Chargers staying in San Diego another year, Raiders still rumored to be moving everywhere and its sister

Today in people who used to be famous talking about where the Oakland Raiders might move, it’s former San Antonio mayor Henry Cisneros, who says that the team could be taking his city seriously as — hey, wait a minute! This is a repeat!

In newsier NFL maybe-relocation news, the San Diego Chargers owners have announced that they’re not opting out of their lease for 2015, which means they’re not moving to Los Angeles to play in a stadium that hasn’t even been planned yet, either. The Los Angeles Times’ Sam Farmer takes this as a sign that no NFL teams are moving to L.A. next year, on the theory that if somebody were, then the Chargers would want in too to avoid being left stuck in San Diego with an old stadium and two other teams on their doorstep. I’d stick with the theory that nobody’s moving to L.A. because there’s nowhere to play there that’s any better than teams’ old stadium back home, though.

Raiders, Rams continuing to move everywhere or nowhere, according to wild-ass guesses

Today in wild speculation about which NFL teams might move where:

A different former Oakland Raiders player says that the team could maybe possibly move, though this one has San Antonio as their maybe possibly destination!

“I think they should stay in Oakland if at all possible and I know that’s what the team is trying to do,” [Tim] Brown said on Friday’s PFT Live. “They’re trying to work out a deal to stay there, but it’s tough because the city of Oakland doesn’t have the funds to get it done and it seems like to everybody that really L.A. is trying to woo any team. . . .

“I’ll tell you, the wild card here, I believe, is San Antonio. I know people don’t want to hear that, but from what I’m hearing the package that San Antonio put on the table was far better than any package they could have ever imagined. So financially the best thing for the team may be to go to San Antonio.”

NFL vice president for stadium grubbing Eric Grubman told owners that multiple teams are interested in moving to Los Angeles, possibly next year, possibly not! According to “sources”!

Eric Grubman, the NFL executive overseeing the LA initiative for the league, spoke during the meeting and acknowledged that there were multiple teams with the intent of moving to Los Angeles as soon as next season, and explained that there remained multiple options for when and where those teams might relocate within the LA region, sources said.

And our old pal Ken Belson of the New York Times says that nobody’s moving to L.A. next year, because there won’t be a stadium deal by then!

Discussions with league officials and owners on the sidelines of the meeting confirmed that the prospect of an N.F.L. team’s playing in 2015 in Los Angeles — which has not had a team for two decades — was increasingly unlikely. … In a game of cat and mouse, no one appears willing to build a stadium until a team has committed to moving.

Add it all up, and you get that nobody really knows anything, though it’s clear that the NFL really wants to heat up the threat of teams moving to L.A. (duh) and getting a stadium built in L.A. will be tough (double duh). Belson also reports that the threat seems to be working to shake down at least one other city for stadium plans, with St. Louis Sports Commission chair Dave Peacock having shared preliminary ideas for a new Rams stadium at one of several sites with Grubman, though “preliminary” apparently doesn’t here mean “with any idea of how to pay for it.”

Stay tuned here for more non-news as it doesn’t happen!

Raiders-to-LA “legitimate” possibility, says NFL reporter, citing no one at all

Who’s spreading rumors about the Oakland Raiders moving to Los Angeles today? Why, it’s NFL.com reporter (and Pez collector) Ian Rapoport, and he says it on Twitter so it must be true:

Okay, then! Somebody somewhere said something that made an NFL reporter “realize” that the Raiders might move to L.A.! Either we’re getting a rare glimpse behind the scenes of negotiations, or somebody is using sports reporters to float rumors that may or may not be true. Definitely one of those two!

Sure would be nice for someone to actually do some reporting on whether anyone can actually afford to build a new stadium in L.A., which would seem to be a prerequisite of anyone moving there. And speaking of stadium funding and Twitter, this doesn’t seem to be a good sign at all for L.A. stadium advocates:

Though of course if an L.A. team can sell the PSLs before fans realize they’re not worth what they’re paying for them, then it’s the fans’ problem, not the team’s. Sure do hope no NFL fans in L.A. can read Twitter.

Somebody with “NFL contacts” exploring Carson as L.A. stadium site, says guy who owns land in Carson

Another day, another newspaper story with vague rumors of reports of rumors of NFL teams moving to Los Angeles. This week: A guy who owns property in Carson says he talked to somebody who knows a guy who might want to build a stadium there, maybe!

Executives with two of the teams widely considered to be looking to move have approached a local developer who is in escrow to become a major partner in the company that operates the golf course. These executives made queries about the site.

“Yes, I have been approached by two separate groups with NFL contacts,” said Jeffrey Klein, a Newport Beach developer. “And yes, there’s no question it’s an attractive place for a stadium.”

Klein wouldn’t name the teams that had “contacts” with these groups, so right now all we know is that somebody who wants to work with the NFL on a stadium has at least checked in on Carson. Or a guy who owns property in Carson is trying to drum up interest in developing his land, and has decided to spread wild NFL rumors to get some attention. But naw, real estate developers would never do that.

Boomer Esiason says something about something! Click me, click me, click me!

This what do people with no power over whether NFL teams move to L.A. think about NFL teams moving to L.A. beat just keeps on going! Today’s entry: Sports radio host Boomer Esiason, who totally thinks both the Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams are going to move there! Because “there have been reports all over the place”!

You know, there’s actual reporting that news sites could be doing on this — looking into whether anyone is making any progress on getting a new stadium built, into what if anything Los Angeles elected officials would offer toward getting one done, or even just trying to shake loose whether any NFL execs have been meeting to discuss an L.A. move or two. But, you know, that’s real hard compared to reprinting what various famous people are saying. Better to stick with that — besides, famous people make great clickbait!

Rich guy working on getting NFL team for L.A. says he’d like to get NFL team for L.A.

Last week Marcus Allen, this week the former head of Disney weighs in on the possibility of the Oakland Raiders moving to L.A.:

“It’s not my decision,” he said. “It’s not the mayor’s decision. The owners decide.”

And:

“If we could pull this off, particularly in the downtown area, that the renaissance of Los Angeles … could be enhanced,” he said.

And:

“I’m a Disney guy. I’m looking for the end of the movie to be happy,” he said.

And … come on, people, this guy has been working as an unpaid advisor to Mayor Eric Garcetti (read: lobbyist who gets his own desk) on an NFL stadium deal, so this is news that he thinks an NFL stadium deal would be a good thing? Seriously?

The Raiders, at least, are doing all that they can do quash any interest in where they play in the future, managing the team’s most lopsided loss since 1961. Maybe this will mean we’ll at least be spared articles about whether Kobe Bryant would deign to talk to the Raiders if they moved to town.

Raiders, Chargers owners say words “Los Angeles,” newspaper writers can mail it in from there

OMG OMG OMG Mark Davis said something nice about Los Angeles! He’s totally moving the Oakland Raiders there!

“Los Angeles is a great option.” Davis said.

An option for the Raiders?

“Absolutely,” he said.

And just to be clear, he added: “Sure. We loved it when we were down here.”

And San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos said something nice about it, too, so the Chargers are totally moving there too!

“We’re looking into all our possibilities, all our options,” Spanos said.

Does that mean potentially re-locating to Los Angeles?

“I’m just keeping all my options open,” Spanos said.

And Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan hasn’t said anything about Los Angeles, so they’re totally not moving there!

Of course, cynical types might point out that sports team owners say these kinds of things all the time, whether they’re actually interested in moving or just trying to put pressure on hometown elected officials to get cracking on stadium subsidies. (Or both. There’s nothing saying owners can’t work both sides of this street.) But we don’t allow cynical types around here, so let’s welcome your 2015 Los Angeles Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers! They’ll totally find a vacant lot to play in by then.

Dodger Stadium “in play” as temporary NFL venue, says [out of characters, remainder of message omitted]

We have officially reached Full Hype Machine with the NFL-to-Los Angeles rumor: Following on human full hype machine Mike Florio reporting on Sunday that the NFL “plans” to put a team or two in L.A. in the next year or two, the Los Angeles Times’ Sam Farmer has now tweeted this:

That’s, okay, “interesting” is a decent word for it. Some items of interest that presumably didn’t fit in a tweet: Who told Farmer this? Why would a team (or two) want to play at Dodger Stadium instead of the L.A. Coliseum or Rose Bowl? Does “temporary” mean while a new stadium plan gets approved, or while it gets built after it’s approved? All ripe topics for further investigation by the sports media.

Or, you know, the sports media could just do this. And this. And this.

AEG faces deadline for landing NFL team, asks for new deadline

And speaking of L.A., AEG wants another six months on its option to build an NFL stadium by the L.A. Convention Center, because it’s sure not going to do anything by the October 17 deadline. NFL VP Eric Grubman wrote to the Los Angeles Times in a statement yesterday that the league is “encouraged enough by recent progress that we share AEG’s view that continued conversations would be worthwhile,” which of course he’d say that, because what’s the downside for NFL teams in having another six months of a potential relocation target dangling out there?

Both mayor Eric Garcetti and city council president Herb Wesson say they’re happy to give AEG another six months of rope, so it looks like this will likely happen. At some point you’d think that L.A. officials would have to move on, but, you know, it isn’t always easy to spot the warning signs.

NFL could build L.A. stadium itself, charge team owner fees, and wait, how does this solve anything?

Sunday’s L.A. Times had a completely unsourced (unless you count a single quote from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft) article speculating that the NFL could break the football logjam in Los Angeles by just building a stadium with its own money, then renting it to an NFL team. This could work, writes the Times’ Sam Farmer, in either of two ways:

  • The NFL pays for building the stadium, then earns its money back via a hefty “relocation fee” for whichever team moves in.
  • The NFL pays for building the stadium, then reimburses itself by selling naming rights, PSLs, and other goodies associated with the new building.

I’m sure you see the problem here: In the first case, any owner wishing to move to L.A. would effectively end up paying the cost of the new stadium, just funneled through the NFL. In the second, the owner would get a new stadium more or less free — but without the big revenues associated with a new stadium, which is the whole point of wanting one.

Now, paying for new NFL stadiums with PSL and naming rights revenue can work in certain situations — we’ve seen that with the San Francisco 49ers‘ Santa Clara stadium. But the 49ers had a strong incentive to remain in the Bay Area (since it’s where their fans already are), and the South Bay is an exceptionally lucrative market, and the 49ers are an exceptionally popular team, all of which makes for exceptionally big money from PSL sales. For other team owners, giving up either wads of cash or piles of future revenue streams to move to L.A. isn’t likely to seem too enticing when there’s still a chance of getting significant stadium subsidies out of their current home markets.

Really, NFL financing has the same problem as the developer-led stadium plans: Somebody has to pay the cost of a $1 billion stadium, and there’s only so much money to go around to pay construction costs and boost an owners’ profits. The only way this would be a game-changing option would be if the NFL decided it so wants to have a team in L.A. that it’s willing to take a loss on a stadium in order to get it done — but given that market size doesn’t matter much in football, I wouldn’t hold your breath.

The other possibility, of course, is that somebody leaked this “hey, we could build a stadium!” line to Farmer in an attempt to drum up articles making an L.A. stadium seem more feasible, thus putting perceived teeth into NFL teams’ move threats in order to get stadium cash out of their own cities. But naaaaah. The NFL would never be that Machiavellian, right?