Wednesday, October 21, 2009

NFL back in LA?


Is there an NFL team moving back to Los Angeles in the near future? Gov. Schwarzenegger seems to think so. NBCLosAngeles.com reports that the Governator has agreed to sign a bill that will allow real estate developer Majestic Realty Co. to begin construction on a new stadium to be located in Southern California's City of Industry. Majestic Reality Co. has targeted several NFL teams in hopes the new stadium will entice franchises to move to LA and have one playing in the new stadium by 2013. Interestingly enough, the teams targeted include all of California's current teams (49ers, Raiders, and Chargers), who are all facing the end of their current stadium agreements.

REACTION:
Targeting the existing California teams make little sense to me. The Chargers and the 49ers seem firmly planted in their hometowns with solid fanbases, and the Raiders, who have been struggling in recent years, have already moved back and forth from Oakland twice. Perhaps another move back to LA will reestablish the Raiders all but forgotten dominance. I'm more intrigued by teams around the country who are struggling not only in the win column, but also in ticket sales.

The Jacksonville Jaguars, who are at the top of my "should-be LA-bound" list of teams, have had several games blacked out due to a decline in ticket sales. At some point in the early 90s, Jacksonville was presented as a viable location for an NFL expansion team. What someone didn't realize is that Jacksonville (practically in Georgia) is only a stone's throw away from Gainesville, home of the ever dominant Gators. A close friend of mine pointed out that northern Floridians would be hard pressed to pay big bucks for a struggling NFL Team, when they have a winning team around the corner at a college bargain. Makes sense, no? Maybe we'll see green and gold, or turquoise, or whatever colors the Jags are, change coasts in the coming years.

The St. Louis Rams are also looking for new ownership and possibilities, but they seem to want to stay firmly grounded on the turf in St. Louis, minimizing the chances of a return to LA. Moving on...

One team that has already expressed disinterest in renewing its stadium lease, up in 2011, happens to be in Minnesota. Would the Vikings give up their Metrodome for sunny Southern Cali? Possibly, but they are currently one of the top teams in the league, and if Favre and Peterson can push the Vikes to the playoffs and beyond, I can imagine we'd see pro football in the 'Land of 1,000 Lakes' for many years to come.

Finally, we have a team that's already discussed moving cities. The Buffalo Bills, also facing franchise problems (ownership, management, coaching, winning...and...well anyway), have entertained notions of moving to Toronto. Even that, however, seemed short lived after the games played across the border revealed a somewhat lack of enthusiasm for a future Canadian team. The Los Angeles Bills? Doesn't sound quite right, but I wouldn't rule out the idea. After all, locations aren't the only thing that can be changed...

For more info on the LA stadium check out http://www.losangelesfootballstadium.com/

2 comments:

  1. Perhaps the Redskins should think of relocating as a change in venue may bring a change in their current standings. LA would work, don't you think?

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  2. The change might invigorate the Redskins to their former glory, but i don't see that move ever happening. The Skins are one of the NFL's oldest franchises and the backbone of DC pro sports. The Washington Redskins will be the Washington Redskins for a long, long time.

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