in LA before 2014, the twenty year anniversary of the last NFL game in LA.
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