When he's not chiming in on the state of the Lakers or being the public face of the Dodgers' ownership group, basketball great Magic Johnson is a businessman. And as a businessman, it appears Johnson is interested in having an active role in helping an NFL team succeed in Los Angeles.
Speaking with USA Today, Johnson said he could see himself playing a role in helping an NFL franchise sell itself to a city that has managed to get along without a pro football team for two decades. He cites the role he's undertaken in helping the Dodgers win over fans who may have been disillusioned under previous owner Frank McCourt.
"We helped the Dodgers rebound," Johnson told the newspaper Tuesday. "We're No. 1 in attendance in baseball; we've been that for the last two years. So we know how to take a franchise, elevate it and also sell it to the fans in Los Angeles.
"That's going to be important to whoever the owner is, to make sure they have someone locally to sell the team to the local market."
Johnson said his track record of helping teams in the L.A. market speaks for itself. "I know how to do it," he said. "Whether it's me or somebody else, I think it's important."
In addition to his small stake in the Dodgers, Johnson has stakes in the Sparks and the Los Angeles Football Club soccer team that will make its MLS debut in 2017.
His remarks come a little more than an month after St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke announced an ambitious development plan to build an 80,000-seat NFL stadium in Inglewood on the former grounds of the Hollywood Park race track. However, the Rams have not announced that they are planning to move, and the NFL insists that decisions on franchise relocation must be approved by the league.
If an NFL team does move to L.A., Johnson said, he will be its biggest supporter -- whether it's in an official capacity or not.
"I’m going to buy my suite and I’m going to be there, just like I was at Raiders games and Rams games," he said. "If it’s the Raiders, the Rams, the Chargers -- I don’t care who it is -- I’m going to be there because I love the NFL and I love football."