Los Angeles does not have an NFL team. That is about to change, perhaps in a big way.
St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke bought 60 acres of land in Inglewood, Calif., near the Great Western Forum in December with the intention of building an 80,000-seat stadium. And then on Thursday the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders issued a joint statement saying the AFC West bunk-mates are pursuing a joint stadium venture in the Los Angeles market. "We are pursuing this stadium option in Carson for one straightforward reason: If we cannot find a permanent solution in our home markets, we have no alternative but to preserve other options to guarantee the future economic viability of our franchises," the statement read.
The Rams and Raiders, obviously, have extensive history in Los Angeles. The Chargers claim a quarter of its fan base resides in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
Los Angeles, without a team for a generation now, could potentially have three teams in the not-too-distant future. Whichever franchise(s) receive permission to make the move figures to be a lock to host future Super Bowls, College Football Playoff championships, Final Fours and Justin Bieber concerts.
Thursday night's development means the four L.A. separate stadium projects have been proposed in recent years. (All photos courtesy of the L.A. Times.)
First, the Carson project that the Chargers and Raiders would share.
Next, the Inglewood project that would host the Los Angeles Rams Part Deux
AEG proposed a $1.35 billion downtown project (with pre-sold naming rights) named Famers Field. No team was ever attached to the proposal.
Like Farmers Field, developer Edward Roski Jr., created an $800 million, 75,000-seat City of Industry rendering. A number of teams were linked to the project but none have signed on.
I have no idea of the viability of either the Rams or the Chargers/Raiders prospects of moving to Los Angeles, but it appears more likely at this point that the L.A. area has (at least) one NFL team by 2018 than the nation's second-largest market still sitting without a team in the nation's most popular sport.