The NFL has a 2020 vision for Los Angeles.
The league is eyeing the nation's second-largest market as a possible host for Super Bowl LIV at the end of the 2019 season, but only if there is a relocated team (or teams) playing in a new L.A. stadium by the 2018 season.
That would require a nearly frictionless process for the construction of a stadium in either Inglewood or Carson, the two competing proposals that have been entitled for venues. And L.A. would not be a shoo-in, either, but one of four cities competing for the league's marquee event.
"It just so happens that the Super Bowl advisory committee and membership are likely to award two Super Bowls next year, and the second of those two Super Bowls lines up with that time when a stadium could have been in operation in Los Angeles for a full year," NFL Executive Vice President Eric Grubman said Wednesday at the conclusion of the league's two-day spring meetings.
Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa and South Florida are vying to host Super Bowl LIII, and the site awarded that game will be taken out of the mix for the next year. The remaining three locations will be candidates for the next year, along with L.A., if the criteria are met. Votes are expected on both Super Bowl locales by next May.
The notion of an L.A. Super Bowl has been raised several times during the past two decades but never came to fruition during that span.
There have been seven Super Bowls played in L.A., five at the Rose Bowl, and two (including the first) at the Coliseum. The last Super Bowl held in Southern California took place at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego in Jan. 2003.
The next three Super Bowls will be played in Santa Clara, Calif., Houston, and Minneapolis.
Movers and shakers
Owners heard brief presentations Wednesday morning from representatives of the St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders, mainly about any progress on new venues in their home markets. The league staff also gave market updates. Combined, the presentations lasted about an hour.
The most significant developments were both expected — the league is likely to accept relocation applications sooner than it originally planned, and an additional owners meeting is tentatively scheduled for August to further address the L.A. situation.
The window for relocation applications is Jan. 1 through Feb. 15, but Commissioner Roger Goodell is considering compressing that — six weeks is unnecessarily long — and moving it sooner as to give teams time to handle a potential move.
"One of the things we'll want to balance is what's happening in those local markets and making sure there is sufficient time for them to at least, in our context, to be able to make whatever advances, whatever proposals and whatever determinations they can," Goodell said.
New England quarterback Tom Brady is appealing his four-game suspension for the alleged deflating of game balls, and the NFL Players Assn. is asking that Goodell recuse himself from the disciplinary process.
But Goodell doesn't sound as if he intends to remove himself.
"I look forward to hearing directly from Tom," he said. "If there is new information or information that could be helpful to us in getting this right."
The league is looking into the possibility of playing games in Mexico and Germany in the coming years, as well as potentially trying a Pro Bowl in Brazil.
"There's a growing passion for our game on a global basis," Goodell said. "And we want to respond to it."