With dueling professional football stadium proposals in the works for Los Angeles, NFL team owners have a lot to discuss as they meet this week in New York to decide who and what will bring the league back to LA for the first time in two decades. (Will it be Rams owner Stan Kroenke with an Inglewood stadium or the combination Raiders/Chargers stadium in Carson?) Though the specifics of who's coming to LA and when won't be decided just yet, the NFL does want to make a decision soon, so a team (or teams) could move in time for next season, says the LA Times; and ultimately it's the full group of league owners who will make the call. There are a lot of different ideas about who will move and how they'll move, but most owners seem excited to have something happen and happen soon.
The main issue at hand is figuring out which team or teams should relocate to LA, and on that subject, there seem to be two "schools of thought." Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is hoping to see the Rams move to Los Angeles, believing that team owner Kroenke should be rewarded for "[taking] a risk on LA." That kind of risk-taking signals the level of commitment that would make the NFL's return to LA after two decades of absence a success, he says.
The other leading idea among owners is that the Chargers should get to move because of their owner's persistence in trying to get them a big fancy new stadium, though "many people in San Diego argue there are still options to be exhausted." At least two owners on the NFL's six-member Committee on Los Angeles Opportunities are believed to be in the pro-Chargers camp. (Unfortunately for the citizens of Raider Nation, no owners seemed to be publicly gunning for a Raiders return to SoCal, they'll only get to tag along if the Chargers are picked.)
If two teams end up moving to LA, more questions crop up around whether or not they need to move at the same time. Some owners, like Houston Texans owner Jim NcNair, feel that a two-part move might leave one team behind. "I think the team coming later would be at a distinct disadvantage. We want to make sure whatever we do, we have a successful franchise or franchises in Los Angeles. That's the key." But Cowboys owner Jones feels that even though the first team would definitely get a boost from being a "groundbreaker," the team that follows could make up for it no problem, considering "the size market of Los Angeles, the history, the tradition, [and] the uniqueness of these franchises."
The owners have seemed enthusiastic for a while about bringing a team or teams back to LA (after decades of nothing), and now they mostly seem eager to make a decision in time to cash in for next season. Despite all these differences in opinion to work through, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay says he feels it's very likely that at least one team and maybe two will be in LA by the fall. "Of course [a delay] is always possible, but I think we're excited about the possibility of this going forward soon," he tells the Times.
· Facing their own deadline, owners offer diverging views on how to return NFL to L.A. [LAT]
· The NFL Actually Seems Serious About Bringing a Team to LA [Curbed LA]
· See the Chargers and Raiders Pitch to the NFL to Build a Ridiculous Stadium in Carson [Curbed LA]
· Inglewood NFL Stadium Reveals Plans For Enormous, See-Through, Billboard Roof [Curbed LA]