Los Angeles came one step closer to getting the NFL back into the nation’s second largest city for the first time since 1995, when AEG, the company in charge of the proposal, and Farmers Insurance Agency announced a naming rights deal in a joint statement. The deal is reportedly a 30-year agreement worth $700 million, and the proposed stadium will be named Farmers Field. Reports also say the deal will be worth $1 billion if Los Angeles is able to get two NFL teams to play in the building. The deal, of course, is contingent upon the city being able to lure at least one NFL team to move into the proposed stadium.
Among the most likely are the Minnesota Vikings, the San Diego Chargers and Jacksonville Jaguars. The Vikings are in the most need of a new stadium after the roof collapsed on the Metrodome in December forcing the Vikings to move two home games. A new state-of-the-art stadium in the second biggest market will be a tempting proposition for the Vikings if the option is there. However, San Diego and Jacksonville are also strong candidates to make the move. The Chargers have been in need of a new stadium for years and the Jaguars have routinely had trouble selling out their massive stadium, even after closing off parts of the upper level.
A move to Los Angeles will make sense for any of the three franchises. The city had hoped to have a team in Los Angeles for the 2010 season, but with that in the rear view and the looming labor issues, they may have to wait until at least 2012 to bring the NFL back. Regardless of what team moves there and when it happens, it seems pretty clear that the NFL will return to Los Angeles sometime in the near future.