Magic Johnson says that Los Angeles will have an NFL franchise within 24 months.
The city has been without a team since Christmas Eve 1994, when the Raiders lost to the Chiefs 19-9, cleared out their lockers, and moved back to the Bay Area. Magic, who is part of a consortium that owns the Los Angeles Dodgers and is a former part owner of the Lakers, expressed optimism for an NFL return at a joint practice between the Cowboys and Raiders, reported Yahoo Sports.
“I think for the first time, I truly believe we’re going to get a team. Finally,” the basketball icon remarked. “Everybody is on board. The city is on board. The business community is on board. The NFL is on board. Finally we have momentum. In the next couple years, at least in the next 24 months, I think one team will be coming. I don’t know what team that will be, but I believe in the next two years we’ll have a team.”
Some might speculate that given Johnson’s closeness with the Davis family, longtime owners of the Raiders, he might have the inside track on the thought process within the franchise. However, Johnson, who met with team owner Mark Davis, denied talking about the possible return. Notably, the Raiders lease ends at the end of the season and have already talked with team officials in San Antonio about relocating there.
If it was up to Raiders season-ticket holder Magic Johnson, however, he would love to see them come back to the City of Angels. “It would be great to have the Raiders back in L.A.,” the always ebullient former point guard said. “I would love for that to happen. But that’s going to be up to Mark and the Raiders and the NFL. But I would love to have the Raiders back in L.A., where they belong. We just want a team. We want a team in the worst way.”