So unfortunate for a huge city like LA to not have a team and it seems like there's a bit of a split in what people would do/think if NFL went back to LA, the market is huge so I'd have thought it was an ideal place for the sport, and as you say just look what a worldwide name the Lakers have become. Seems though that if there's a lot of doubt over the stadium get anywhere close to pretty full then the NFL won't go to LA for some time yet. Empty seats at Stadiums will impress no one and with that thought I can see why no franchise would want to go to LA. I'm just trying to imagine one of our major cities like London, Manchester or Birmingham without a single team in our national sport and I just can't. However, the 2 markets and the 2 groups of people are very different in the 2 countries and more specifically the areas.
I imagine both Liverpool and Manchester would be described as more like a Chicago or Boston rather than LA. LA would be more like, oh... Portsmouth, only warmer and sunnier in the winter. Plus your football is played in the summer and fall rather than fall and winter right?
The Lakers play in the Staples Center which seats around 19,000. Compare that with the two possible venues for a football team. The Rose Bowl in Pasedena which seats 91,000 and the Coliseum which seats 92,000. Now look at Soldier Field where the Bears play, which seats 61,500, and the new Gillette stadium for the Pats which seats 68,700 (just to pick a couple NFL examples).
To my knowledge there are no other stadium options in the LA area. Which means any team that goes to LA will have to work around the two available stadiums which are really too big for an NFL franchise and/or build their own. I can guarantee they will get no support for a publicly financed stadium (ask Al Davis about THAT ball of fire), so they will have to build their own. If they do try and stick with what's available they will have to work around the current tenants schedule (USC at the Coliseum, and UCLA at the Rose Bowl) not the other way around. They will have to configure the stadium for an NFL size and block off about 30,000 seats which never looks good on TV. And they will be competing dollar for dollar with the current professional football franchise in LA, that being USC (did I say that???), and the LA Lakers. The NBA doesn't have the same blackout policies the NFL does. So if the Lakers don't sell out they are still seen on TV.
Unless you sell out your stadium your team will never be seen in your own market. It's a conundrum. Al Davis regularly had to buy up his own empty seats so the games could sell out so his teams games would be shown on TV.
For a team to make it in LA they would need two things, The population to suddenly go blind and vote yes on a stadium proposition, and you would need a readymade championship calibre team (like the Colts or the Pats) that can excite the city, and bring out the stars, which will bring out the masses.
The alternative is to basically bleed money until you can build a winner.