Will the NFL return to L.A.?

Will the NFL return to L.A.?

los angeles rams stickerAre you ready for some football in Southern California?

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Thursday said NFL football is “highly likely” to return to Los Angeles 20 years after the Raiders scampered back to Oakland and the Rams defected from Anaheim to St. Louis. He said the recent $2 billion sale of the Clippers NBA team showed how profitable a new team would be for the NFL, whose owners would split a franchise fee for a new team; or a relocation fee, such as if the Rams return.

But the Times reported:

Previous L.A. mayors have predicted the imminent return of the NFL to the city. Though many in the NFL are optimistic that the league will soon return to the nation’s second-largest TV market, some team owners are skeptical about how much the ball has moved during the last several years.

Garcetti also said the deal could be done without taxpayer subsidies. But the NFL has preferred such subsidies as a way to get a deep commitment from local politicians. For example, the shining, new, high-tech Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara for the 49ers cost $1.31 billion, of which $114 million was from taxpayers.

That was an exception to the general resistance of California taxpayers in recent decades to stadium tax subsidies.

I suspect the NFL will punt on the new team until the next recession, when some of the owners’ other businesses have tanked and they’ll need some quick cash. There are 30 owners. So if the league intercepts a $3 billion franchise fee, each owner would get $100 million.

By contrast, in 1972, “Chicago industrialist Robert Irsay purchased the Rams for $19 million and then traded the franchise to Carroll Rosenbloom for his Baltimore Colts and cash.”

According to the CPI Inflation Calculator, $19 million in 1972 would be $108 million today, factoring inflation. So in 42 years, the value of an NFL team in L.A. has risen about 30-fold.


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  1. Seriously?
    Seriously? 12 October, 2014, 07:07

    Please let someone else review your work before posting. In the second paragraph you write, “Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Thursday said Los Angeles is “highly likely” to return to Los Angeles…” So LA is highly likely to return to LA? Are you sure? This is another example of the sloppy writing that is getting more and more common on blogs and gives more ammo to the MSM to argue that their “layers of fact-checkers” are more reliable than someone sitting in his basement in his PJ’s hammering away at the keyboard. When you fix this error, at least acknowledge it. Don’t want to confuse you with the Obama administration.

    Reply this comment
    • John Seiler
      John Seiler Author 12 October, 2014, 08:54

      Thank you for the correction, which has been applied in the text. We’ll be more careful in the future.

      Reply this comment
  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 12 October, 2014, 08:23

    Who cares?

    Have ny of you been to LA in recent times?


    Reply this comment
  3. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 12 October, 2014, 09:31

    I have been going to downtown LA via Metrolink for 20+ years. Its sad that people think it is just one big, “skid row”. I stood in line last year to get a Senior “Rush” ticket to the symphony playing Rachmaninoff at Walt Disney Hall. My ticket cost $20; I was seated in Orchestra, center–the retail price of my ticket, for that particular concert, was $195. There is no other place to eat in L.A. that is more fun than sitting down with comfort food at “Phillippe’s”. There are so many options about what to do in LA, or which sports team to support. We don’t need the addition of professional football–but if we get it, it will be an economic boon for L.A.

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 12 October, 2014, 10:12

      “We don’t need the addition of professional football–but if we get it, it will be an economic boon for L.A.”

      Proof source please!

      Then why did the Raiders and the Rams pack up and ship out? If those teams brought so much revenue to the area why didn’t the businesses all chip in to keep them here?

      Again, your comments make little sense to me.

      Reply this comment
      • SeeSaw
        SeeSaw 13 October, 2014, 21:26

        One who is opining does not need a proof source. That’s what you do too, LIC. When you opine you don’t own your own facts.

        Reply this comment
  4. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 12 October, 2014, 10:08

    No taxpayer subsidies? Horsecrap. I don’t buy it for a nanosecond. Without taxpayer subsidies the team wouldn’t even get off the ground. Start up costs are enormous. No billionaire is going to jump into that trap. Pay close attention to this. As talks proceed the Mayor will back pedal on his statement and claim that an NFL team would bring gobs of new revenue to LA – therefore a taxpayer investment would pay huge returns. lol.
    But I can guarantee you one thing. If an NFL team comes to LA I will NEVER attend a game, nor will I ever watch one of their games on TV. I’ve boycotted the NFL for years now. And I used to be a huge fan. I focus on college ball now. The NFL is nothing more than a gang of millionaire thugs. I read that from Year 2000-2010 740 NFL players were arrested for one thing or another. Hell, there are only 1700 NFL players in the entire league!!! LOL! If that’s where you want to spend your money and get your entertainment – knock yourselves out!!! They tell me it’s a free country!!! 😀

    Reply this comment
  5. Desmond
    Desmond 12 October, 2014, 13:44

    Bring more lady killers to town. Let’s call them the LA Thugs.

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 12 October, 2014, 23:47

      Desmond, what really kills me is that these misfits are already making tons of loot (multi-millions each) and then strike for more money or benefits – causing a huge inconvenience for the ticket holders – and then once the strike is over the fans still pour into the stadium to cheer the ones who just got though dissing them!!! LOL!!! Masochists! Personally, I am DONE with pro sports. And I was a loyal fan (NFL, NBA, MLB) for years! In fact, I will go out of my way to avoid buying products sold by the NFL, NBA, MLB sponsors too. Most consumers don’t care. I do. Oh, and if the NCAA athletes ever unionize and start demanding huge salaries and benefits (that’s the latest talk)- I will stop watching college ball too – and will focus entirely on local high school sports for the rest of my days on the planet. Unless we consumers fight back, there is no end to this crap!

      Reply this comment
  6. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 13 October, 2014, 08:31

    One interesting factor in the LA stadium brouhaha is the San Diego Chargers. They’d LOVE to move to LA, if they can get someone else to pay for much of the stadium. The LA region has about 20 million people — the San Diego market has 3 million.

    If the Chargers DON’T get picked for this plum, a new LA NFL team would cost the small market San Diego Chargers crucial revenue — at least 30% of their sky boxes are leased to LA area businesses. The LA businesses would likely switch to the LA sky box option.

    All this makes a great case for not subsidizing the SD Chargers new stadium. While enjoying a great season (so far), any San Diego pro sports team is doomed to also-ran status. Indeed, San Diego leads the nation in the number of seasons without winning ANY Super Bowl, World Series or NBA Finals. I think it’s about 108 total tries, zero successes.

    Thank Goodness for our great weather and fine beaches. And HD TV!

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 13 October, 2014, 15:03

      Richard, if LA is such a great market and econ opportunity for an NFL franchise why hasn’t the region had a team for decades? Why did both the Raiders and the Rams make a hasty exit?

      No matter where a team plays – if it’s in the cellar year after year (like the Clippers were) it’s not going to draw a crowd and it’s going to be a losing venture. If a San Diego NFL team had a run of good seasons it wouldn’t matter whether LA had a team or not. The games would sell out.

      Personally, I don’t care if a team is #1 or #10 in the standings. I don’t want my tax dollars supporting it. If the team can’t stand on it’s own 2 feet financially without gubment support it doesn’t deserve to exist.

      Reply this comment
      • Richard Rider
        Richard Rider 13 October, 2014, 15:45

        LetitCollapse — The two NFL teams left (and no one moved in) because the city wisely decided not to build them a stadium with taxpayer dollars. Al Davis brought the Raiders to LA hoping to get a new stadium. He didn’t get it, so he blackmailed Oakland into spending hundreds of millions renovating their aging football stadium, and moved back to Oakland. The Rams were offered a great stadium by St. Louis, and moved. Kudos to the LA govt for not caving in.

        Awkward when we agree — NO taxpayer subsidies for sports millionaires (players) and billionaires (owners). I fought this for years in San Diego. Even took it to the state Supreme Court (and lost).

        Reply this comment
        • LetitCollapse
          LetitCollapse 14 October, 2014, 13:38

          Richard, if a group of wealthy investors thought that an NFL team would be a profitable venture in the LA area it would have already happened. But those involved don’t want to risk their own money. They want the taxpayers to risk our money on the new team. Screw that! And it’s an unfair proposal since the majority of the taxpayers don’t even like NFL football or pro sports. If a vote was taken by those in the LA area whether to financially support NFL, NBA or MLB with public funds my guess is that it would get shot down by over a 20% margin.
          On the firefighter issue I think we did agree in spirit. I concur that firefighter compensation should be reduced by a full 50% so that the firefighters get paid a TRUE blue collar compensation. You seem think that’s possible. I don’t. So my belief is that since we pay firefighters compensations over and above compensations for regular jobs that require a 4 year college degree we should raise standard entry educational level to a 4 year college degree from an accredited brick & mortar university to be a cop or a firefighter. So we agreed in principle about the nature of the larger problem. We had a minor disagreement over how to solve it. So I don’t feel it’s ackward when we agree. That’s a distorted comment.

          Reply this comment
  7. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 13 October, 2014, 21:29

    Al Davis stole ten million dollars from the City of Irvine too.

    Reply this comment
  8. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 15 October, 2014, 00:52

    Correction: I meant to say that Al Davis stole ten million dollars from the City of Irwindale–not Irvine.

    Reply this comment
  9. Eric R.
    Eric R. 17 October, 2014, 10:07

    I really wonder if the NFL will ever return to LA. A lot has occurred in Los Angeles in that time to make it much less of a football market.

    First, the city has been without the NFL for 20+ years. The area has gotten used to life without the league.

    Second, the city (and maybe the county) are now majority Hispanic, with most of those being immigrants or first generation growing up in a heavily Spanish-speaking Mexican cultural atmosphere. They are not big fans of American football, they follow “futbol”. Even more assimilated Hispanics do not seem to embrace the gridiron the way that they follow soccer or baseball. Some do, but not in the same proportion as Anglos, be they white or black.

    Third, California has become a very left-wing, deep blue state, and even those who can afford tickets to NFL games are more and more of the leftist variety who view the NFL with the same disdain that they do NASCAR.

    Which is why, I think, it is only a matter of time, until one of the two Bay Area teams move – Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and Oklahoma City being likely candidates.

    Reply this comment
    • Richard Rider
      Richard Rider 17 October, 2014, 10:40

      Eric R. You raise a valid point. LA is per capita not as good an NFL town as other more “black and white” cities.

      But that relative lack of enthusiasm for NFL games is more than offset by the shear number of people in what is defined as the Greater LA Area — which encompasses 5 counties. That’s 18,000,000 people.

      The Las Vegas area has a demographic population of less than 2,000,000.

      My San Diego pro teams struggle because our demographic area holds a bit over 3,000,000 people. We’ve NEVER won a top championship in any major league sport — holding the national record for mediocrity.

      Reply this comment

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