- Nick Wagoner, ESPN St. Louis Rams reporter
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PHOENIX -- As one of the most well-respected owners in the NFL and a member of the committee working on bringing football back to Los Angeles, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft had plenty of thoughts to share on the potential of teams moving to the City of Angels.
Yesterday, we dived into some of that by offering his opinion that two teams will be playing in Los Angeles in 2016, but also adding his reminder that current markets working to keep their team should be given a fair shake.
Here are some more of Kraft's thoughts that we didn't get to, including his directly addressing the St. Louis stadium efforts:
(On the possible return of the NFL to Los Angeles)
Kraft: I was sad 20 years ago when I came into the league and the two teams moved out of the L.A. market. It was just very unfortunate. I don’t think it’s good that we let a generation of young fans grow up without a team. The good news is we have a quarterback from the bay area and we have a lot of Patriots fans out here. It’s not good for the NFL, and I really believe within the next year, we’ll have two teams in this market. I think there are good plans. We have a little committee that’s working with the different owners, and we have some real good options. Now we’ll see what happens in the end game.
(On how soon teams will be in Los Angeles)
Kraft: I really believe next year. I don’t know who they’ll be.
(On having two teams instead of one right away)
Kraft: I’m just speaking what I believe -- that there will be two teams. There might just be one team, but I really think to support the financial commitment of doing the kind of stadium that’s necessary in L.A. we’ll need the resources, that’s just my feeling. I might be wrong. And then whether it’s done simultaneously or not, personally I would think that would be the best way. Sort of, in a way, what happened in New York/New Jersey where they corrected a situation where for many years, I think the Jets felt like maybe they were second class and now you have two NFL teams and two fan bases that are both being treated in a professional way. It’s just my feeling. It could happen that one would come in later, but I would like to see it be simultaneous.
(On what happens if the Rams, Chargers and Raiders all get stadium deals done in their current cities)
Kraft: Somehow, I feel we will have at least one team in L.A.
(On St. Louis’ stadium plan and what they need to do to keep the Rams)
Kraft: My point of view, if they come up with a plan that looks pretty good and a strong financial package, we the NFL have an obligation, in my opinion, to have a team in St. Louis. I think the fans, just like what happened in Buffalo or any of the markets. But they have to be able to support the team.
(How does the Los Angeles dynamic change now that it’s league- and team-driven rather than L.A.-driven? Does it make relocation more real?)
Kraft: Yes, because the three teams that are all interested, the principals are involved, and they’re doing something first-class. I don’t think we could have a viable team in L.A. if we don’t have a first-class venue and have something very special. Then we the league have a lot to bring to it if we’re dealing with the right situation.
With St. Louis Rams, Chargers, and Raiders considering relocation, Patriots owner says he expects two teams in Los Angeles for the 2016 season.