NFL Rumors: Should the NFL Support a Team in Los Angeles?

Adam LazarusSenior Analyst IJune 10, 2011

Reports are circulating today that the Anschutz Entertainment Group President and CEO Tim Leiweke  has already been in talks with five NFL teams about a potential move to Los Angeles.

According to the rumors, the Charges, Raiders, Jaguars, Vikings, and Rams were each contacted by Leiweke.

While this sort of NFL-to-Los Angeles story seems to pop up every few months, it is getting harder to ignore.

I supposed I'm fairly indifferent to this particular report, largely because the Chargers, Raiders, and Rams were each at one  point residents of LA and a move from Minneapolis to LA—while a nice parallel to the Lakers—has been in discussion for years.

And as for the Jaguars, all I ever hear about is how little the fans care about their club so they're always on the moving blocks. Whether its true or not that the fan base there is strong doesn't really matter—they simply don't draw enough fans to keep ownership happy.

But this news does beg the question of whether or not LA is worthy of an NFL franchise. History says no: what other city lost two professional sports teams (the Raiders and Rams) in the same year?

And then there's the jokes about LA fans being so casual and fickle that they won't support a team unless they are winners and how fans would arrive  at the game at the end of the first quarter and leave as the fourth quarter begins.

None of that will be enough to dissuade Roger Goodell or the fellow NFL owners from considering a  move by any club to Los Angeles.

But the state of the city's baseball team might.

The Dodgers used  to be one of the most respected, best run franchises in all of sports, not just Major League baseball.

Now they are a complete disaster largely because of ownership, but also because of the safety issues for their fans at Dodger Stadium and it doesn't help that they're in last place in the NL West.

The Dodgers' woes probably will encourage the NFL and it's owners to consider the move to LA: they'll look at the club's problems and think there are sports fans to be had and companies hoping to find new marketing and advertising prospects.

But I still question the city-wide desire for NFL football in LA. And so should the league. Consider this fact. Of the first 27 Super Bowls, seven were played  in Los Angeles County, at either the Coliseum or the Rose Bowl. Yet it's been almost 20 years (January 1993) since the game has been held there.

If New York City can earn a February Super Bowl (2014) before always warm and sunny LA, it's hard to think the NFL would flourish with another franchise coming to Hollywood.