Los Angeles Raiders? What Relocation to LA Could Look Like for the Raiders.

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Feb 27, 2013; Inglewood, CA, USA; Aerial view of the Forum. The venue is the former home of the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA and Los Angeles Kings of the NHL. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


The NFL may have an option they like better, although it remains to be seen if that option will be for the Raiders or for another NFL franchise, notably the Rams. In January of this year, Rams owner Stan Kroenke purchased 60 acres of empty parking lot in Inglewood, wedged between the fabulous Forum – now owned by the Madison Square Garden group for use as a state-of-the-art music venue (I saw Wu-Tang there, it’s great!) – and the recently closed Hollywood Park racetrack and casino, where another group plans to do a massive mixed-use project heavy on dining and entertainment. The lot had previously been planned for a Wal-Mart before the City of Inglewood decided they had other plans for it.

Now, an NFL owner buying land somewhere doesn’t necessarily mean anyone is going to build an NFL stadium on that site, and this project is nowhere near as fully developed as the Farmers Field plan. Inglewood, a small, working class, primarly Latino and Black suburb of Los Angeles, located near the LAX airport, has been a site for major sports before: the Forum was home to the Lakers during the Showtime era and the Kings during the Gretzky years. But the Forum hasn’t been a full-time sporting venue in nearly two decades, and Hollywood Park hasn’t been a premier horse-racing venue in years either. Still, Inglewood may be willing to do/give a lot more to the NFL or an NFL franchise to get them there, something that the NFL is certainly interested in. They’d also have a more – traditional – NFL stadium model, since the area is right now a massive flat parking lot anyway, and they’d undoubtedly have use of the Forum’s parking lot as well.

Inglewood, of course, has it’s negatives. It is not near any current Metro rail lines (the future Crenshaw Line will eventually pass the site, but that won’t be finished for another 4-5 years), and the site itself isn’t exactly freeway adjacent. It is also, as stated before, a small, working-class suburb that may not have the resources to give up enough money to appease the NFL, and would require an investment from Los Angeles County, who’s Board of Supervisors may favor the Farmers Field plan or another competing plan. And, of course, the land is owned by the owner of the Rams, so if it IS to become a relocation site for an NFL franchise, there’s a much bigger possibility of it being the Rams than the Raiders. Since there hasn’t even been a full Environmental Impact Report done, or indeed a stadium plan even unveiled for this site, the actual completion of a stadium here could be four years away, meaning a team would have to play in the Rose Bowl or the Coliseum for as many as three full seasons before finally moving in, which isn’t a scenario the Raiders would likely be interested in. Still, it remains in play, and may be the second most realistic possibility.