NFL: We Have Final Say In L.A.

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(From Sports Business Daily, November 11, 2013) All things must go though the NFL when it comes to relocating a team to Los Angeles. Currently, the City of Los Angeles is without an NFL franchise. With such a large market and potential revenues to be made, a push to have a team located there is in process. However, if a team is to move there, it will be because the NFL allowed it to do so.

The NFL sent out a memo to its clubs last month outlining some specific points about locating a team in Los Angeles. The NFL cautioned that a team buying real estate in Los Angeles would not preclude the league from moving forward on its own stadium deal. The NFL makes it clear that in order to have a team in Los Angeles and to have the best economic result, it will be the one to make the final decision.

The league has more teams that will see their leases end with their current stadiums in the next couple years than in its previous history. The St. Louis Rams’ lease expires at the end of next year. The Oakland Raiders’ lease ends after this season. Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys Owner, says the number of teams with expiring leases is “probably the most since we haven’t had a team in L.A.” Jones is optimistic about returning an NFL team to the City of Los Angeles. The nearby San Diego Chargers are also a team of interest. The terms of their lease allow them to leave whenever they choose with a departure penalty that decreases with each year. Their lease ends in 2020.

Not since 1994 has there been an NFL team in Los Angeles. At that time the Rams and the Raiders were located in Los Angeles before moving to St. Louis and Oakland respectively.