An architect’s rendering of one of the several proposed new NFL stadiums in Los Angeles, courtesy of la.curbed.com
A FEW THOUGHTS REGARDING THE BEGINNING OF ANOTHER NFL SEASON WITH NO TEAM IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA
I’m sure that sports fans in Southern California have pondered this:
The National Football League,
The most popular sports enterprise in America,
Whose championship game – which incidentally will be held for the 50th time this coming February – is not only the most watched sporting event in this country, but generally seen by millions as a holiday,
Will begin its 76th season tonight.
And its 21st season without a team in this nation’s second largest metropolis.
Millions of Rams fans fondly remember when these were the uniforms they wore; would they switch back to this shade of blue if they returned to L.A.? Photo courtesy of inquisitr.com
It has been well documented that hope has sprung on the NFL-Back-To-L.A. front, with one team’s owner buying land where the Hollywood Park race track once stood in nearby Inglewood and dearly wanting to relocate his franchise – that called Los Angeles and then Orange County home for nearly fifty years – back to its former home.
While two more owners have gotten together and are looking at a possible venture which will see them share a new stadium in the Carson area near StubHub Center, where Major League Soccer’s Galaxy reside.
It has been reported that the NFL would very much like to have a team playing in Los Angeles as early as next year.
Indeed, a few months ago this site/blog conducted a poll, wanting to find out which team would be preferred in L.A…
The Chargers, the Rams, the Raiders, or a combination of the three.
(Too bad there was only one respondent)
It wouldn’t take too long for the Chargers or the Raiders to build up a Los Angeles fan base as both of those teams are based in California and have many fans in L.A. who often commute to games in San Diego and Oakland, respectively; they would be ecstatic to not have to spend gas or airline money to see their beloved teams.
Though the Rams likewise have a fairly large and strong following here, particularly in the form of a group that has been lobbying to get their team back ever since they left for St. Louis in 1995,
Phillip Rivers (#17), longtime quarterback of the San Diego Chargers, the closest thing to an NFL team that Los Angeles has as they are based just 120 miles to the south; will he finish his career in L.A.? Photo courtesy of rantsports.com
I believe it would take a little longer for those Rams to obtain a large fan base for games in L.A. as quickly as their Raider or Charger counterparts, because of them playing their home games halfway across the country for the past two decades.
When I first wrote about this issue on this site, my opinion was that until a team calling themselves the Los Angeles (fill in the blank) kicked off at around this time, despite the reports I wouldn’t hold my breath or lose any sleep over it.
Especially since the two college football teams in this region, UCLA’s Bruins and USC’s Trojans, have done a more than admirable job at filling the void left by the Raiders and Rams twenty years ago.
I still feel that way, as the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers kick off the 2015 campaign tonight.
Besides, I reckon a lot of folks would balk at having to cough up what would likely be a month’s wages to buy a personal seat license just to have the right to spend another two month’s wages on a ticket in the end zone.
Not that I wouldn’t want an NFL team here; if one came, great.
If not, and SoCal is left having to wait another decade or so,
That’s the way I see it.
What do you think?
A few members of the fan base known to one and all as Raider Nation, photo courtesy of ibtimes.com