If you're like me, and you love both NFL Football and the city of Los Angeles, the last decade has been tough. Without a team to root for (I go for the nearby Chargers as a temporary fan), LA football fans have simply been longing for the next team to waltz through our doors.Based on reports from last week's NFL owners meetings, it looks like we'll have to wait longer.
The NFL is taking their sweet time with LA because they can. They recognize that the Coliseum is the most viable stadium option in LA, but they don't want to spend $500 million on stadium renovations only to see the Coliseum Commission maintain control of the building. They want to wait and see how Pasadena moves along with its Rose Bowl plan. And they know Anaheim is there for the taking, if they're up for a profitable second choice.
The Saints and Chargers are now the most realistic candidates to move, but their current lease agreements prevent any action from happening until January for the Saints, and until 2007 for the Chargers. So the NFL doesn't feel the rush, especially since it just got another major TV deal without LA, and it needs to solve a few labor issues.
Regardless, the NFL should realize it's alienating a growing LA market that could provide new fans for the league. It's been 10 years since the Rams and Raiders left LA. Cleveland, St. Louis, and Houston all had much shorter waits to get teams back. Baltimore and Oakland both waited little more than a decade to see pro football return. It's likely LA will wait longer than all of these cities to see its new team. And we are left to wonder if LA Football will resemble Washington DC baseball in terms of our time in between teams.