Easily one of the most talked-about issues in the NFL today is the game’s potential return to Los Angeles. Long has it been that the nation’s second-largest market has gone without a professional football team, instead relying on USC and UCLA for the city’s hometown football pride. 2015 has provided plenty of developments in the ongoing possibility of returning the NFL to the City of Angels within the next few seasons.
We take a look at some of these key developments to occur in 2015:READ MORE: Mass Vaccination Site At Long Beach Convention Center Closing Amid Spike In New Cases
In January, Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who had purchased a 60-acre lot in Inglewood nestled between the Forum and Hollywood Park Casino in 2013, teamed up with the owners of Hollywood Park, looking to build the new stadium. The stadium was proposed as an 80,000-seat venue, along with a 300-room hotel and 1.7 million square feet of retail space. The initiative at the time was dubbed the “City of Champions Revitalization Project.” At that time, there were two other proposals already in place, including the Farmers Field project in Downtown LA, and a stadium project in the city of Industry, headed by Ed Roski of the LA Kings.
Election officials paved the way for a local vote to be issued on the proposed 80,000-seat stadium in Inglewood in February. Officials gathered enough signatures to allow the plan to go before council vote, marking the largest step forward for the potential construction since the stadium’s original proposal. While 8,500 signatures were required, 22,000 were gathered.
Keeping a close eye on the stadium developments in Los Angeles, the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders, both in turbulent dealings over getting improved stadiums in their current cities, began working on the idea of sharing a privately funded stadium in Carson. “We are pursuing this stadium option in Carson for one straightforward reason: If we cannot find a permanent solution in our home markets, we have no alternative but to preserve other options to guarantee the future economic viability of our franchises,” a statement by the team read. This was a far cry from bringing the Rams back, as it had been speculated that such a major market may warrant the establishment of two local teams.READ MORE: Protesters Vandalize Mayor Eric Garcetti's Home After He Signs Ordinance To Restrict Homeless Encampments
On Feb. 24, the development project to try to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles passed by a unanimous vote through the Inglewood City Council. Plenty of enthusiastic NFL fans showed up at the meeting, wearing jerseys and showing large support for the measure. The measure provided a solid date, looking to bring an NFL team to Inglewood by the 2018 season, a specific initiative that had not been considered previously.
In such a race with so many runners, it was only a matter of time before one bowed out. In early March, AEG, once considered the frontrunner to return the NFL to LA, withdrew its plans to build a Downtown stadium. The plans for Farmers Field had been in place for five years, and a deal had recently been extended with AEG to reach an agreement that would allow the developer to work on attracting a team. Altogether, the conglomerate had invested over $50 million in the project at the time it ceased.
A financial analysis report suggested in mid-April that in order for the $1.7 billion proposed stadium to be profitable in Los Angeles, it would need to play host to two hometown teams, as opposed to having a single tenant. This solidified the possible reality of both the Chargers and Raiders moving back to LA together. The report suggested if a single team were to call the stadium home, the city budget would result in “annual fiscal losses in most of the first 30 years.”'The Childcare System Is In Crisis': Childcare Costs Rank As Top Expense for SoCal Families
Carson City Council members voted to approve the construction of a stadium near the 405 freeway on top of a former landfill. Through the approval, it was considered likely that in order to keep up with Inglewood, the council would not put the matter to public vote. The 70,000-seat stadium would be intended for use by two teams.