Roski's group plans to target teams in February

With Ed Roski and his company, Majestic Realty, moving closer to gaining final approval for a new L.A.-area stadium, the next — and potentially far bigger — challenge will be to find a team to play there.

“Come next week, our stadium will be approved,” Majestic exec John Semcken recently said. “Then we’ll be able to go out and buy a football team.”

Semcken said that the group plans to target at least six franchises:  the Bills, Chargers, Jaguars, Vikings, Rams, and Raiders.  The 49ers also could be in play, if they cannot finalize plans for a new stadium in Santa Clara.

“There are at least seven teams that are having an issue,” Semcken
said.  “San Francisco, I think they’re fine.  So the other six teams, one
of those six will move to our stadium.”

Of course, Semcken said last year that a team would be playing in the Los Angeles area come 2009, so his credibility is a little suspect.  He now thinks 2011 is a more likely target for temporary relocation to L.A., with the new stadium opening in 2013.

But keeping with the project’s Field of Dreams re-mixed “if they come, we will build it” vibe, Semcken makes it clear that there will be no football stadium without a football game.

“We cannot build a stadium without a team,” Semcken said.  “Mr. Roski may be rich, but he’s not stupid.”

Then again, Roski isn’t as rich as he used to be.  His personal net worth has dropped in the last year by a whopping $1 billion, down to a paltry $1.5 billion.

The other problem comes from Roski’s gambling interests.  He owns the Silverton Casino Lodge; unless he sells it, he won’t be owning all or any part of an NFL team.  (Unless, that is, he replaces the “ski” in his last name with “oney.”)

Meanwhile, Roski’s quest inadvertently will provide the teams trying to improve their current situations all the leverage they need as they try to get new or improved stadiums in their current markets.

For the NFL, the ideal outcome would be to use Roski’s interest as the vehicle for securing new digs for the Niners, Chargers, Raiders, Rams, and Vikings.  Then, if tickets still aren’t selling in northeast Florida, the Jacksonville Jaguars could sprout some spots and become the L.A. Leopards. 

And if no team is interested in relocating to the nation’s No. 2 market, we continue to believe that Roski’s stadium could host eight neutral-site games per year, once the regular season is expanded to 17 or 18 games.

Under that scenario, Roski likely could keep his casino — and also would fulfill his vision of bringing football back to Los Angeles.

49 responses to “Roski's group plans to target teams in February

  1. My money’s on the Jaguars. But they’ll change the name to Cougars. Because we have those cats out here. Both the 4 legged and bi-pedal.

  2. As a Vikings fan, it looks to me like Roski is a secret agent of Ziggi Wilf. Wilf can now go to the legislature and say give me a stadium or I’ll sell, and the LA Lakers and LA Vikings will have something in common. The problem is that our Governor Tim Pawlenty is serving out the last year before he begins what will probably be a run for President. So he’s not going to budge on it, at least not until he’s right about to be free of office.

  3. I think it’s hilarious that two of the NFLs worst teams used to call LA their home and now are being connected with moving back there. Wonder if Al Davis remembers his team used to play in LA.

  4. Any number of teams could go… it’s all about the money. But I’d tag the already “up for sale” Rams as the favorites. Besides, I’m sure the NFL is cringing at the thought of that dope fiend Rush Limbaugh getting part ownership of a team. One way to avoid that disgrace is to move it to L.A.

  5. The world is now fully aware that Jacksonville is NOT a legitimate NFL town, they have a good talent base and could be a contender in the near term..
    If I’m Roski, book me a room in Jax I got a deal to make..

  6. “Well lets hope Buffalo Bills fans this Sunday don’t drive Ralph Wilson to move the team.”
    Wilson could fire Jauron at halftime while he’s giving his speech, that would turn the boobirds to cheers……

  7. Living in Jacksonville, I’m convinced that Wayne Weaver will never move the team so long as he owns it. He’s done so much for the town and I doubt he will abandon it any time soon. Gene Smith is doing a great job of rebuilding (see – 4 rookie starters) the talent level.
    Also, don’t forget that moving a team from a different area of the country will affect the respective divisions. I think the NFL would much rather see San Diego, Oakland, San Fran or maybe even St. Louis (since it’s an NFC West team already) move rather than Buffalo, Minnesota, or Jacksonville in order to keep the current divisions in place.

  8. It should be remembered that no team in the modern era has moved because of attendance problems. The driving force of teams relocating has been and will continue to be stadium issues. The Vikings are the most likely team to move right now because it appears as though it is unlikely that the use of public funds to build a new stadium there will be approved.

  9. Bills to Toronto, Buc’s to England, Jag’s to Tampa,
    Rams to Mexico City, Chargers to LA, 49er’s stay in SF, Vikes get the stadium in Minny.

  10. As a resident of the state of Minnesota, for the love of god please take the Vikings. Week in and week out I have to hear about how great this stupid ass team is, yet when it comes to the playoff’s, they face a blackout because these bandwagon idiots have no passion about this team. As the Northstars and the Lakers before them the people who make the claim as vikings fans will look back in 10 years and realize what was here.
    Also if they are taking applications to light the fuse that eliminates the Metrodome, where can I sign up?

  11. I lived there when the Rams and Raiders were there, and neither was supported. No one with money is going to want to drive to Industry, for traffic reasons alone. The ideal place is the Rose Bowl, as Pasadena has a higher socio-economic fan base.
    Whatever owner moves their team to LA is stupid. LA won’t support a team – there are too many other options for entertainment, and people are motivated to see their football on Saturdays.
    That being said…
    I just described a certain man in Oakland…

  12. As much as I hate the Vikings because their a big time rival of my favorite team I hope they get a new stadium and stay in Minnesota. They have a great history/tradition & I wouldn’t wanna see the great rivalries disappear with the Pack/Bears. And the same thing with the Bills hope they stay in Buffalo great AFL and NFL tradition.
    I think the Raiders should seriously explore moving up to Sacramento – was there recently and think its a very nice & is better suited for a team than Oakland.
    I think the Jaguars make the most sense – Florida has 2 NFL teams and loves their college football. And I agree they should change the name to LA Cougars.

  13. California Chargers has a nice ring to it. They stay close to their loyal fan base and get a new stadium. Spanos can cash in and keep minority ownership. Cuts down on the moving cost. Does anyone who wants a football team want to deal with Al Davis? The Raiders failed in their last attempt to move here. I attended a playoff game in LA in the mid 80’s. The game meant nothing to the people of LA. The Rams were the team of the city then and they had a hard time drawing fans.

  14. You Steeler-hater!
    Good dig, good dig. If the Jaguars move, will there be anyone at the stadium to notice?

  15. The Jacksonville Jaguars don’t have a stadium issue. Teams don’t move without stadium issues.
    Why is that so hard to understand?
    Not to mention if you move the Jacksonville Jaguars, you’ve got to realign the divisions.
    It’s going to be one of the California teams or the Rams (WHO ARE FOR SALE).

  16. “Well lets hope Buffalo Bills fans this Sunday don’t drive Ralph Wilson to move the team..”
    Nothing but money would make that dusty old fart lift a finger, and he barely even does that. Bills fans have shown incredible loyalty and he rewards them by slapping them across the face and selling games to Toronto.

  17. Seems to me that unless Roski is willing to buy out the final year of the Vikings contract in MN, that eliminates them from contention if his timetable is to be believed.
    Then again, the stadium’s own site claims it will be open and ready to play in by the beginning of the 2011 season so who knows.

  18. “LA won’t support a team – there are too many other options for entertainment, and people are motivated to see their football on Saturdays.”
    I hear this argument frequently and still don’t buy it.
    The Dodgers play 81 home games a year and managed to lead MLB in attendence this year averaging 46,440/game. Granted, the team has a storied history and has been very successful lately, but they have averaged 40,000+ for six straight years, which by MLB standards is noteworthy.
    I’ve said it before and will say it again, if L.A. has ONLY one NFL team, with 8 home dates a year, they will likely succeed.

  19. great news,then once they build the stadium and the teams move after a couple of years we can look forward to all the stories as to why there are so many empty seats as once again the people in lala land prove they don’t care and as rating will reflect the rest if the country does not care either!

  20. That’s funny, the Jags. They would move from one city that didn’t care about football and the team to another one!

  21. @etronsman-
    Moving Minny wouldn’t be a problem. They’d simply switch places with the Rams in their respective divisions.
    I think the ideal team to move is the Chargers, though I believe they’re doing everything they can to stay in San Diego, which includes looking at a new potential cite in northern San Diego.

  22. jamesz23 makes some great points. I’m a die hard Viking fan. The NFC North has some great history and rivalries. Maybe the East and West care not but if I remember right ,look at the MNF ratings record last Monday,somebody cares besides us.Do you Packer and Bear fans really want the Vikes to move? I love the intense games between us, would hate to see you guys move ,I know that much. NFL wouldn’t be the same with the LA Vikings. Same with the Bills,they need to stay put in my opinion. A California team would be a much smarter choice I believe.

  23. The NFL is using Buffalo to get into Canada, and no way Wilson would move. Then again, he’s as old as dirt and won’t be around much longer.
    The Minnesota politicians are actually talking about the Vikes a little more. One legislator suggested a funding proposal via slots last week, probably the only realistic option. I was at the Dome for Monday night’s game and the Twins’ playoff win, and the marshmellow held up just fine for two of the most entertaining events I’ve seen in a while — so we all know what “purpleisgay” can go blow.
    San Diego and Oakland are in economies in worse shape and much closer to LA, and Jacksonville just isn;t an NFL market. Those are the likely options.

  24. It actually makes sense for the Raiders to move back minus Al Davis. Then California would have three teams in geographically separate markets.
    The problem in the NFL is economic demographics are changing and the days of communities building stadiums for Billionaire owners are over. TV is a blessing but a curse for season tickets sales. Big Screen HD has brought game day home without the parking hassle and outrageous prices for a beer. There are three games on TV on every Sunday.

  25. @Wonderlic-
    The only reason the MNF game was a record setter was because #4 plays in Purple now. Yes the games are always good, but if you don’t have #4 going against his old team, no records are broken.
    That said, I wouldn’t want to see the Vikes move. As a Packer fan, I automatically hate the Vikes but I love the rivalry. It makes things much more exciting.

  26. Rams and Raiders already failed in L.A. No sense moving back, but Davis never makes sense.
    Buffalo is moving to Canada if anything, maybe London?
    LA Leopards – ha, nice ring to it. Owner wants to make it work in Jacksonville, but everyone has their limits.
    Chargers and Vikings are having season selling issues and older stadiums make them viable. Especially considering Chargers field is used for baseball too.
    His Silverton Casino is far from flashy and more geared to locals (yes, people do live in Vegas) and long-haul truck drivers. Can’t imagine he’d let it hold him back from getting a team.

  27. @ SpartaChris – Right on about Favre driving the ratings. Didn’t he have people in Iceland and North Korea watching Florio? Glad to see you think that the rivalry is important. The rivalry between the Bears-Pack-Vikes is too good to be screwed with. Only the hated Cowbows comes half as close to me in making a” want to crush you” game.

  28. @ Flyingelvislogosucksbringbackpatpatriot
    Youre welcome.
    Thanks for conveniently ignoring or altogether missing my point.

  29. Since the late 1950’s, no team in any major football league has moved from their city because they had lousy ticket sales for one or two seasons.
    The ONLY reason a team has ever moved from one city to another is because of stadium issues.
    We don’t have stadium issues in Jacksonville. In fact, I think we have one of the nicest and easiest-to-access facilities in the NFL, and I’ve been to a few others.
    I recommend Mr. Roski stay at a hotel at the downtown/riverwalk area when he visits. He’s have a nice view of the stadium the team is not moving out of.
    The Jaguars are not moving anywhere.
    Please stop giving your opinions about what kind of bad NFL town Jacksonville is. You know absolutely nothing about this community.

  30. Also if they are taking applications to light the fuse that eliminates the Metrodome, where can I sign up?
    Probably some cave in Afghanistan….

  31. Also if they are taking applications to light the fuse that eliminates the Metrodome, where can I sign up?
    … or Ted Thompson’s office.

  32. joe.attaboy
    So if Jacksonville is such a good NFL town why can’t they sell out any games? I mean the team is actually pretty good and you have one of the best RB’s in the NFL.
    No one denies JAX is a great city and the stadium may be nice. But to be a great NFL city you have to at least sell out games…cmon

  33. I’m betting on the Vikings. The only hang up is moving that trophy case, oh wait, never mind.

  34. joe.attaboy is correct. I’ve been arguing this same point to people that know nothing about football, which seems to be 99% of the people on this site. Teams DO NOT move based on tickets sells. Almost every team in the league has experienced some sort of not selling tickets from time to time. The bottom line is winning cures everything. Now that the Jags are looking pretty good in the last two games, tickets are selling. The Jags have never had a problem selling out games until this year. Jax isn’t going anywhere. Besides, Jacksonville isn’t the only team not selling tickets this year. Buc, Raiders, Dolphins, Chargers and the Bengals are selling at the last minute. You people know nothing about JAX. Do some homework, learn about the sport of football and then comment. Have a nice day.

  35. oooh Jimmy 1 title in the last 42 years….
    Go ahead and crow about all those championships that you weren’t even alive for……….
    You were born a Packer fan, it’s not like you chose to be one….i know I wouldn’t.

  36. For the love of god can people stop talking about how hard of a time the Vikings have selling out the Dome. It has sold out every game for the last 7+ seasons. There are plenty of teams that can’t say the same for themselves. Yet all these boards are constantly filled with comments about the Vikings and not all those teams.
    Seriously. Can anyone explain why there is so much Vikings hate out there? Is it because the Vikings are the hottest team in the NFL right now or what? I just don’t understand. What have we done to make you crybabies so upset?

  37. The timing is perfect for the Vikings to move. The Metrodome lease expires in 2011 so it would be easy. And having Adrian Peterson would generate excitement in L.A. He’d be the Kobe of football. Not to mention what a star Jared Allen would be out there. Then when the Packers and Bears come to town ticket sales would be good because those teams have a following everywhere. That’s 1/4 of your home schedule that would sell pretty good. Roski’s best move is to get Ziggy (no Minnesota roots) Wilf to bring his team west.

  38. The Vikings would be a terrible choice for the NFL to move. They are a popular team with solid fanbase and rivalries. There are plenty of better options.
    Yes, the Metrodome needs to be replaced. It cannot generate the revenue needed in this market. But it will be replaced and at that time the NFL will be in a much better position.
    The NFL is much better off moving a team that is already close by or has no interest in it.

  39. Wont be San Fran, they will be celebrating Santa Clara voter approval when the next ballot takes place. My hopes is for a gorgeous waterfront stadium in San Fran but seems unlikely.
    Oakland by far is the logical choice. Like someone posted earlier, it makes sense to keep the cali teams in different markets. Raider still have some sort of Fan Base there and a SB title in that city.

  40. It’s funny, admittly things are poor in J’ville right now, but how does that translate to J’ville not being able to support a team? Before this season, and even with tarped seats, we were drawing more fans on average to a home game than the Steelers, Bears, Cowboys(old stadium), and about 8-10 other teams. Go check the facts!
    Jacksonville has suffered big time in this economy, and it will turn around, thus allowing more people to come back to the stadium. Too many people follow ignorant national media hacks who focus on the present. Go check NFL average stadium attendence for 2006-2008 and tell me what you find about J’ville.
    2009 is just a blip on the radar for us. Bad economy. I suppose you all could just listen to the media though, that would be the dense thing to do.

  41. The only chance the Vikes leave MN for LA is that if Jimmysmith & purpleisforgays buy’s the team from Zigi. Jimmy makes 24k at Papa Johns as a manager and purple’s ssi check barely covers the food bill for his fat ass… Again, come up with something new (foolio’s)

    Hahaha thats awesome.
    Funny thing is its true, I’m pretty sure I did see Jimmysmith at PapaJohns but, it was scraping the cheeze from the garbage bags outside onto his hand… Tough times for Packers fans, since barely any seem to work, but spend all their time trying to make fun of every team especially the Vikings.

  43. Chickenfoot says:
    oooh Jimmy 1 title in the last 42 years….
    …which is still better than no titles. EVER.

  44. The Pittsburgh Refs have been a lot more dominant team than the Steelers over the last decade, winning two Super Bowls, and I doubt that city can continue to support both teams.
    I say move the Steelers if anything. I know they have a decent stadium, but the name and that touchdown ketchup-pour really ruin the whole experience.
    That said, Roski does continue to drop hints that he would rather have the Vikings, not the least of which is all the purple on the stadium models and renderings. It’s sure not what I would want, but it does seem to be Roski’s first choice.

  45. Sure it is Beer!
    I’m just tired of everyone harping on titles that none of us were around for.
    Meaning the Curly Lambeau days.
    Hell, Beer, I’m a Cub fan too! I know misery.
    I’m still a fan though.
    They don’t get that win in 96, some packer fans would still be trotting out the late 60’s wins.
    It’s annoying.
    A lot of Packer fans I deal with are unbearable
    ( off site).
    If they are having a winning season they are unbearable. If they aren’t they trot out dusty old Super Bowl titles. You can’t win.
    It’s annoying, but I deal with it.
    You can have 80 titles….I just want 1. Just 1.

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