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Atlanta the latest to hear threats of L.A. eyeballing team

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Atlanta Falcons Getty Images

If it was a football play, it would be stopped in the backfield for a loss of yardage, every time it was called, because it is so telegraphed.

But that doesn’t stop the Los Angeles card from being thrown every time an NFL owner tries to extract money from his local government.

It was Charlotte recently, now it’s moved down Interstate 85 to Atlanta, where the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that Falcons owner Arthur Blank has told area officials he had been approached by L.A. interests who want to move his team there.

The Falcons just so happen to be in the middle of wrangling for public money to build a new stadium to replace the Georgia Dome, an acceptable if soulless barn which hosts many other events in addition to Falcons games.

“It’s incumbent on us to make sure we don’t lose the franchise,” Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday. “What it does is emphasize the fact that having a major football team like the Atlanta Falcons is a sought-after commodity. I recognize that fact.”

According to the report, Blank “reportedly” told Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed of the interest from L.A.

But Deal seemed to say Blank hadn’t done that directly, suggesting the implied threat that is so common from people who don’t want to dirty their hands by wringing your wallets dry of cash themselves.

“Arthur Blank has never played that card, and I give him credit for that,” Deal said, adding:  “I have not had any direct conversations about this.”

No one has to have direct conversations, so long as word gets out, “reportedly” or otherwise, about the threat of dropping the big one on an NFL market.

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46 Responses to “Atlanta the latest to hear threats of L.A. eyeballing team”
  1. fitz66 says: Jan 29, 2013 3:44 PM

    One poor fan base for another. Sounds like a good swap.

  2. mjbulls45 says: Jan 29, 2013 3:47 PM

    just move the Raiders back there and get it over with.

    its raiders or nothing,

    Al didnt wanna leave, Rozelle and the NFL didnt help get the LA stadium funded bc Rozelle wanted his own team there after being commish.

    and bill callahan threw the SB, john lynch had those words to tomlin , its obv callahan called the gruden favorite plays, gruden played himself in a video game pretty much.

    also hue jackson is tied into the ray lewis deer antler fiasco,

    also jim harbaugh 1st got his nfl coaching gig with oakland and was on that 2002-2003 sb run team.

    even when reggie mckenzie tries to run the raiders in the ground,

    the team still stays relevant in the superbowl.

  3. pftstory says: Jan 29, 2013 3:48 PM

    Stadium will be in Atlanta with some public money or outside the perimeter, where most of the fans reside, with all private funding.
    Sure LA approaches them. They’d be silly not to. Falcons also be silly to tell everyone the real chances of it being considered as a viable option.

  4. sb44champs says: Jan 29, 2013 3:49 PM

    Stay in Atlanta, Saints need little brother to beat up on every season and we don’t need another ‘darling’ market the NFL would want to bend the rules for (see Patriots)…

  5. marvsleezy says: Jan 29, 2013 3:51 PM

    What if public subsidies to sports teams were made illegal? Would anyone be against this?

  6. cosanostra71 says: Jan 29, 2013 3:53 PM

    Isn’t the Georgia Dome like 20 years old? Is it really that bad?

  7. jjb0811 says: Jan 29, 2013 3:54 PM

    The NFL for you: build a new stadium every 10 years or lose your team!

    I find it pathetic that LA is so obsessed about having a team yet no one wants to go there! I mean who the heck wants to pay the highest taxes in the nation anyways?

  8. bucrightoff says: Jan 29, 2013 3:56 PM

    Seriously, LA doesn’t want or really deserve a team. Whatever team you move there will be moving out of LA within 10 years.

  9. lightcleric says: Jan 29, 2013 3:59 PM

    The “economic development” argument is a myth. There’s plenty of studies that have proven it false, including from investment groups like UBS (published in an article in The Atlantic) and from professors at Stanford and other universities that show it’s just a tool to milk the public for money.

  10. bucs24 says: Jan 29, 2013 4:00 PM

    Move them

  11. rollteal says: Jan 29, 2013 4:02 PM

    This is simply stupid nothing is really wrong. The Georgia Dome at this time it’s hardly over 20 years old if its that big of a deal why can’t they a Modified retractable roof on top on the current structure.
    Falcons to Los Angeles is ludicrous.
    LA’s big money groups are like vultures looking for the dead corpse.

  12. wwttww says: Jan 29, 2013 4:03 PM

    Only if they take the Hawks too!

  13. devildog911 says: Jan 29, 2013 4:10 PM

    L.A. Falcons….nah, doesn’t sound right.

  14. thevza says: Jan 29, 2013 4:12 PM

    Arthur Blank just wants to make sure any new stadium would have a Home Depot store inside of it.

  15. peoplesrepublic0fdabayarea says: Jan 29, 2013 4:12 PM

    Bring back the Los Angeles Rams

  16. breakingb says: Jan 29, 2013 4:13 PM

    Can’t the Saints get sent to LA?

  17. FinFan68 says: Jan 29, 2013 4:15 PM

    The NFL is making more money off of threatening to move to LA than they would if a team actually went there. The only way a team goes to LA is if a team already in California does it. Cali taxes are very high and enormous tax breaks would be required to justify moving a team from out of state. That would be hard to do in conjunction with the tax issues necessary for building a new stadium.

  18. hoops737 says: Jan 29, 2013 4:15 PM

    If the Falcons move, who will the Saints beat down on a yearly basis?

    Keep the rivalry flowing

  19. brewcrewfan54 says: Jan 29, 2013 4:17 PM

    Los Angeles has lost 2 teams. I don’t care how large their market is they don’t deserve one. And the fact owners want new stadiums when their current ones are barely 20 years old is ridiculous.

  20. duluthvikesfan says: Jan 29, 2013 4:17 PM

    Enjoy the madness that comes with trying to get a new stadium, Falcons fans! You are going to hear about implied threats to leave for LA everyday until the new stadium is a done deal. We sure did here in Minnesota!

  21. firstroyal says: Jan 29, 2013 4:18 PM

    What if public subsidies to sports teams were made illegal? Would anyone be against this?
    ————

    Agreed as long as they make illegal public funding for all the other crap that 90 percent of the population does not care about- like the arts and public broadcasting.

    at least this has some sort of logical purpose

  22. steelerben says: Jan 29, 2013 4:23 PM

    If the Falcons leave for LA, will anyone notice?

  23. srcnsd says: Jan 29, 2013 4:35 PM

    Los Angeles had TWO teams, and couldn’t hold on to either one of them. Why do they deserve to get another?

  24. ampats says: Jan 29, 2013 4:36 PM

    The bigger lesson is that there is a group from LA aggressively courting teams to move. There are alot of franchises that could be lured to move if they don’t get the deals they want from their respective cities.

  25. grendelg says: Jan 29, 2013 4:37 PM

    Saints fans are the WORST. Can’t you just accept your losing season with grace? Every Saints fan is like Logicalvoice or whatever for the Redskins.

  26. spartan822 says: Jan 29, 2013 4:42 PM

    Good luck with that, Atlanta. I feel for you.

    - a Vikings fan

  27. cacheesehead1237 says: Jan 29, 2013 4:44 PM

    I have been saying for years that the NFL has no interest in putting a team in LA until it has extracted new stadiums for all current teams. LA is simply a hammer that is used to force cities to pony up the dough for a new stadium under threat of the team relocating to LA.

  28. granadafan says: Jan 29, 2013 4:45 PM

    It’s just wrong that billionaire owners of businesses worth billions in a monopoly organization worth almost a hundred billion cannot “afford” to build to build their own place of work. Instead, they hold communities hostage with threats to move and then prevent them from watching their product if the stadium isn’t sold out. Ah, the NFL.

  29. fortphiladamsterdam says: Jan 29, 2013 4:52 PM

    So because the governor says Blank hasn’t pulled that card with him, means that Blank never said anything to the mayor? It’s possible, but you’re drawing a line that doesn’t exist there.

  30. 11gixsix says: Jan 29, 2013 4:59 PM

    As a Vikings fan I am so glad we do not have to hear our names thrown into these conversations anymore. California does not need a 4th team its absurd. Some states cant even get 1. I know a lot of those states are big college states but I’m just saying… Move one of the 3 teams you already have in the state to LA that way the fans can still make the drive and still be fans.

  31. MyTeamsAllStink says: Jan 29, 2013 5:13 PM

    Move the Raiders to Sacramento.Once the Kings leave they’ll be the darlings of that area and won’t be pushed to the background by the Niners,Giants,Warriors and college sports.Ever listen to Bay Area sports talk and hear raider talk?Better listen closely because it’s very brief.If they go back to LA they’ll be a distant third to Laker basketball and USC football.

  32. catfanatic1979v1 says: Jan 29, 2013 5:16 PM

    Honestly, if you can’t afford to build a stadium out of pocket then you shouldn’t be running an NFL franchise in the first place.

  33. cooklynn17 says: Jan 29, 2013 5:46 PM

    Just take a team from Florida and call it a day.

  34. gotampabay52 says: Jan 29, 2013 5:53 PM

    move falcons give us the jags in their place

  35. musicman495 says: Jan 29, 2013 5:57 PM

    breakingb says: Jan 29, 2013 4:13 PM

    Can’t the Saints get sent to LA?
    ————-
    The Saints are already in LA.

  36. whodatnhollywood says: Jan 29, 2013 7:05 PM

    We don’t want the Falcons here in LA! Oh, hell no! I want my Saints to continue whipping their tails in ATL!

    I’m SICK of billionaire NFL owners holding up their cities with a threat of moving to LA. While I know it’s mutual usery between them and LA, enough is enough! Fish ain’t bitin’ no more!

    Furthermore, the Georgia Dome is younger than the Mercedes Benz Superdome! It’s still a nice place. They just need to renovate it. It’s UNFAIR to the citizens of ATL for the Falcons to be crying for a new stadium when they still have a relatively young stadium. It’s much cheaper to update it than rebuild it.

    Plus, the Falcons have to get over themselves and their arrogance! The Georgia Dome is not just for them! There are other sports teams and conventions that depend on the covered stadium.

    So, it would be foolish to build an open-air stadium for only 10 NFL games per year~11 if the Falcons luck up and win the division. Can you imagine the price of Falcons tix with a new stadium!!!? It’s already sick that it costs $35 to park at these sporting events!

    So, Big Bank Blank, if you want a new stadium, build it yourself! And don’t drag LA in the middle of your mess!

    Geaux Saints!

  37. mazblast says: Jan 29, 2013 8:02 PM

    Let’s make this easier. Just release a list of teams by their lease expiration dates. Even the ESPN Holy Trinity of Dallas, New England, and the Giants. No one should be excluded from the rumor mill.

  38. dfalcon3522 says: Jan 29, 2013 8:14 PM

    A friend reminded me today that it was amid talks almost 20 years ago of moving the Falcons to Jacksonville that helped get the GA Dome built. This sounds like something Blank will use as some leverage. No way he intends on moving the team to LA…Period End of Story

  39. dfalcon3522 says: Jan 29, 2013 8:19 PM

    Also this new stadium is not about the condition of the GA Dome, it never has been. It’s all about more money that Mr. blank can make. The way the deal with GWCC was made Mr Blank doesn’t get half of the revenue that other stadiums generate. It’s about concession sales & parking sales that he doesn’t get. That’s it in a nutshell. If he builds a new stadium that he owns he gets all the cash from these sells.

  40. jason1980 says: Jan 29, 2013 8:57 PM

    Arthur Blank in a sheep in wolves clothing. I wouldn’t trust that snake oil salesman any farther than I could throw him. L.A. Falcons does have a nice ring to it. Lord knows with their fair weather fan base, L.A. would be a great destinations.

  41. stlouisramsbaby says: Jan 29, 2013 9:18 PM

    so who would go to the NFC South? I guess it’d be the St. Louis Rams but I gotta admit I’d hate to leave the NFC West but I’d be licking my chops at the NFC South.

    LA Falcons…its got a nice ring to it

  42. whoknowsnothing says: Jan 30, 2013 12:36 AM

    I’ll bet they will even ask the Packers to move there, lol. L.A. will take any team that is willing to go they just haven’t found anyone to say yes to their offer.

  43. footballchic777 says: Jan 30, 2013 5:22 AM

    They need to get a team in LA if they are gonna put one there, so every other team can stop using it as a threat. The Falcons owner should be thankful their fans have stood by them and supported him, and work in a deal without the threats!

  44. redzonerocks says: Jan 30, 2013 3:47 PM

    This is nothing more than sabre-rattling…and it will probably work. I’m so glad I don’t live within the city limits of Atlanta.

  45. NoHomeTeam says: Jan 30, 2013 7:47 PM

    11gixsix says: . . . California does not need a 4th team its absurd. Some states cant even get 1. … Move one of the 3 teams you already have in the state to LA that way the fans can still make the drive and still be fans.

    ***************

    You don’t own a map of the western US, do you?

  46. ilovefoolsball says: Jan 31, 2013 9:26 AM

    I just got back from a trip to Los Angeles and I now know why people say they wouldn’t support an NFL team.

    It’s because they don’t support anything! There is no civic pride. There is no hometown feel. Everybody does their own thing and no one really gathers together for anything. I’m sure there are exceptions but having been to a lot of major cities I can say that L.A. definitely feels like the least likely place to support something as a community.

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