SBD/July 25, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Kraft Says Lack Of Team In L.A. "Isn't Good" For NFL, Hopes Club Is There In Coming Years

Patriots Owner Robert Kraft on Friday said the lack of a football team in the L.A. market "isn't good for the NFL." Appearing on ESPN's "SportsCenter" live from the team's training facility, Kraft said, "We've gone a generation -- almost 20 years -- without a team in L.A. ... We have a generation of young people growing up not really branded and tied to a team. I think that kind of passion only comes when you have a team you can root for, and I think it's very important." He expressed his desire to have two teams based in L.A., with one placed in each conference. Kraft: "We always have to think of our good television partners and then want to be sure ESPN gets a good 'Monday Night' game from downtown L.A." He noted having two teams in L.A. "requires that we have a great stadium, and I know people at the league are working very hard at that." Kraft said, "The owners who care about the league long term also to want see it happen. So we hope it happens sooner rather than later." He added moving to the country's second-biggest market "within the next two to three years ... would be in everybody's best interest." Kraft: "It's complicated, because L.A. is a (big) market, the weather is great, you have so many choices. So we need to make sure we have ownership that's passionate about the game, really feel that the franchise is one of the most important things in their life. Then we've got to get the right venue. Having the right venue is so critical because I don't think we'll get fans in the L.A. market to come if it's not really special" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 7/25).
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