For the first time since the 1990s, the NFL will conduct an official survey of the Los Angeles market to determine the market demand for an NFL team and to get a sense of what premium fans would be interested in according to this report from the LA Times' Sam Farmer.
The effort will begin with an email questionnaire to roughly 2,000 potential customers who would be likely to purchase suites, club seats or season tickets, the lifeblood of stadium revenue.
What does it really mean? Exactly what Farmer said it means.
It is an incremental step in the process, indicating that the league has intensified its attention on the nation's second-largest market.
This is a league effort, not a city one and not a team-specific one. It's just a suggestion of how serious the league is getting about having a franchise in the market.
This comes on the heels of a report on Sunday from CBS Sports' Jason LaCanfora who reported the Rams and Raiders would "both be formalizing plans to move to Los Angeles in 2015 if not for NFL intervention."
LaCanfora joined the Morning After show on St. Louis-area radio station CBS Sports 920AM this morning to discuss his piece and what his sources are telling him on the situation (JLC interview starts around the 28:00 mark):
Tim McKernan of the show laid out the highlights on his Twitter timeline, but the bottom line for LaCanfora's reporting remains the same: his sources are telling him the Rams and Raiders are beyond interested. In order to buy into that, you have to buy into his sources. I'll leave that up to you.
What's worth remembering is that the NFL is holding the keys. For a team to move, the franchise and the target city would have to submit a plan that meets the demands of Roger Goodell, whatever those may be. He may not even have the details in front of him to really have discussions on the matter.
But the commissioning of the survey itself suggests the league is at least moving toward getting those details and reaching the highest level of interest in having a team in the NFL since Los Angeles became a city without an NFL team.
(UPDATED by 3k)
The survey's are out. Here's what they look like from TSTer @LARamsfan818: