They have a franchise back, and a new stadium in the offing will bring a Super Bowl as well as a new home for NFL Media from its current digs in Culver City. So what else can head west with the Rams?
How about the Pro Bowl, or even better, the Draft in future years. While the last two years in Chicago have been an unequivocated success, the league has said recently that the event will take up stakes for next year, with a return to Radio City Music Hall, or other cities like Denver and Canton, Ohio, expressing interest. But doesn’t LA make the most sense? When the NFL decided to move on from New York City, the intention was to make the draft into a more fan-friendly event, with a venue change giving the league a chance to re-imagine what the draft could be. The NFL created a Draft Town in Grant Park in Chicago, just across from the Auditorium Theatre (where the draft is held) in order to allow more fans to experience the excitement of the draft. The relatively warm early spring weather, combined with the large scale brand activations around the Draft, as made the two years in Chicago event bigger for the fans, and has given the league and its partners yet another revenue stream to expand upon.
So why LA? Other than being the new home of one, and possibly even two, teams, the city houses the NFL Network and can bring even more celebrity power to the event. From the Convention Center to the Staples Center and LA Live, ever-growing downtown LA is the Mecca for the big event. As the NFL tries to link even closer to Hollywood and entertainment than it ever has before, the time to tie the two together appears to be lining up well. For those who say the city already gets its share of events, it has not welcomed the NFL in a great while, and the support would be tremendous. Getting the leagues next stars under the brightest of lights would be an added plus, and the time of day can keep the event more primetime across the country and less late night east of the Mississippi for the first time as well.
The downside? Post-season hockey and NBA games could make scheduling at Staples a big issue given the days needed for prep; but going to any host of theaters in Hollywood, or how about a theme park (Draft at Disney anyone for partner ESPN?) could make it fun as well. Yes going to other cities with the draft will be interesting, and although there is no bidding process yet, maybe one could be coming. The NHL has taken its Draft on the road, and the NBA, if the NFL continues its successful run, could do the same. However for now, if Commissioner Goodell is looking beyond Gotham and The Windy City, take a call from your newest home venue, and bring the bright lights of the draft to the bright lights of Hollywood. It certainly would make for great business sense.