L.A. NFL stadium is a tentative “Go”

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a MOU (memorandum of understanding) between the City and AEG, allowing the NFL stadium project to move forward.

Approval of the stadium plan would kick off nine months of intensive negotiations with AEG, which has promised to pay for the new stadium and two parking garages on its own dime. And it would allow city planners to press ahead with preparation of an environmental impact report on the project, which would assess such issues as traffic, noise and glare in nearby neighborhoods.

Like the Bay Area stadia, Farmers Field in L.A. is slated for a 2015 opening. To get there, the process work like the EIR and actual physical preparation steps such as demolition will have to be significantly accelerated. It’s hard to see how an EIR can be completed in nine months, but the project seems to have enough power brokers behind it that it might actually happen.

The key is for two NFL teams to call the stadium home. Since it looks like none of the Midwestern or Eastern teams (Minnesota, Buffalo, Jacksonville, St. Louis) are expected to have new digs anytime soon and San Diego is still up in the air, they are the likely relocation targets. However, as much as I get the idea of having two teams to pay off the facility’s debt service, I have to wonder if having two teams in LA will only serve to depress demand for the NFL product there. For the sake of argument, let’s say the Rams and Jaguars are the two teams. The Rams at least have a historic fanbase they can tap into. The Jags don’t, plus they haven’t been around that long, period. The Rams may sell out, but what would bring fans out to see the Jags? I could see lots of TV blackouts in the #2 market, which would neutralize whatever good economic impact came from bringing the NFL back to Los Angeles. One team is probably the best solution, and even then it’s no sure thing.

43 thoughts on “L.A. NFL stadium is a tentative “Go”

  1. I don’t necessarily agree with two teams being a problem, but what if the two were the Rams and the Raiders? Both have history and would immediately have a rivalry.

  2. I would think the Rams and Chargers make the most sense, there are a lot of adopted Charger fans in LA. I’ll just be glad when that pit is filled, so that the Raiders and the 49ers can’t use that threat against the Bay Area ever again.

  3. or rams/chargers? I’m not entirely familiar but I’m sure they have a established following in southern california that would attend in downtown LA

  4. I don’t think it’ll be the Rams and Raiders. It’ll be the Rams and Chargers. Both have history in the city, both have existing historical/current fanbases to tap into (many LA residents root for the Chargers out of pure proximity), and they’re both in different leagues. And most importantly from the perspective ML brought up, neither would be the “odd man out” team like say the Jags would be. Both would have their own existing and new fanbases to draw from ensuring less blackouts. And from a likelihood they wouldn’t move perspective, the Rams and Chargers seem to be the teams with the least chance of making something happen in their existing market.

    Minnesota is one of the 3 cities likely to get NFL support for a stadium (and is fairly advanced in their plans), Jacksonville for all their troubles are still in a newer stadium and in a small TV market so even if blacked out it’s not hurting the NFL as much (as say blacking out San Diego or St. Louis would be). And Buffalo has not only their current fanbase but also the possibility of Toronto should they choose to explore it.

  5. moving the chargers and rams back to la would be the ideal scenario. also it would keep the divisions as they are as you wouldn’t have to move a team or two or three even if the other teams mentioned like min, jax, buf moved to LA and then you’d have to move a current nfc or afc west team to another division.

    suck even more for the afc west teams as the most likely team to move out would be kc and they have a FIERCE rivarly with the raiders and broncos especially. don’t think the nfl would like to seperate those three teams.

    if one of those three teams move, the rams would likely move to either the nfc north replacing min or afc south replacing jax. if buf moves then that’s where the scenario of moving more than three teams. bills move to nfc west but one team from the afc north would have to move to the afc east. bal/pit have a HUGE rivalry. as does cle/pit. cin/cle also is a rivalry. wouldn’t be right but one of those teams would have to move and indy i guess would move to the afc north since they’re closer to cin/cle/bal/pit than they are with jax, hou, ten and stl would move to that division.

    as if said it’s just easier to move the rams and chargers back to LA.

  6. paging al davis, aeg is calling you…..now if al does somehow miraculously leave, imagine how much more attention the a’s would get for a new venue in oakland! :)

  7. Yup, Rams and Chargers makes the most sense.
    That facility in St.Louis is already obsolete in only 15 years. No big demand for football over there, where baseball rules. Remember when St. Louis had the Cardinals in both NFL and MLB. How confusing is that? The called them the Football Cardinals or the “Big Red”

  8. Moving the Rams and Chargers would also give the continued benefit (if you want to call it that) of using the threat/teasing of relocation with Buffalo and Jacksonville to other markets.

  9. @Anon–i’ve been a Raider fan about as long as I’ve been an A’s fan, 40 years now, and I can handle the Raiders leaving for LA (or SC) and the A’s getting a new park at the Coli, if VC doesn’t pan out.
    I know TonyD will chime in and say that MLB has ruled out the Coliseum, but I still feel it may be option B or C.

  10. Another possibility is an expansion franchise (or two). I know some NFL owners are salivating at the possibility of moving to LA, but the NFL might feel they’d make more money, sooner if they can fleece someone for a half-billion expansion fee.

    That’s what MLB did when the Giants wanted to move to Tampa. MLB nixed the move to hold the market open for an expansion check.

  11. Only problem with that is the NFL has 6 teams currently that need new stadiums (SF, SD, Oakland, Buffalo, and St. Louis) and one team in a shit market (Jacksonville). They won’t expand as long as those teams and the threat of relocation and/or an actual relocation is a tool to be used to help those teams. No they’ll move one or more of the teams in trouble into the LA stadium. And seeing as the two Bay Area teams appear to be contemplating playing nice and sharing the Santa Clara Stadium now that the NFL has made it clear only 3 “regions” are going to get stadium assistance, it won’t be the Raiders moving the LA. If anything Al will be moving his team into the Niners stadium. And with Minnesota being the third city getting NFL assistance, it’s going to be one of the remaining 4 of JAX, SD, BUF, & STL. And SD and STL just make the most sense. And I say this being a part time SDG resident and opponent of them moving from SD.

  12. @jk-usa As a fellow Oakland native, I couldn’t handle the Raiders breaking Oakland’s heart again. I would rather have the A’s, still in the Bay, going to San Jose than the Raiders abandon the city that helped give them their image. L.A. killed the blue collar persona the Raiders had built and they have struggled to get it back ever since.

  13. P.s. L.A. also contributed to the “gang banger” Raider fan image. An image which I despise and wish would never have came about.

  14. yep if you saw ice cube’s 30/30 on the raiders and the la relationshp they had, tells the whole story. raiders their first go around in oak, the fans were easily comparable to fans from cities like bal, pit, phi…blue collar passionate fans but once the gang mentallity latched on when the team went to la, it followed the franchise when they moved back to oak.

  15. @letsoas – i agree…the original image of the oakland raiders were akin to the love the GB fans / team have with each other…
    @eb – interesting, that you would accept the a’s moving to sj in favor of the raiders staying in oak.
    @jk – i grew up with the raiders in LA, so i have no emotional attachment with them whatsoever, especially as a life long Niners fan ;)

  16. @eb–no doubt the Raiders image changed when they were in LA and it carried over back to Oakland. I don’t care for that gang bang image at all, and will let them go back to LA or wherever if it can keep my A’s in Oakland. The W’s can move to SF and it wouldn’t break my heart either. Move the two (R’s and W’s) to keep the one (the A’s), and i’ll be just fine.

  17. @Anon Well, to be clear I would have the A’s go to San Jose if that meant keeping the Raiders in the Bay. If they were both staying, I would prefer the A’s in the Oakland city limits and would support the Raiders wherever, as long as it’s in the Bay Area. I’m not going to lie, those two teams are equally important to me as a East Bay/Bay Area sports fan.

  18. @eb – fair enough. i think i understand where you’re coming from, because if i had to make a decision between the Niners and A’s, that would be a really tough one….

  19. NFL does not need 3 new stadiums in California to rotate Super Bowls. Therefore San Diego is out of luck and will be joining the Rams in LA.

    The Rams lease states they can leave St. Louis if their current facility is not considered “state of the art” after a certain period of times. St. Louis got “fleeced” by Georgia Frontiere and her crew in the mid 90s on lease negotiations.

    The Blues and Cardinals do very well but the Rams are having a tough time since the recession hit.

    The NFL wants two stadiums in California for Super Bowl rotation and with the Bay Area and LA being 2-team markets it makes more sense for the NFL to build in those 2 locations rather than San Diego.

    Chargers fans in SD are going to get the short end of the stick here big time and I feel bad for them. San Diego and Downtown Los Angeles are not close, it is an easy 2+ hour drive and traffic is so bad in Downtown LA it does not matter if it is a Sunday….Your sitting in some kind of gridlock.

    It is not as close as people would like to think..

  20. If Buffalo moves anywhere it’ll be Toronto.

  21. The Toronto Argonauts of the NFL. Interesting to think about.

  22. I don’t follow the NFL at all, but I’m curious: If the Rams and Chargers go to LA, the Raiders and Niners share a Bay Area stadium, the Bills go to Toronto and the Vikings stay put in an new NFL assisted place, where does that leave the Jags? Are there any other cities lobbying for an NFL franchise?

  23. TO JK USA:

    As a lifelong A’s fan (attended first game ever in Oakland in 1968) and Raiders fan (began attending games in 1969), I think a Raiders move back to LA would be devastating not only for Oakland but the entire East Bay.

    I’ve felt for some years now that the most likely scenario for Oakland is that it will lose all three sports teams; still feel this way.

    I want all three to stay but I think Oakland will set the dubious record of being the only city to lose all three major professional sports teams.

    Prediction: Rams and RAIDERS back to LA..

    I’m a current Raiders season ticket holder (charter PSL holder).

    This is NOT a good development for OAKLAND Raiders fans.

    A’s observer.

    PS. JK – US – want to grab a beer sometime?

  24. Al Davis and his son Mark are not selling the Raiders. Doesn’t AEG want to own the teams that play in their new billion dollar stadium?

    The Raiders are worth more to Al as an owner than a seller. He’s the “Manager of the General Partner”. They own a percentage (nowhere near 50%) of the franchise. If they sell the team, (Al Davis Inc.) doesn’t get a boatload of profit.

  25. David:

    Re: AEG/ownership issue: I don’t know.

  26. AEG wants an ownership share of a team that plays in their LA stadium. But if there were two teams, they can only have a stake in one of them. The other would have to simply be a tenant. So theoretically AEG could get a piece of the Rams and move them to LA, then entice the Raiders to move back down to share the stadium without changing the ownership makeup of the Raiders. I don’t think this will happen because I don’t think anyone in LA wants anything to do with Al Davis. They’ve learned their lesson. I can see the Chargers moving up there though. It would suck for San Diego, but it just seems the most likely outcome.
    .
    It would be great having the Rams back in LA. That rivalry just hasn’t been the same since they moved to St. Louis (having one or both teams stink at any given time hasn’t helped much either).

  27. Not necessarily for the ownership piece for teams to move to LA. There will be some kind of revenue sharing but giving up partial ownership may be a possibility but not etched in stone.

    The problem is the NFL wants a stadium in the Bay Area so they need the Raiders to stay put. Therefore any owner vote will keep the Raiders in the the Bay Area for this reason.

    LA is being reserved for 2 teams that they know will get fan support. The Raiders image in LA was not a good one and the NFL knows this full well.

    The Chargers and Rams are better suited with their fan bases and the NFL benefits as a whole having 2 teams in the Bay Area and 2 in Los Angeles.

    It will be nice to have the Rams-49ers rivalry back to LA-SF, the Chargers-Raiders will still be intact as well.

  28. MaineA’s, that’ll leave the Jags right where they are in their relatively new stadium playing in their small market. While it’s not ideal, the NFL won’t really care. If they don’t sell out the worst it does for the NFL is blacks out their small Jacksonville market. Which isn’t that bad for the NFL. Remember with the NFL the lion’s share of their profits come from TV so local troubles filling a stadium aren’t nearly as big of a blow as they would be for say MLB or MLS. Even if blacked out in Jacksonville, the rest of the world can still watch the games. And on top of that having a team in Jacksonville gives the NFL one more option for super bowls.

  29. …Am I understanding this correctly? Los Angeles, which has shown little to no enthusiasm for NFL football, will now be getting two teams? Haven’t polls down there consistently rejected the idea of the NFL’s return? I thought they liked having no local team so they could get all the games on TV?

  30. pjk,
    I believe, unfortunately, that LA is within the chargers broadcast territory. Because im in school in LA during football season, i have missed many Raiders broadcasts due to them being preempted by Charger games

  31. i don’t think la is in sd’s territory? from what i’ve read, the la market gets the “best” games of the week every sunday on the football schedule. one of the many reasons why at this time there isn’t a huge uproar to get a football team because they’d then be stuck with possibly one or two games on their tv schedule and LA fans during the end of the rams/raiders run hated the fact they were stuck with two teams that had become mediocre and were forced to have to watch the games. now a lot has changed with the nfl ticket where you can watch all the games or even get nfl red zone which is imo maybe even a better product than nfl ticket.

    mike and mike on espn radio were discussing this and they brought up what markets could you see a team moving to other than LA. the one mentioned more than a few times was san antonio. they already got the alamo dome which is nfl ready albeit it’d be one of the oldest venues and it’s not really up to date or state of the arm compared to the other newly built nfl venues in the past decade especially.

    moving from jax to sa, you could still stay in the afc south with teams in indy, ten, hou and you could have a huge rivalry between the two teams from texas in this division. although how big of a fanbase will get you get sa? really the cowboys dominate the state already and even though hou got a franchise back, it’d concentrated really in the hou area and even then there may just as many cowboy fans in hou as there are texans fans.

    other cities mentioned were okc and even moving a team down to mex.

  32. Even when LA had teams (Rams and Raiders) both teams were blacked out constantly therefore they got games from out of the market for years.

    LA never took well to the Raiders and OC to the Rams. But if there is a new stadium involved it will change the dynamic as LA fans have been deprived of NFL football for 15 years plus.

    NFL has its own motives here with the Super Bowl as right now they have very few warm weather cities with good enough facilities to play outdoors in.

    Right now on the West Coast there are zero facilities where a Super Bowl can be hosted outdoors. The next three are in Indianapolis (Cold weather), New Orleans (outdated stadium) and New York (Way cold and its outdoors).

    The next 3 stops tell you the NFL is getting desperate on Stadiums for Super Bowls as they cannot go back to NY again because of the weather after 2014.

    Therefore the Bay Area and LA need to get new places not just for their team (49ers, Raiders, Rams, Chargers) but for the betterment of the league as a whole.

  33. isn’t there a super bowl slated for kc too?

    miami, no, la, az, bay area and maybe dal if they can get their act together after the debacle last feb should be the rotation for super bowls.

  34. 95.7the game hosts predicted about half-hour ago that the Raiders WON’T share Santa Clara stadium with 49ers AND there is a better than 50 percent chance that both the Raiders and A’s will be gone in the next few years.

    A’s observer.

  35. i’m sorry but i don’t give a crap what the hosts on that station from 10-6 have to say about the a’s or raiders. especially if it’s the jackass who uses that stupid bell who doesn’t know a damn this about this area and all he is at this point is a shock jock looking to create controversy. the day he is fired the day i’ll start listening to the 2-6 slot, other wise i’d rather turn to 680 or 1140 during that time slot.

  36. These radio hosts don’t really have anymore information than you or I. So they make these bombastic predictions and are not held accountable when all of it turns out to be wrong.

  37. A’s Observer, if that were the case then why would the Raiders be talking to the Niners, and why would the NFL be making it a requirement of the Niners getting needed NFL funding for their stadium? It’s going to happen. The Raiders will be sharing a stadium with the Niners and the Santa Clara stadium is by far the most advanced of the proposals. The LA stadium makes far more sense with the Rams and Chargers being there given where the NFL has indicated where it’s putting its money (Bay Area, LA and Minnesota).

  38. espn’s schefter said that he sees likely a california team moving to la.

    said the lease deals teams like min, stl, and jax have with the city are gonna be tough to break.

  39. @A’s observer–sure, i’d like that. Name a place and time and we’ll hook up, hopefully soon.

  40. TO JK-USA:

    Going to tonight’s Raiders game?

    Tomorrow night’s A’s game?

    A’s observer.

  41. @A’s O–I work tonight. Tomorrow A’s game is a possibility. Gotta see if the wife wants to go, or i can go without her.

  42. Well general consensus appears to be that the Chargers are the front runner. With the Rams probably second given the team’s ownership situations, ease of lease termination, ties to LA and ties to AEG.

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