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October 07, 2009
L.A. developers target six (or seven) NFL teams
Majestic Realty stadium czar John Semcken has officially announced his hit list for NFL franchises to lure to Los Angeles, and it looks like the L.A. Times guessed right:
Semcken said new talks would begin after the Super Bowl in February, and may involve the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Buffalo Bills, the Minnesota Vikings, the St. Louis Rams, the Chargers and the Oakland Raiders.
The San Francisco 49ers could also be pursued if a vote for a new stadium in Santa Clara fails.
Semcken said a new stadium could open in 2013, but a team could be relocated as early as next year or the year after, playing at a temporary site for the first couple of years.
In related news, Majestic owner Ed Roski has lost $1 billion of his $2.5 billion net worth in the last year, according to Forbes, thanks to the California real estate crash. Stadium consultant Marc Ganis calls this "significant"; Majestic says it's just a flesh wound.
Honestly I don't see the Niners leaving the Bay Area, a market in which they've got a very large fanbase and regularly fill Candlestick despite it being the worst stadium in the NFL (not while they've got the Santa Clara stadium on the front burner and the Hunter's Point Stadium on the back burner). Likewise I can't see the Chargers moving while they've got 2 stadium plans of their own in the works in San Diego. The Bills too I don't see moving to LA, not when Toronto is right nearby as a viable option for threats against Buffalo for a new stadium. Minnesota will likely cough up the money for a new stadium for the Vikes as they won't want to lose them.
In my mind that leaves the 3 likeliest culprits, Rams, depending on how this sale to Rush Limbaugh works out. Raiders, since they've got a less than ideal stadium situation and have shown no independent movement to resolve it (Roski's stadium gives them the out I suspect they've been waiting for to abandon Oakland again, a town they've never been happy to have returned to). And the final team is to my mind the most obvious, Jacksonville. The Jags are blacked out most of the time now, claim they have stadium issues, and have become an issue for the NFL. I suspect we'll most likely see a scenario where either one or two of the Rams, Raiders, Jags move to LA.
The team that will end up in LA will likely be the Raiders (It makes too much sense, economically, contractually, politically, and competively (Of course, without Al Davis).In addition, Jacksonville has a lease agreement that goes until 2030, and if the Bills leave Buffalo, it will be Toronto, so those options are very slim for LA. Minnesota and the Rams are possible choices for LA because you can have one NFC and one AFC team in LA.
Jaguars? They're talking about home games in Orlando.
Rams? Rush Limbaugh tried to bigfoot his way onto "Monday Night Football" and was told GTFO.
Vikings? Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is running for President and the club's lease at the Metrodome may become a campaign issue.
If the Raiders go to LA, Oakland will still have massive debt from the Coliseum renovations that were made when the Raiders came back to Oakland. The debt is more than $20 mill/year out of their city budget.
To my mind Oakland gets what it deserves if the Raiders leave. They knew Al Davis was a good for nothing liar from his treatment of them in the 80's, yet they invited him back, spent millions "renovating" the Coliseum despite the protests of the A's whom had been their long time loyal tenants (and set in motion the A's desire to leave Oakland) and poorly mismanaged the PSLs that were supposed to cover their costs. Oakland made it's bed now it can live in it as far as I'm concerned.
This isn't a case of a city that unknowingly lured a sports team that seemed to have a nice owner who genuinely wanted to work with and be part of the community. They had a very bad history with and knew Al Davis wasn't worth the track suit he wears and was just looking for a quick public handout yet they invited him back to their city anyway. And you're right LA will invite him back, making the same mistake. Why people keep wanting the Raiders to move to their city as long as Al is breathing is beyond me.
The Rams will not be moving to L.A.
If Rush owns the team, do you think he will want to bring to Liberal Los Angeles?
And do you think Liberal Los Angeles would want him?
If Rush buys the Rams I don't think they will move to to LA. Rush is from Missouri, and the other guy who would be the proposed co-owner with Limbaugh, Dave Checketts, also is from St. Louis and owns the NHL's Blues. That type of ownership duo doesn't look like they'd be interested in turning their back on their home state right after purchasing a team. If Checketts/Limbaugh don't get the Rams then I could easily see the Rams leaving to LA now that they have an easy out in their stadium lease and a new deal could be worked out with Roski getting a stake in the new ownership group. Rosenbloom is looking to sell this team so anything can happen.
I still think the Vikes or Raiders are the leading candidates. All the arguments presented for the Raiders makes sense, and the Vikes have been looking for a way out of Minnesota for a long time now, and every previous attempt to get a new stadium has fallen through. Neither Pawlenty nor the (myriad of) candidates running for the 2010 Governorship will want to finance the new stadium with public money, and there's not enough private investment in the Twin Cities for a new arena. LA would be a huge boost in revenue for them.
Looks like LA won't be w/o NFL pigskin for long...
If I had to look into my crystal ball this minute,
the Raiders will be back in LA because of marketing purposes like the NY Giants,
SF 49ers,Wash.Redskins,Pitt.Steelers, Mia.Dolphins,NE Pats,Den.Broncos,Ind.Colts,etc.
FYI-someway,somehow,Minn.is going to figure out how to keep the Vikes(not necessarily in the Twin Cities IMO though),because the NFL is not now or EVER will screw up their 8x4 team alignment,plus
there won't be any expansion for awhile until
its absolutely necessary.
If the Vikes leave MN,look for the state to make
an attempt to sc up the Jax.Jaguars.
I'm calling it right now if the Raiders stay
where they are...or do they.Stay tuned.
Well it looks like any concerns about the Rams being off the table because Limbaugh and his group were going to buy them can be put to rest. Appears the NFL is as likely to welcome him to their owners club as Democrats would to a fundraiser.
I have to think the Jaguars would be the #1 candidate. Small city, low attendance, stadium issues, tv Market......