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NFL Looking to Own Stadium in Los Angeles?

Talk to anyone out there and they will draw the conclusion that the city of Los Angeles has gone far too long without hosting a NFL city. In fact, it’s been 20 years since both the Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams moved from Southern California. 

As one of the largest markets in the world, the National Football League has missed out on billions of dollars by not having a team in Los Angeles. And the league is now concocting plans to remedy that major issue.

According to Sam Farmer of The Los Angeles Times, the NFL is considering multiple options in Los Angeles. The scribe went on to indicate that Roger Goodell and Co. are currently in the midst of finding potential stadium locations in L.A.

The league is evaluating various sites in the L.A. area and looking into alternative financing models for a stadium, including paying for one itself as opposed to having an individual owner foot the bill.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft added…

Whatever gets us a team in L.A., that would be awesome…That might be the solution. Whatever it takes, I know I’d be willing to support.

The idea of the league potentially financing a stadium by itself is interesting. It surely has the capital to do so, and owners of the 32 teams would stand to profit long term by having a franchise in Los Angeles. Short-term investment equals long-term gain. That’s Economics 101.

One potential financing option would be for a current NFL team to come to the league for help on building a stadium. The most recent example of this would be the San Francisco 49ers, who borrowed $200 million from the league to build Levi’s Stadium, which opens next month. As Farmer points out, under this scenario, the league would impose a hefty relocation fee to the team that decides to move to L.A.

Both the NFL and the Raiders know that O.co isn't a long-term solutio in Oakland.

Both the NFL and the Raiders know that O.co isn’t a long-term solutio in Oakland.

The Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills are two franchises that have been linked to Southern California the most in recent years. Considering Mark Davis’ issue with the city of Oakland and unwillingness to agree to an extension with O.co, the Raiders would be the likeliest current franchise to uproot to Los Angeles.

Yet another option would be for the league to foot the entire bill for a new stadium. Farmer raises an important point in this scenario.

In the second, the league pays for the stadium, offsetting that $1-billion-plus investment by selling naming rights, personal seat licenses (PSLs) and the like. That becomes the home of one or two teams (perhaps to be named later), who don’t have the astronomical cost of a stadium on their books.

Less short-term investement with minimal long-term gain. That’s what a current team under this scenario would be looking at.

While all eyes will be on teams that currently have options to move from their current cities, the NFL could easily start to build a self-financed stadium in Los Angeles without having to name a team that’s going to play their until last minute. As Farmer indicates, this would eliminate a lame-duck season that comes with relocation and could enable the league to get started on plans sooner rather than later.

In any event, the league seems prepared to give it another try. There remain so many moving parts to this story, but at least the plans listed above seem logical in the grand scheme of things.

Photo: NBC.com