Los Angeles has been unlucky in football for decades now--the Rams and the Raiders both left in 1995 and since then it's been failed plan after failed plan to build stadiums and/or bring teams back. Just this year, developer AEG's plans for a stadium in South Park blossomed and then pretty much died out. NFL proponents say that a big city needs a football franchise and that a team will create jobs; opponents say LA's managed just fine as a big city without one and that a seldom-used stadium combined with a league that hordes profits isn't a great investment. So where's the city headed on this one? In kinda opposite directions, apparently. The LA Weekly has seized on a quote that Mayor Garcetti's Deputy Chief of Staff Rick Jacobs gave to a Croatian news outlet while on vacation this week: "According to Jacobs, landing a team is 'nije prioritet' ('not a priority') for the new mayor." (Back in July, Garcetti himself said "There's no question that the second-biggest city in America needs an NFL team, and the NFL needs Los Angeles.") Meanwhile, at the City Council, Councilmember Tom LaBonge has introduced a resolution (seconded by five others) that "reaffirms and reiterates its support for the efforts of the National Football League to bring a franchise back to the City of Los Angeles."
LaBonge also sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell lamenting that "My teenage son Charles has never had a hometown team to root for." It continues: "As we are set to begin the 2013 NFL season, let's call an audible. I urge you to again consider bringing football to Los Angeles. A metropolitan area of our size can support two teams: one from NFC and one from the AFC."
The resolution notes that "countless high school and college athletes from Los Angeles have contributed their great talents to the NFL and the NFL teams," and that, since the NFL left in the '90s, "the City has developed an immense fan base for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Galaxy, and the Los Angeles Kings -- but has been deprived of a professional football team." Hey, wouldn't it be cool if elected officials were this passionate about other things Angelenos are deprived of?
· NFL Team "Not A Priority," Adviser To L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti Says [LAW]
· History Lesson: How a Los Angeles NFL Deal Falls Apart [Curbed LA]