With a stadium deal possibly coming to fruition in Los Angeles in the near future, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has issued guidelines on a potential move to Southern California to all 32 NFL teams.
Although substantial uncertainties remain, Goodell wrote in a two-page memo to all teams, stadium development in Los Angeles has advanced to the point where the prospects for a new facility are better than they have been in many years.
Goodell also told team owners that the league as a whole would make a decision on which team may relocate there, and that no specific team had a presumptive right to be in Los Angeles. That language presumably is in the memo so that the Raiders and Rams, teams that have played in Los Angeles before, do not feel as though they have a leg up.
There are currently two competing proposals to build NFL style stadiums in Los Angeles, which has not had pro football since 1995 when the Rams moved to St. Louis and the Raiders moved back to Oakland.
Despite the competing plans, Goodell has made it clear that he wants just one stadium, though he is not opposed to two teams in Los Angeles.
Given that simultaneous league-wide investment in two stadiums in the same community is unlikely, Goodell wrote, we believe that the best approach will be a single site where an iconic facility could credibly both host two teams and provide ancillary entertainment and development opportunities.
It is also not a given that Goodell would allow a team to move to Los Angeles. Though he has said he is happy with the 32-team setup the league has now, he is not opposed to adding one or two expansion teams in LA.
Jacksonville, Carolina, San Diego, Buffalo, St. Louis, and Oakland are the most likely candidates were a team to move to Los Angeles. Each of those franchises has at least one major problem in their current city, be it poor attendance, an outdated stadium, or a combination of the two and could be tempted by a move to Los Angeles.
The league would also love to have a centerpiece building in the second largest media market in the United States. It would be a building capable of hosting Super Bowls, and would help the NFL tie itself closer to celebrity culture in America.
Goodell mentioned in the memo that a stadium in Los Angeles could include an auxiliary Hall of Fame, youth football facilities and West Coast studios for the NFL Network.
In the memo Goodell laid out the method by with a team can petition to move to Los Angeles. Any team wishing to make the move must show that it has secured a long-term stadium solution that is financeable and preserves the league's option for use as a two-team facility.
That team also must have a viable interim stadium plan while the new building is being built; a marketing plan with respect to personal seat licenses, premium seating, and naming rights; and must give certain financial guarantees to the league.
Goodell said that any team wishing to relocate to Los Angeles for the 2013-14 season should submit their application to the league between January 1 and February 15 of 2013.