NFL One Step Closer To Returning To LA

AEG Reveals New Plans For Farmers Field, Chargers Likeliest Occupant.

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

Pro football fans in Los Angeles should start to feel the excitement. It’s looking like a real possibility that the Los Angeles Chargers will play inside Farmers Field by 2016.

It’s been since the 90’s LA had NFL football before the Rams and Raiders skipped town, and as of this week the city is one step closer to having a new franchise.

AEG and their hired architect firm, Gensler, released new, revamped, renderings of what the stadium would look like sitting downtown next to Staples Center. In my opinion, the stadium looks like a futuristic wonder. Upon first glance, my eyebrows raised and my mouth slipped open.

With a stellar view of the city from inside the 68,000 seater (which could expand to 78,000), the complex would also behold an easily deployable roof that could adjust the structure to both indoor and outdoor events.

Representative for Farmers Field, Tim Romani, regarding Gensler’s design: “We have really challenged the Gensler team to create a unique design for Farmers Field that is destined to become another distinguished signature building for Los Angeles and at the same time a remarkable achievement in venue functionality and sustainability…This stadium and event center will be like nothing you’ve ever seen or experienced.”

Check out the new design here: Farmers Field Stadium Renderings

Being so fresh and revolutionary, Farmers Field would not only bid for the Super Bowl, but the Final Four, World Cup and possibly the Olympics. The facility would also play host to conventions and concerts, as the structure would connect to what is left of the LA Convention Center.

Farmers Field remains on schedule to submit an Environmental Impact Report with the City in 2012. With that report expected to pass, groundbreaking could start by the end of next year as long as a team signs a long-term lease. There is also competition with Ed Roski and his group that have plans to build a stadium 40 minutes east of downtown at Grand Crossing. Either way, it looks like a venue will be completed by 2016, wherever it may end up. This means, of course, that the NFL could be in LA as soon as next season.

I had a source at the LA Times tell me back in 2008 that he guaranteed the NFL would be here by 2011, and that team would be the San Diego chargers. Although his time frame was held up, his argument for the team that moves here still seems valid.

Not only is the Rose Bowl in the process of completing new renovations (they would host the new NFL team until the stadium is completed by 2016), but Commissioner, Roger Goodell, was in San Diego just last week in talks with the team in regards to their new stadium, and he hasn’t been shy about his push to have the NFL back in LA. It does make sense.

Los Angeles holds the second largest market in the country, the Chargers haven’t been happy with Qualcomm for years, and there is already a fan base for them here in LA. Heck, the team actually played their first season in Los Angeles in 1960 before heading south.

It’s always a shame when fans have to lose their team, and San Diego sure has some great ones. But with perfect alignment in conferences, there is no need for an expansion team. That wouldn’t make financial sense either.

Other teams rumored to have interest in moving to LA include the Rams, Vikings, Bills and Jaguars, however if the Chargers want it, Farmers Field is theirs to lose.