Roger Goodell Sets Guidelines for Potential NFL Teams in Los Angeles

By David LaRose

Los Angeles has not had a professional football team since the Rams and Raiders both left town in 1995.

If any team wants to relocate to Southern California, or even start an expansion team, they will have to follow some guidelines set forth by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

In a memo sent out on Friday afternoon, with a copy obtained by the AP, Goodell lists several procedures that teams will have to follow in order to bring professional football back to LA. Although Goodell said that the league is satisfied with its current 32 teams, expansion is always a possibility and LA would be a logical place for a new team to spring up.

Here is a summary of some of the guidelines:

-Goodell said no single team has any “presumptive right” to play in Los Angeles and that only the league as a whole can make a decision on relocation. Basically that means that there would have to be a league wide vote if a team wishes to relocate to LA and no team will be favored over the others.

Any franchise interested in relocating there 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.  Also if a team does plan on applying for relocation they should not expect a league-wide vote on the application before the NFL’s annual meetings in late March. If there is a team that has struggled in their current location, like Jacksonville for example, they would have to prove to the commissioner, and the rest of the league, that it made a concerted effort to stay where they are. I’m guessing that those rules mean guaranteeing city deals for upgrades to stadiums or even guaranteeing plans for new stadiums and other things along those lines.

Any team seeking to move to LA must show it “has secured a long-term stadium solution that is financeable and preserves the league’s option for use as a two-team facility.” The NFL has basically said that the new stadium that would be built in LA would have to be capable of serving two franchises. Two different stadiums would be out of the question and the NFL is looking for a dual stadium similar to MetLife Stadium in Newark, New Jersey. Los Angeles is a similar market to New York, according to size, and a dual stadium would make the most sense.

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. If a team does relocate to California it must have a deal in place that will allow that team to play in a hold-over stadium until the new stadium is built. There are multiple stadiums in the area that could hold an NFL franchise, The Rose Bowl and The Coliseum, so that seems like a mute issue. Both stadiums have displayed NFL games and they would likely be willing to showcase them again in the mean time.

It may take at least a year until potential NFL teams in Los Angeles come forward. However, if I’m guessing, within the next three seasons a bid will be placed to move an NFL franchise to LA.

What NFL franchise will it be? You will have to wait and find out.

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