Stephen Ross: L.A. to 'certainly' get team in five years


Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross sees the NFL making its return to Los Angeles sooner rather than later.

Ross predicted on Saturday that L.A. will "certainly" have an NFL franchise in the next five years, according to NFL Media's Jeff Darlington.

"It's not as simple as finding a place and putting a stadium there," said Ross, in Philadelphia for the NFL Career Development Symposium. "I think a lot of teams would like to be there, and certain teams should be there, and I think the NFL is very concentrated on getting a team in the L.A. market.

"It's about finding the site, building the stadium, getting the approvals and moving on. I think that's one of the great priorities of the NFL."

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Ross made it clear that the Dolphins have no interest in shifting operations. The owner explained that, prior to purchasing the Dolphins, he considered getting a team to L.A. "because (he) could put together a stadium."

Based on Ross' relationship with political leaders in Los Angeles, the owner is confident the city is ready for a team and calls the situation "one of the great priorities of the NFL."

Ross isn't the first NFL owner to speak optimistically about bring football back to Los Angeles, a city that has been without an NFL presence since the Rams and Raiders packed up shop following the 1994 season.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said last July that the NFL was "closer than ever" to having one -- and perhaps two -- teams relocate to L.A. Jones called it a "black eye" for the NFL that such a robust market had been without a team for two decades. Both Ross and Jones said a team would relocate to the city.

Professional sports are certainly big business in Southern California. The NBA's Clippers sold for $2 billion this week. In 2012, the Dodgers also sold for $2 billion. Ross took notice.

"How could I not?" he said. "I was feeling stupid until the sale of the Clippers and Dodgers."

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