BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- The city of Los Angeles has been without an NFL team for almost two decades, but Commissioner Roger Goodell believes the door remains open for pro football to return to a town that once housed both the Raiders and Rams.
"It still comes back to, 'Do we have the right solution in Los Angeles?' And that comes back to a stadium," Goodell said Thursday at The Beverly Hilton during a panel on Thursday Night Football. "Do we have a stadium that we feel can be competitive with the high-quality stadiums? I just came from San Francisco, from a ribbon-cutting for a new stadium (in Santa Clara) and we're excited about that and we're investing billions of dollars in creating those kinds of stadiums."
Said Goodell: "We would like to do that. We think there's a great opportunity to be successful (in Los Angeles). I think opportunity's starting to develop, maybe in part because we have that long-term planning in front of us."
Patriots owner Robert Kraft was on hand for the panel and told the room that league-wide "ownership is collectively very concerned that we don't have at least one team" in L.A.
"In the end, we want young people here branded to a team," Kraft said. "I know that Roger and I and a number of the owners who care about the long-term health of the NFL feel it's very important for our future to have at least one -- if not two teams -- in downtown L.A."
On the potential of launching a franchise in London, Kraft wasn't shy about setting a tangible goal for expansion across the pond.
"I can see the kind of reception we got there," said Kraft of New England's visit to the United Kingdom in 2012. "... I would not be disappointed, and I would also believe that we should work hard to try and have a franchise in London before the decade was out."
For two cities currently feeling the void on Sundays, there is hope.