Seeing the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers sell for $2 Billion has sparked one current NFL owner to say his league will return to city it abandoned twenty years ago. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross predicted the National Football League would be back in the City of Angeles within five year.
Ross took part in the NFL Career Development Symposium at Philadelphia’s Wharton School of Business this weekend. During a break, Ross spoke with reporters covering the event at which time he shared his prediction. “I think the NFL does want to get into that market. I do a lot of business in L.A. It’s not as simple as finding a place and putting a stadium there. I think a lot of teams (would) like to be there, certain teams should be there, and I think the NFL is really concentrating in getting a team in the LA market. It’s a question of finding that site where we can really build a stadium, get the approvals and move on. I know that’s probably one of the great priorities of the NFL today.”
When asked how soon it would be before the NFL had a team back in Los Angeles, Ross replied, “It will certainly be within five years,” and adding, “It’ll be a team that moves.”
It was only twenty years ago when two teams played in the United States’ second largest city. The Los Angeles Rams were born shortly after World War II and played there from 1946 until 1994 when they moved to St. Louis, Missouri. The Oakland Raiders moved there in 1982 and returned to Northern California’s East Bay after the 1994 season. Both the Rams and Raiders along with the San Diego Chargers are facing issues with their current stadiums and could be potential candidates to move to Los Angeles.
The line of question posed to Stephen Ross was in part due to the recent sale of the Los Angeles Clippers in the National Basketball Association for $2 Billion. Something Ross admitted it took notice of and a reason why the NFL wants to return to the city. “It just shows you what sports content is all about, and the value of how it’s growing. I think that’s a lot of the reason why the prices were what he paid for. It’s a great market out there.”
Ross was part of a group that tried to put an expansion team in the Los Angeles area. Unable to strike a deal for a new stadium, he turned his attention to the Miami Dolphins, which he has owned for five years.
Last July, Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, said the league was “closer than ever” to having one and even two teams in the Los Angeles area. Jones had called the league not having a team in the city a “black eye” for the National Football League.