Will Brinson/CBSSPORTS.COM – The chatter surrounding an NFL team moving to Los Angeles has been heavy in recent months.
Magic Johnson is on board with bringing football back to the City of Angels, Bob Kraft’s waxed optimistic about the move, and at least two NFL teams (the Chargers and the Vikings) have suspect stadium situations that make them prime candidates to move.
However, don’t expect news on the LaLa front any time too soon — Roger Goodell stated in his press conference following the owners’ meetings that the primary obstacle to professional football in Los Angeles is currently the lack of a labor deal.
“I’ve said the No. 1 thing to make the economics work in Los Angeles is a new collective bargaining agreement,” Goodell said. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we have not had a new stadium built since we entered into this collective bargaining agreement in 2006.
“The Giants and Jets stadium, the Dallas stadium and Kansas City were all far along in the process or at least along in the process that it couldn’t be reversed.
The economics of trying to build a stadium in the Los Angeles market are challenging and part of that challenge is the collective bargaining agreement so we have to get that resolved.”
Goodell makes a salient point — it’s often assumed that once a group can find the funding there will eventually be a team that wants to jump into the nation’s second-largest market.
But with the possibility of no football at all looming large in 2011, can it be assumed that there’ll be football in Los Angeles soon? Of course not.
In fact, Goodell’s words may serve as a nice (albeit not direct in any way) warning to any groups that want to try and pack up a club and drag them into downtown L.A. — it’s not going to be as easy as it looks, unless the relationship between a city and a club just completely dissolve in a quick fashion.