The NFL's dance with a franchise in Los Angeles has started and stopped more often than the traffic on the infamous 405 freeway.
Talk seems to be picking up about the league moving back to L.A., however, and if a team needs a temporary home in the next few years while the complicated stadium situation is sorted out, USC would be happy to help it out -- for a price, of course.
The school recently took over control of the L.A. Memorial Coliseum and is expected to pump as much as $100 million worth of private funds to renovate the historic venue. Naturally, that is being done with the USC football program in mind, but athletic director Pat Haden said on Monday that the school would very much be open to an NFL team playing there until it can get its own stadium built.
"They wouldn't play for free," Haden told reporters. "It would help with the financing."
Haden added that USC expects to begin a significant renovation of the stadium in about three years, with the project taking place over the offseason so the team can continue to play at the downtown location. The school has already installed a giant new video board and will be unveiling new on-field suites for the upcoming season as part of their multi-stage upgrade to the 91-year-old facility.
"It still comes back to, 'Do we have the right solution in Los Angeles?' And that comes back to a stadium," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in July. "Do we have a stadium that we feel can be competitive with the high-quality stadiums?"
Several developers have proposed new stadiums for an NFL team at various locations in the Los Angeles area. Given the expected construction timeline, if a franchise were to move to the area in the next few years, it would likely need a temporary home in the city. Although the Rose Bowl was recently upgraded itself and could provide a desired number of suites for a team, local residents have been vocal about not wanting a Sunday tenant in Pasadena.
If any owners have designs on moving to L.A. anytime soon, perhaps they need to pick up the phone and give Haden a ring.
You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.