NFL@L.A.: NFL in L.A.

Goodell shows how close L.A. is now

June, 29, 2012
6/29/12
9:27
PM PT
The memo that that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent out Friday wasn’t so much a precursor to the NFL returning to Los Angeles next season as it was a reminder of the relocation rules that the league has had in place for years.

The problem is those rules may have been forgotten by some over the years when discussing possible relocation.

Under the NFL’s “Policy and Procedures for Proposed Franchise Relocations” it states that the NFL commissioner must receive written notice from the team wishing to relocate and that “the notice must be filed no later than February 15 of the year in which the move is scheduled to occur.” That notice would also be published "in newspapers of general circulation within the incumbent community."

In Goodell’s memo Friday it again stated that any franchise interested in relocating to Los Angeles for the 2013 season must apply between Jan. 1 and Feb. 15 of that year, and prove it has exhausted all attempts to remain in its current location.

The agreement that laid the foundation for the policy was a 1996 "Statement of Principles" between the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the NFL. The statement came on the heels of the Raiders’ move from Los Angeles to Oakland in July 1995. It was a move that occurred so late it wasn’t officially finalized until days before the Raiders’ opening preseason game against, coincidentally enough, the Rams, who had just moved from Los Angeles to St. Louis.

The policy states that “because League policy favors stable team-community relations, clubs are obligated to work diligently and in good faith to obtain and to maintain suitable stadium facilities in their home territories, and to operate in a manner that maximizes fan support in their current home community.”

While Goodell’s memo doesn’t quite mean a team is relocating to Los Angeles next season, it does mean that the NFL now realizes that Los Angeles has never been more ready and in better position for the NFL’s return after an 18-year absence.

Farmers Field, a proposed stadium in Downtown Los Angeles, has already submitted an environmental impact report, the final hurdle before construction can begin, and if everything goes according to plan could be in position to push dirt by March 2013. A competing stadium proposed by real estate magnate Ed Roski in the City of Industry has been “shovel ready” since 2009. Both stadiums, however, need a long-term commitment from a team before construction can begin and whenever construction does begin it could take up to four years to complete.

If construction begins in March 2013, the earliest the stadium would be open is September 2017. In the meantime, the NFL team that relocates to Los Angeles would play in either the L.A. Coliseum or the Rose Bowl.

In Downtown L.A., the plan is to first tear down the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention and build a $275 million replacement hall over Pico Boulevard that would connect to Farmers Field. Construction would then begin on the 68,000-seat football stadium that would be expandable to 78,000 seats for big events like the Super Bowl and Final Four and also be in position to bid on international events like the World Cup and Olympics.

In the City of Industry, the plan is to build a 75,000-seat stadium to be the centerpiece of a 600-acre site on the northern side of the 57 and 60 freeway interchange. The site is currently vacant but following the construction of the stadium will be revamped into an entertainment and retail complex.

The teams most commonly mentioned in a potential move to Los Angeles in recent years have been the Jacksonville Jaguars, San Diego Chargers, Buffalo Bills, St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders.

AEG releases 3D video of Farmers Field

May, 8, 2012
5/08/12
12:40
PM PT


AEG released a 3D architectural “fly-thru,” including animations of Farmers Field, the remodeled Los Angeles Convention Center, a redeveloped Gilbert Lindsay Plaza and new adjacent parking structures on Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Convention Center footage depicts the new convention center hall spaces, including a new lobby above Pico Boulevard, pre-function space, and what will be the largest multi-purpose ballroom in Los Angeles, using the L.A. Auto Show as a case study. Additional rendered spaces include over one million square feet of contiguous convention center space and integrated meeting spaces in Farmers Field.

The community experience segment shows the redesigned Gilbert Lindsey Plaza during a variety of events including a farmers market, winter carnival, and various entertainment events.

The final game day segment of the video depict the new 15,000-person tailgate along Chick Hearn Way and the Nokia Plaza with a full fly-thru of Farmers Field during an NFL game as well as pointing towards the opportunity to host Super Bowls, Final Fours and Winter Classics.

“Today’s new look into Farmers Field, the Convention Center and surrounding public spaces shows the latest examples of the creativity and functionality that our architects, designers and other consultants are providing throughout the on-going development process,” said Ted Tanner, Executive Vice President, Development, AEG. “With last month’s release of our draft Environmental Impact Report and the continued work being done by our architects, we continue to make progress on the development of design drawings.”

Last month AEG delivered its long-awaited environmental impact report to City Hall for Farmers Field. The 10,000-page report, which took 18 months to complete at a cost of $27 million, is one of the final steps toward beginning construction on the $1.4 billion project.

The EIR will be subject to public comment for 45 days after it is released and if city officials approve the EIR and the project, there will then be a 30-day window for legal challenges, which will be resolved within 175 days. If everything goes according to plan, Farmers Field would be in position to begin construction by March 2013 if an NFL team decides to relocate to Downtown Los Angeles. If construction began by March 2013, the earliest the stadium would be open is September 2017. In the meantime, the NFL team that relocates to Los Angeles would play in either the L.A. Coliseum or the Rose Bowl.

Goodell: NFL not looking to expand

February, 3, 2012
2/03/12
10:43
AM PT
Los Angeles is back to square one.

Less than 24 hours after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league could expand to 34 teams if the NFL moved to Los Angeles, Goodell said his answer was merely a hypothetical response to a hypothetical question and the league does not plan on expanding.

“The question last night, very simply, was would you just expand by just one to Los Angeles,” Goodell said Friday. “I said no, if we ever expanded, you would expand by two, you wouldn’t expand by one team. We have not discussed expansion with the membership. I don’t see it on the agenda even for this March meeting. It’s not something we’re focused on as a league.”

The possibility of the NFL being open to expansion was a potential game-changer in Los Angeles' hopes of getting an NFL team. For the past ten years the only way the city could get an NFL team was by attracting a current franchise to relocate since the league said it would not expand. Obviously convincing an NFL team to leave their current market and move to another market which lost two NFL teams in 1995 is infinitely harder than simply having the league grant L.A. an expansion team.

(Read full post)

L.A. Convention Center renderings

February, 2, 2012
2/02/12
8:56
PM PT
L.A. Convention CenterCourtesy of Populous architectureExternal rendering of the proposed L.A. Convention Center remodel.

The architectural firm Populous presented preliminary renderings of the new Los Angeles Convention Center that will be attached to Farmers Field Thursday to an ad hoc committee overseeing the project.

The plan is to first tear down the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention and build a $275 million replacement hall over Pico Boulevard that would connect to Farmers Field, the $1.1 billion proposed football stadium in downtown Los Angeles.

After the convention center expansion is complete, construction would then begin on the 68,000-seat football stadium that would be expandable to 78,000 seats for big events like the Super Bowl and Final Four and also be in position to bid on international events like the World Cup and Olympics.

“The Los Angeles Convention Center modernization component of the event center development project will replace the four decade old West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center with a modern facility contiguous with the South Hall exhibition space,” said Los Angeles Convention Center general manager and CEO Pouria Abbassi. “The flexibility and efficiency inherent in contiguous exhibit hall design is considered an attractive feature to event organizers and planners.”

The plan for Farmers Field is to add 90,000 square feet to the already remodeled South Hall, demolish the old disconnected West Hall and build the stadium on that site, which would give the total new event center 1.7 million square feet. The increased continuous flat and unobstructed exhibition space would move Los Angeles from No. 15 in U.S. convention centers to No. 5.

An environmental impact report on the project is not expected to be completed until this summer and construction, which is slated to begin in 2013 and completed by 2016, is still contingent on an NFL team moving to Los Angeles to play in the proposed stadium.

Kroenke keeps quiet about Rams' future

January, 18, 2012
1/18/12
1:19
PM PT
St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is a smart business man. The real estate mogul, worth $3.2 billion according to Forbes, didn’t create his sports empire by making hallow promises or sticking his foot in his mouth in public.

That is why Kroenke made no assurances about the future of the Rams in St. Louis while he introduced Jeff Fisher as the new coach of the team on Tuesday.

The man who owns the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, MLS’s Colorado Rapids and the English Premier League’s Arsenal Football Club is a master negotiator and he is preparing for what will be a lengthy negotiation with the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission.

The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission has until Feb. 1 to give the Rams a preliminary proposal for how it plans to give the Edward Jones Dome "top-tier" status, which basically means it has to rank in the top quarter of NFL stadiums when it comes to modern amenities such as suites, club seats and lounges. Edward Jones Dome opened in 1995 and has quickly gone from one of the league's newest stadiums to one of the oldest after 21 new stadiums were built for 22 teams during that time.

The Rams can either agree to the offer a month later or reject it and make a counteroffer by May 1, which is the most likely scenario. The commission can then either agree to the counteroffer by June 1 or reject it and go to arbitration, which again seems like the direction this thing is heading toward. If such a scenario unfolds, the lease could be voided and the Rams could rent the Dome on a year-to-year basis or choose to move elsewhere.

The bottom line is the Rams can get out of their lease agreement with the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission after the 2014 season if the Edward Jones Dome doesn't rank in the top quarter of NFL stadiums. It seems anything outside of a new stadium would make that impossible and getting public funding for such an expensive undertaking in St. Louis, which is still paying off the original construction debt of the Dome, is highly unlikely.

An interesting subplot in all of this is that when Kroenke became the majority owner of the St. Louis Rams in August 2010 for $750 million, after being a minority owner since 1995, he agreed to turn over operational and financial control of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche to his 30-year-old son, Josh, and give up his majority stake in the teams by December 2014. NFL rules prevent owners from owning major league franchises in other pro football cities.

Kroenke is a longtime friend and business partner of fellow Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz, who owns AEG and is the man behind Farmers Field, the $1.1 billion proposed football stadium in downtown Los Angeles. Would Kroenke sell a majority stake in the Rams to Anschutz instead of giving up his majority stake in the Nuggets and Avalanche and then make a play down the road to buy the Broncos?

It is just one of many scenarios and questions hovering around St. Louis and the ongoing saga of the NFL’s return to Los Angeles.

NFL@LA Four Corners

December, 23, 2011
12/23/11
8:52
PM PT
Each Friday we will update you on the four NFL teams most likely move to Los Angeles; ranking them in order of the likeliest to call L.A. home within the next few years.

1. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (7-7)

Last week:
As usual the Chargers are finishing off the season strong and as usual it might not matter. San Diego is on a three-game winning streak, their longest since Oct. 9 after losing six games in a row. San Diego’s 34-14 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football was perhaps the first glimpse of the team some had picked before the season to make it to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately for the Chargers it might be a case of too little, too late.

This week:
San Diego will face the Detroit Lions on Christmas Eve and try to keep their playoff hopes alive while preventing the Lions from clinching their first playoff berth since 1999, which they can do with a win. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has finally turned his season around and helped the Chargers outscore their last three opponents 109-38 with seven touchdown passes and no interceptions. Meanwhile running back Ryan Mathews has gained 453 of his 1,033 yards over the last four games and scored three touchdowns.

L.A. Story:
Qualcomm Stadium is far from being a modern NFL stadium, in fact it's one of the three oldest in the league, and it’s a home the Chargers have been trying to ditch for the past decade but the Q did get a slight makeover recently. Qualcomm Inc. has renamed the stadium for 10 days to "Snapdragon Stadium" until Dec. 28 to bring more attention to the company's chips for its mobile devices. Considering how the Chargers played at Snapdragon last week, the team may want to keep the name next season. If they don’t get an agreement on a new stadium by then though, the Chargers may be heading to Los Angeles in 2013.

(Read full post)

NFL@LA Four Corners

December, 16, 2011
12/16/11
10:24
PM PT
Each Friday we will update you on the four NFL teams most likely move to Los Angeles; ranking them in order of the likeliest to call L.A. home within the next few years.

1. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (6-7)

Last week:
The Chargers have their first winning streak (two games) since winning three straight from Sept. 25 to Oct. 9 following their 37-10 win over the Buffalo Bills. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers continued his resurgence, completing 24 of 32 passes for 240 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. Chargers running back Ryan Mathews also had a big day on the ground, rushing for 114 yards on 20 carries.

This week:
San Diego hosts its last home game of the season against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football. While the Ravens are in position to finish with the best record in the AFC, the Chargers simply want to finish the season strong and be 9-7 at year’s end, which would give them an outside shot at winning the AFC West if Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos ever lost a game.

L.A. Story: As we’ve been saying for the past year this will not be the last season for the Chargers in San Diego. Next year? Well that's another story. It’s a feeling that was essentially echoed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell this week who said that Los Angeles “is a viable market in the sense that we know there are millions of fans in that market who want to see football return there but we want it to return in a successful way, and that requires a stadium. I don't think we'll be in a position to make that decision by 2012, but we'll continue to work with the different alternatives in Los Angeles and hope that we get a solution that will work.”

Los Angeles will not be in a position to break ground on a stadium until the spring of 2012, which is too late for a team to move. A relocation notice by a team would have to be made in writing to the commissioner by Feb. 15 so the most likely date for the NFL’s return to Los Angeles continues to be February 2013. This fact, by the way, is not lost on all the parties involved despite what they might say otherwise publicity.

(Read full post)

NFL@LA Four Corner

December, 10, 2011
12/10/11
1:31
AM PT
Each Friday we will update you on the four NFL teams most likely move to Los Angeles; ranking them in order of the likeliest to call L.A. home within the next few years.

1. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (5-7)

Last week:
The Chargers finally snapped their six-game losing streak with a 38-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Finally playing against a team dealing with more drama than San Diego (new coach, new owner), Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers finally broke out of the funk he’s been in since the opening weekend by completing 22 of 28 passes for 294 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. It took 11 weeks but it was the first glimpse at the Rivers that Chargers fans thought they would see this season.

This week:
San Diego may have snapped its longest losing streak in a decade but they still haven’t won a game at home since Oct. 2. The Chargers will try to break that streak on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, another team in the midst of a slide. The Bills, which started the season 3-0, are now 5-7 after losing their last five games. If Rivers plays like he did Monday night, it will likely be six straight for Buffalo.

L.A. Story: Despite the Chargers’ win Monday night, the apathy surrounding the Chargers in San Diego following the team’s six-game losing streak remains. Sunday’s game between the Chargers and Bills will be blacked out in Southern California because 5,000 tickets remained unsold 72 hours before kickoff. To be fair, even if the Chargers were in L.A. a battle between two 5-7 teams probably would not sell out either.

(Read full post)

NFLPA will take over L.A. next month

December, 7, 2011
12/07/11
7:39
PM PT
Home Depot CenterArash Markazi for ESPNLosAngeles.comThe newly installed astroturf and goal posts at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Ca.

CARSON, Calif. – The NFL Players Association will be bringing more than just the first-ever AstroTurf NFLPA Collegiate Bowl to Los Angeles next month, they will also be staging their annual award show and a rookie symposium in the city as well.

The game, which will take place Jan. 21 at the Home Depot Center, will be open to all draft-eligible players and serve as the culmination of a week of practices and events in Los Angeles when current and former NFL players will work with top NFL draft prospects on what will be expected of them on and off the field in the league.

ESPNLosAngeles.com first reported news of the game last month.

The game will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network, which will be re-branded from Versus on Jan. 2.

Prior to the game on Jan. 20, the NFLPA will hold their annual PULSE Awards at the Club Nokia at L.A. Live. The event is normally held during Super Bowl week at the host site and honors active and former NFL players. Some of the presenters lined up for the event this year include Joe Manganiello, Ed Asner, Jaime Pressly, Holly Robinson Peete and Hill Harper.

(Read full post)

NFL@LA Four Corners

December, 2, 2011
12/02/11
10:52
PM PT
Each Friday we will update you on the four NFL teams most likely move to Los Angeles; ranking them in order of the likeliest to call L.A. home within the next few years.

1. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (4-7)

Last week:
The Chargers lost their sixth straight game, their longest losing streak in a decade, as Tim Tebow once again worked his magic in leading the Denver Broncos to a 16-13 overtime win. The Chargers jumped out to 10-0 lead in the second quarter but as has been the case this season, they were unable to close it in the second half. Philip Rivers was a non-factor in the second half and in overtime. The struggling quarterback has thrown for 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions during San Diego’s six-game losing streak.

This week:
San Diego might finally get a chance to break their slide against another team rumored to be coming to Los Angeles in the Jacksonville Jaguars when they square off on Monday Night Football. It will be the first game for the Jaguars since Wayne Weaver announced he was selling the team to Shahid Khan. It will also be the Jaguars first game under new coach Mel Tucker, who replaced Jack Del Rio. The Chargers may be looking for a new coach soon as well if Norv Turner isn’t able to turn this season around after missing the playoffs last year.

L.A. Story: San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders listed his 2012 priorities before he left office in November and they were to eliminate the city’s budget deficit, expand the convention center, improve Balboa Park, and get the Chargers a new stadium. The problem is the only way for the Chargers to get a new stadium according to team officials is if it’s tied to a convention center expansion which is something the Sanders is not on board with. In fact, he believes both are on two separate tracks. As long as that remains the case it seems like the convention center expansion will go through while the Chargers stadium will remain stuck in neutral.

(Read full post)

NFL@LA Four Corners

November, 25, 2011
11/25/11
10:12
PM PT
Each Friday we will update you on the four NFL teams most likely move to Los Angeles; ranking them in order of the likeliest to call L.A. home within the next few years.

1. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (4-6)

Last week:
The Chargers lost their fifth straight game of the season to the Chicago Bears. After a 4-1 start to the year, the Chargers now find themselves tied for last place in the AFC West. San Diego fell behind the Bears 31-17 in the third quarter before losing 31-20 and continued their trend of listless second halves in the process. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers also continued his wildly forgettable season by throwing two more interceptions. He now has an NFL-high 17 interceptions to go with six fumbles, by far the most turnovers in the league for a single player.

This week:
San Diego’s last win of the season came Oct. 9 in Denver when Tim Tebow came off the bench and replaced Kyle Orton and nearly led the Broncos to a comeback win. The Chargers will now attempt to break their losing streak by beating Tebow and the Broncos again. Since that game San Diego has lost five straight while Tebow has led Denver to a 4-1 record.

L.A. Story: Chargers president Dean Spanos recently said the team’s slump won’t affect their efforts to build a new stadium in San Diego. “A new stadium is a long-term, big-picture benefit for San Diego,” he said. “I think people understand that.” Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani has also continued to say that a new stadium tied to a convention center expansion is the “last and best chance” to keep the Chargers in San Diego. If the Chargers continue to lose and miss the playoffs for the second straight year, their “last and best chance” may already be over before the debate on a new stadium can even begin.

(Read full post)

NFL@LA Four Corners

November, 18, 2011
11/18/11
2:59
PM PT
Farmers Field Courtesy of AEGRaise the roof? Wait. Where's the roof? AEG design drawing included a "deployable" roof plan.
Each Friday we will update you on the four NFL teams most likely move to Los Angeles; ranking them in order of the likeliest to call L.A. home within the next few years.



1. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (4-5)

Last week:
The Chargers’ fall from grace continued last Thursday night as San Diego lost its fourth game in a row, this time to Oakland Raiders at home, 24-17. The nationally televised game was for first place in the AFC West and once again Philip Rivers failed to step up to the occasion, throwing an interception and fumbling the ball on San Diego’s last two drives to tie the game.

This week:
San Diego now travels to Soldier Field to play a 6-3 Chicago Bears team which has won four games in a row. Last week the Bears beat the Detroit Lions 37-13 and Chicago’s defense forced six turnovers, its most since 1995, and kept the Lions out of the end zone until late in the fourth quarter. During the Bears’ four-game winning streak they have forced 12 turnovers while the Chargers have turned the ball over 11 times during their four-game slide.

L.A. Story:
While the latest schematics were revealed for Farmers Field this week, the Chargers still have yet to show any kind of artist renderings for their proposed retractable roof stadium and convention center expansion in downtown San Diego. The Chargers, however, could take a page out of the Farmers Field book for those in San Diego skeptical of building a roofed stadium in one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. Farmers Field will feature a “deployable” roof that would only be used when needed for conventions and events like the Final Four but would be an open-air stadium. Tim Romani, president and CEO of ICON Venue Group, said the design could only work in cities like Los Angeles and San Diego where the weather is usually nice and easy to predict.

(Read full post)

NFL@LA Four Corners

November, 11, 2011
11/11/11
3:35
PM PT
Each Friday we will update you on the four NFL teams most likely move to Los Angeles; ranking them in order of the likeliest to call L.A. home within the next few years.

1. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (4-5)

Last week: The preseason Super Bowl match-up some had predicted in the preseason between the Chargers and the Green Bay Packers lived up to expectations with Green Bay winning a thrilling 45-38 shootout in the rain. Unfortunately for Chargers fans, Philip Rivers has yet to live up to expectations this season. He threw three interceptions in the game, including one on the game’s final drive to tie and send it into overtime. Two of his interceptions were returned for touchdowns and the third almost was returned for a touchdown as well before Packers safety Charlie Peprah was pushed out at the six-yard line to end the game.

This week: The Chargers' fall for grace continued Thursday night as San Diego lost its fourth game in a row, this time to Oakland Raiders at home, 24-17. The nationally televised game was for first place in the AFC West and once again Rivers failed to step up to the occasion, throwing an interception and fumbling the ball on San Diego’s last two drives attempting to tie the game.

L.A. Story: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell met with San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders on Thursday before the game to discuss where the city is with the Chargers’ plans for a new downtown stadium. The league would like the Chargers to remain in San Diego but Goodell admitted Qualcomm Stadium, in addition to the stadiums in San Francisco and Oakland, need to be drastically renovated or completely replaced for the teams to be financially competitive. “The three stadiums in California certainly are not up to the standards we’re seeing in the rest of the NFL or, frankly, other sports,” he said. “[Stadiums] are expensive projects. They take a public and private partnership and the players have recognized that and are contributing to that.”Asked about the prospect of the Chargers moving to Los Angeles, Goodell took the same stance the league always takes when L.A. comes up. “Until there's an appropriate solution in Los Angeles,” he said. “There won’t be a team there.”

(Read full post)

Blue Heaven unlikely to be NFL haven

November, 5, 2011
11/05/11
8:59
AM PT
Dodger StadiumJeff Gross/Getty ImagesOnce upon a time Dodger Stadium was considered a prime spot for an NFL stadium.


Chavez Ravine was once viewed as the perfect location for the NFL’s return to Los Angeles.

After the Raiders and Rams left Southern California in 1995, Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan worked with Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley on building a NFL stadium on the 352-acre site to attract an expansion team. Riordan, however, pulled the plug on the project and encouraged everyone to get behind the consistently doomed Coliseum renovation, which would prove to be a nonstarter for the NFL over the next decade.

Now that the Dodgers, Dodger Stadium and the surrounding real estate are for sale, some are talking about Chavez Ravine once again being the site of an NFL stadium.

Interestingly enough, much of the talk has come from within the Coliseum Commission, which was the biggest reason the original Dodger Stadium plan failed in the first place.

“I have a close eye on the NFL because the word is they love Chavez Ravine,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas told The Times this week. “With this transaction, the implications are huge … if a new owner has a dual-use scenario in his or her mind — we all know there's a scramble to return football here — and the quest is what makes the most sense.”

It was Ridley-Thomas who actually spearheaded the movement to get Riordan to drop the his Dodger Stadium plans and rally the city's support behind the Coliseum as the only viable site for an NFL team in Los Angeles even though the league had already said it wasn't an option.

Chavez Ravine, however, is no longer a viable option for an NFL stadium and an NFL team, at least not for the foreseeable future and here's why:

(Read full post)

NFL@LA Four Corners

November, 4, 2011
11/04/11
4:36
PM PT
Each Friday we will update you on the four NFL teams most likely move to Los Angeles; ranking them in order of the likeliest to call L.A. home within the next few years.
1. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (4-3)

Last week: Now this is the San Diego team Chargers fans have grown to know and loathe at the beginning of the season over the past ten years. After a 4-1 start, the Chargers have lost their last two games late thanks to turnovers by quarterback Philip Rivers. Against the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football, Rivers fumbled a snap at the Kansas City 15-yard line while trying to run down the clock for a game-winning field goal. The Chargers ended up losing 23-20 in overtime and now the Chargers find themselves in a three-way tie with the Chiefs and Raiders for first place in the AFC West.

This week: The Chargers will try to break out of their funk at home against the Green Bay Packers. It won’t be easy for the Chargers to avoid slipping to 4-4 considering the Super Bowl champions have won 16 straight going back to last season and are off to their best start (7-0) since 1962. If the Chargers are to pull the upset Rivers will have to start playing like his old self. He has thrown 11 interceptions this season, the highest in the league, and his 80.7 passer rating ranks 19th.

L.A. Story: It’s early in the season but if the Chargers fall to 4-4 on Sunday and Rivers doesn’t regain his old form, the team’s prospects of gaining public support for a new stadium will get bleaker and bleaker. It’s already a long shot to think the public is going to largely fund a new downtown stadium but if the Chargers could at least get to the Super Bowl maybe they could get the same support the Padres did for Petco Park when they made it to World Series in 1998. If the Chargers, however, flame out and miss the playoffs altogether like they did last year, their slim shot at a new stadium may be completely erased as they look to move north after the 2012 season.

2. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (2-6)

Last week: Minnesota won its second game of the season, beating the Carolina Panthers, 24-21 last Sunday. Christian Poder completed 18 of 28 passes for 236 yards and one touchdown to get his first professional win. Yes, the win came against the 2-6 Panthers and fellow rookie quarterback Cam Newton but the way this season has gone for the Vikings, they’ll take the wins anyway they can get them.

This week: The Vikings have a bye this week and will face the Green Bay Packers next Monday night at Lambeau Field.

L.A. Story: Things got ugly this week in Minneapolis where legislators said they would not vote on financing for the Vikings' new stadium this year, the Vikings saying such a delay would leave them as the only NFL team without a lease after this season and force them to look elsewhere and the Metrodome saying the Vikings are obligated to play in the stadium next year after the team was forced to play two games elsewhere last year after the roof of the dome collapsed. There is a clause in their lease that triggers an extension if there is a shortened season. The Vikings, of course, are arguing if the roof of the Metrodome hadn’t collapsed there would have been no need to play elsewhere. Long story short, the Vikings aren’t getting a stadium resolution until 2012 at the earliest and if they don’t get one by then, they will likely move west like the Minneapolis Lakers did over 50 years ago.

3. OAKLAND RAIDERS (4-3)

Last week:
Oakland was off last week but the Raiders now find themselves tied with the Chargers and Chiefs for first place in the AFC West.

This week: The Denver Broncos and the Tim Tebow show come to Oakland on Sunday as the Raiders try to get their first win under Carson Palmer. The former USC quarterback not only got an extra week to learn the playbook and work with his teammates but he will have a familiar target on the field this week after the team signed receiver T.J. Houshmanzadeh. The two played together in Cincinnati and worked out together in the off-season and even during the season as Palmer held out and Houshmanzadeh waited to be signed. Darren McFadden, however, was still on crutches this week and won’t play Sunday.

L.A. Story: Raiders fan in Los Angeles will need NFL Sunday Ticket or be forced to go to a sports bar on Sunday to watch the Raiders-Broncos game as CBS 2 in Los Angeles will show the New York Jets-Buffalo Bills game at 10 a.m. while FOX 11 will be airing a double-header this week with San Francisco 49ers-Washington Redskins at 10 a.m. and the New York Giants-New England Patriots at 1 p.m. Yes, that also means Chargers fans wanting to watch the Chargers-Packers must also have NFL Sunday Ticket or go somewhere that does to watch the game.

4. ST. LOUIS RAMS (1-6)

Last week: In what was perhaps the upset of the NFL season so far, the winless Rams beat the New Orleans Saints, 31-21, after taking a 24-0 lead in the third quarter. The previous week the Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts 62-7. In an odd stat, three of the last four NFL teams which have scored 62 points have lost the next week. Rams running back Stephen Jackson broke out in the win for 159 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries.

This week: The Rams will play the 1-6 Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday. St. Louis started the season 0-6 but it may have had more to do with how good their opponents were. The combined record of the Rams' first seven opponents was 31-19, and the next four are 7-21. The Rams might also get back Sam Bradford, who missed the last two games with a high ankle sprain. Bradford, who has been sacked a NFL-high 21 times, practiced this week but the Rams will be careful before putting him behind one of the worst offensive lines in football.

L.A. Story: Rams owner Stan Kroenke has been careful not to indicate exactly how he feels about the long-term viability of the Rams in St. Louis and the Edward Jones Dome but he made some interesting comments to reporters while he was in London talking about Arsenal, the English Premier League team he owns.

“London is a great place and a great market," he said. "Comparably in the US, you would talk about Los Angeles and New York. There was a study done in the States and if you ask any 20- to 30-year-old person where they would most like to live if they didn't live where they presently lived, they will tell you L.A. and New York. It's interesting because players are a lot of times 20-30 years old, so where are they most likely to gravitate? If you ask players in the US, they'll say being in L.A. or New York is a pretty good place to be for 20-30 year olds. So those markets to me have an inherent advantage as far as recruiting. Maybe that's just me, but I think London is a great place to be. I think, long-term, if you want to attract players, it is a great place to me.”

So, would moving the Rams back to L.A., be in the best interest of the team long-term, if Kroenke wants to attract players?

SPONSORED HEADLINES


TEAM LEADERS

PASSING
Philip Rivers
ATT COMP YDS TD
544 378 4478 32
RUSHINGCARYDSAVGTD
R. Mathews 285 1255 4.4 6
D. Woodhead 106 429 4.0 2
RECEIVINGRECYDSAVGTD
K. Allen 71 1046 14.7 8
A. Gates 77 872 11.3 4