Is The NFL Finally Returning To L.A.?

A new report from NBC Sports says the NFL is considering moving one or two teams to Los Angeles within the next year or two.
Posted at 11:06 PM, Oct 05, 2014

It's been nearly 20 years since Los Angeles had an NFL team to call their own. The Rams and the Raiders both left in 1994 for St. Louis and Oakland, and the city's been unable to attract an NFL team ever since. 

But that all might be about to change — if the latest rumor pans out, that is.

NBC Sports's Mike Florio cites an anonymous league source who says the NFL could send one or two teams to L.A."within the next 12 to 24 months." Possible candidates for a move include the Rams, the Raiders and the San Diego Chargers.

This report follows earlier steps by the NFL indicating a renewed interest in L.A. Back in August, the league assigned Executive Vice President Eric Grubman to the task of "return[ing] a team presence to the Los Angeles area."

It's a move that, if true, would be eagerly welcomed in the city. Last month, in what the Los Angeles Daily News described as "an annual vote of frustration," the city council unanimously asked the NFL for a football team.

The city even has a selection of stadium projects all lined up for the league; these include Farmers Field, which is running up against a construction deadline, and Los Angeles Stadium, which has been stalled since 2009 for want of a team.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's remember — we've heard this kind of talk before.

The last bit of hype came when the Buffalo Bills went up for sale after previous owner Ralph Wilson passed away in March. But despite rumors of L.A.-based bidder, the Bills ended up staying in Buffalo.

And back in January, Rams owner Stan Kroenke stirred speculation when he purchased a 60-acre chunk of land in the city. At the time, we asked if the purchase meant the Rams were moving out West. Almost ten months later, we're still waiting for a definitive answer. 

But despite the persistent rumors, one Fox Sports writer suspects the league's owners prefer the idea of relocation over actual reality.

"Team owners consistently have used LA as leverage to get what they want in their existing cities. The threat of moving a team to Los Angeles is more valuable to owners than the would-be financial benefits of actually having an team in LA."

Any team thinking of moving to Los Angeles would have to play in either the Rose Bowl or the Los Angeles Coliseum until a new stadium could be constructed.

This video includes images from Getty Images.