It seems like the road to an NFL franchise in Los Angeles is paving itself. Just recently, Pasadena officials approved of a plan for the Rose Bowl to house an NFL team for up to five years. That coupled with the approval of the Los Angeles City Council approving the plan for Farmers Field to be built (the vote being a unanimous 12-0), even after AEG announced that it was for sale, makes for a pretty convincing case that the NFL, is indeed on its way back to Los Angeles.
But one may ask why Los Angeles, after all, this is the city that had and lost three different football franchises that are currently in the NFL (the Chargers being one, when the AFL was formed). The city is full of transplants who hold allegiances to NFL teams from whence they hailed. And, historically, Los Angeles has had difficulty in supporting the NFL.
First of all, ever since the Rams and Raiders vacated the city of angels, the NFL has clamored to once again have a franchise call Los Angeles its home. It’s the second largest media market in America; of course the NFL wants to leave its stamp on the city. Also, the NFL Network is based in Los Angeles. The NFL wants to be in Los Angeles as bad as San Diego Charger fans want a Super Bowl ring.
As for the worry about fans supporting a team in Los Angeles, it’s not as big of worry as one may think. As of the 2000 census, the Greater Los Angeles Area has a population of 16,373,645. Farmers Field is proposed to be a 76,000-seat stadium. In order to fill said stadium for every game, the team must sell a ticket to a whopping 0.0004641605458039428% of the total population of the Greater Los Angeles Area. This does not include fans that may travel from Santa Barbara, Bakersfield, or even San Diego.
If you were Dean Spanos and had tried and failed to build a new stadium for nearly ten years and at least five sites, would you cast your eyes north? Would you, if you were Dean Spanos, seek to move to a city where you can sell tickets, avoid blackouts, and maybe even be viewed in a different light? If you had a chance to move to the Rose Bowl for a few years, while a brand new, state-of-the-art stadium was being built in the heart of a L.A. Live (which also houses the Lakers, Clippers, and Kings), would you do so, or would you let yourself be mired in the unknown and uncertainty of San Diego? There is a locale in Los Angeles where a new stadium can and will be built. There is not in San Diego.
What would you do if you were Dean Spanos? If it were me, I would move the team back to Los Angeles.