Exploring the L.A. options


With the NFL likely to fill the 20-year-old L.A. vacancy next month, it makes sense to identify each of the potential permutations.

Although some would say I rarely do anything that makes much sense, I’ve decided to accept the challenge. (Whether the analysis makes sense is a different issue.)

Here are the options, in no particular order:

1. Rams only in Inglewood: This would relegate the Chargers to San Diego and the Raiders to Oakland, giving Rams owner Stan Kroenke what he wants at a time when the powers-that-be in St. Louis are making progress on a new stadium. Working against this outcome is the fact that the league is upset with San Diego’s proposed contributions to a new stadium, and a sense that Chargers owner Dean Spanos has earned — via 15 years of patience — the ability to move. Also, Kroenke has rubbed some owners (including key L.A. committee member Jerry Richardson) the wrong way by not showing proper respect for the league’s relocation protocol. Favoring the Rams staying put is that some owners fear failing to finish the job with public officials in Missouri will make public officials in future stadium negotiations less likely to do the dance.

2. Chargers and Raiders in Carson: This is the deal that former 49ers and Browns executive Carmen Policy has been pushing, with the recent promise that Disney CEO Bob Iger will assist the project — and possibly buy a piece of one of the teams. Believed to be a major boost when Iger’s involvement was announced, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that multiple owners pushed back against the presumption that Iger will move the needle on an L.A. stadium and otherwise ensure success of the teams that will share it. This option would keep the Rams in St. Louis, and that would require a leap of faith that funding and litigation issues arising from a proposed new stadium there would break the league’s way.

3. Chargers only in Carson: This would require a funding mechanism that makes up for the revenue not realized by the Raiders also playing 10 games per year in what would be a shared stadium. Earlier this year, however, the thinking was that, if a simple 17-vote majority were sufficient to approve franchise relocation, this would be the winning option.

4. Chargers and Rams in Inglewood: Sure, the Chargers reportedly aren’t interested in partnering up with the Rams. But attitudes may change — quickly — once the owners start figuring out what it will take to get 24 votes behind a final proposal. As to the Raiders, who necessarily would be jilted by the Chargers if the Chargers would jump in bed with the Rams, a large chunk of the relocation fee could be used to bridge the current funding gap in Oakland, allowing owner Mark Davis to get a stadium built in Oakland.

It’s also possible that Davis and the Raiders could move to San Diego, if the loss of the Chargers provides the impetus necessary to get the public officials there to get serious about building a stadium.

5. Raiders and Rams in Inglewood: Almost laughable on the surface, what makes this one viable is the possibility that the relocation fee would be used to fund a stadium for the Chargers in San Diego. As one source explained it to PFT, most owners would feel better about giving a large chunk of money to Dean Spanos than to Mark Davis. (Per the source: “There’s little sentiment to do anything for Mark Davis.”) Although this would bring two teams to L.A. with the Chargers not far down the road, it would give Spanos his stadium without requiring the team to abandon the place it has called home for 54 years.

6. Raiders only in Carson: That’s not happening. If anyone moves to L.A., the shift will include either the Chargers or the Rams.

7. Raiders and Chargers in Carson, and Rams in Inglewood: That’s not happening, either. The NFL doesn’t want three teams in L.A., and it definitely doesn’t want two stadiums in one city.

The only other potential option for this list would be the “do nothing” option. It’s possible, but unlikely.

Instead, chances are one of the first five options listed above will be adopted by January 13.

46 responses to “Exploring the L.A. options

  1. I’ll be so relieved once the NFL has a team in LA and in London, and Toronto, and Moscow…. and has games on every night of the week and 75 percent of the teams in the playoffs and wherever and whatever else the money-grabbing owners think the league can maximize profits

  2. Having the Chargers and Raiders in Carson doesn’t keep the Rams in St Louis. In fact it’s highly unlikely Kroenke signs a new 30 year lease that ensures his team remains the least valuable franchise in the NFL for the remainder of his life. He would go year to year in the Ed until he can get out of St Louis.

  3. Haven’t we heard all of this already? Until something actually happens please table these stories. Nobody cares.

  4. What if the entire NFL, all 32 teams just moved to California? It would make everything so much easier.

  5. While I think option 5 is the best for obvious historical reasons, the Chargers have cultivated the LA market for years, and I think Spanos is adamant on getting into a much larger metro area. I can’t imagine he would be happy with “losing” LA twice over.

    None of these scenarios mention the biggest thing that I’ve heard the NFL owners want: getting Mark Davis to sell all or part of the Raiders. That might be a factor in the resolution.

    The other thing I’d be curious to know is the location of the 2016 LA games if two teams move. Would all 20 (plus playoffs) actually be in the Coliseum, or could the Rose Bowl budge?

  6. If the Rams leave St.Louis, it just really begins to stink that this might lead to Jacksonville uprooting. St.Louis is the market Shad always wanted and the NFL just might want out of such a small market when a large majority of North Florida are already Phins and Bucs fans.

  7. Trade jax for St. Louis? It’s like exchanging 10 pennies for a dime. Only difference is jax is a growing metro while St. Louis is shrinking or stagnant

  8. If you are going to say the league wants mark Davis to sell the raiders then at least state why

  9. 8. Expand the season to 17 games, add a second bye week, every team plays a neutral site game (8 of them in LA, all non conference games). Thus, superbowl is on presidents day weekend, no team has a disadvantage for losing a home game in London, Mexico City, etc. If any NFL team comes to LA, they will have disappointing crowds after the newness wears off unless they are winning. There is too much to do here instead of watching a team that is losing. Look at what has happened over the last few years when the Lakers or Dodgers were losing, no one went to the games, that is why the Rams and Raiders left 20 years ago.

    The NFL will make more money, all of the teams will make more, and we will be happier, which is saying a lot, I mean the happiest place on earth is out here…

    No team in LA, all of them (once every few years).

    Long time LA resident.

  10. I fail to see how the Chargers have cultivated a second market in la when they have virtually no fan base in San Diego

  11. Enough with this LA mess already, everyday it’s something about it and nothing concrete with regards to a solution. Until there is a solution, lets focus on actual football, upcoming games, playoffs etc. LA already had 2 teams, both left. 20 years from now, am I going to reading that the 3rd team relocated there is ready to leave? Probably will. SoCal is not like NorCal, whole different frame of mind from Fresno south. LA doesn’t care about the NFL, not with the other interests there. It’s all a money grab by billionaires.

  12. I think it would be a shame if the Raiders and Chargers left their respective towns–and I really don’t see it happening.

    I can picture the Rams moving to L.A. and StL more than any other scenario.

  13. How is Mark Davis going to come up with the $500 M relocation fee? That is essentially his net worth. I don’t see any/many people talking about that angle. It makes more sense to me the option of Rams/Chargers move and Davis gets some $$$ to build a new stadium in Oakland.

  14. The money and conflicting interests involved in this relocation process have likely made for some very strange bedfellows among the 32 owners and Goodell. Jerry Richardson, who is overseeing the relocation process, is enjoying an unbeaten season and a very chummy relationship with Commissioner Goodell. An owner that has often been on opposite sides of Richardson in connection with NFL issues, including the resolution of the player and ref lockouts, is on the outs with Goodell. Do people really think all of this is a coincidence?

  15. Stop wasting taxpayer money. The NFL is upset at San Diego taxpayers for not enriching Spanos????? That’s a bunch of BS. If the NFL really wanted a stadium in San Diego, it would build one and own it themselves. They have an owner who wants to build a stadium with private funding. Just let him do it.

  16. When asked what the fans think of all this, Roger Goodell is reported to have replied, “Who?”

  17. Considering the Rams and Chargers don’t give a damn about winning, I think they’ll fail in any new market. The Raiders are trying to win at least. Should the Raiders move to L.A., I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dr. Dre-themed promotions.

  18. They are all stupid.
    If I own a team and I’m moving, I’m taking my team to Vegas and
    re-branding it.
    The biggest party in the world and destination for people all over the country. You can take over the markets of 5 western states.
    It’s faster to take a flight to Vegas from anywhere in Southern California than it is to drive anywhere on the 405

  19. The owners don’t like Mark Davis and don’t want to help him? He’s not his dad, he’s played by the rules since he took over the team, he’s one of the only owners who’s drawn a line in the sand on domestic violence, and he owns one of the most popular franchises in the league. Deal with it.

  20. I don’t agree with the assertion in your paragraph 1: that if the NFL allows the Rams to move, it would look bad because the state of Mizzou is trying to build them a new stadium. That’s partially wrong. The state and the city of St. Louis are in this jam because they did not abide by the terms of their lease with the Rams. The lease called for the Rams stadium to be in top 25% of all NFL stadiums. When the Rams requested upgrades per what was required in the lease, St. Louis and Mizzou balked.
    I think if the Rams do move, it says to all municipalities that if they break their own promises, this is what happens: teams leave.

  21. Best Option: Rams in Inglewood + Chargers in Carson + Raiders in Oakland

    Let Kroenke & Spanos move and use the fees to resolve the stadium situation in Oakland. Nobody wants the Raiders to move including the owner.

    To the source of your Mark Davis quote – Get over it! You bitter old fat cats got rich on the league that Al Davis helped forge. Man up and do what is best for the long term future of the league.

  22. PS
    I don’t know why Florio doesn’t admit the obvious deal killer: the league will NEVER allow two teams in same conference and same division to live together in same stadium.
    If Chargers/Raiders try to move together, guess what? One of them HAS to move to NFC.
    And that means an NFC team must agree to move to AFC.

    This is a simple killer that almost no one mentions.

  23. San Diego just wants the Spanos family out. He’s never cultivated a hometown culture. We love the Chargers but, want an owner more tied to the city than his money, see: Bob Kraft. If the Chargers leaving is the only way to rid San Diego of the Spanos family, so be it.

  24. Any two to LA, and the third to San Antonio, where they will be the most successful financially of the three.

  25. Complaining about “corporate welfare” and “shaking down cities” is silly. It presumes said cities would otherwise use those funds for the “public good”. Name an NFL city where that is going to happen.

    Better to build a stadium. At least you’re enriching corrupt contractors and unions instead of politicians.

  26. However this shakes out, the talk of the third team left out in the cold moving to San Antonio starts immediately. The only problem is for one of the two teams in LA, they become a second class citizen. Also, will San Antonio really embrace a relocated team. I have to assume SA has one hell of a Cowboys following.

  27. wrossi81 says:
    Dec 6, 2015 11:04 AM

    While I think option 5 is the best for obvious historical reasons, the Chargers have cultivated the LA market for years, and I think Spanos is adamant on getting into a much larger metro area. I can’t imagine he would be happy with “losing” LA twice over.
    Maybe if the Chargers spent more time cultivating the S.D. market, they would have a new stadium already and the majority of fans at that stadium wouldn’t be cheering for the visiting teams.

  28. I’m not sure but would the owners agree to move Oakland back to L.A. AGAIN? I’m pretty sure they want to avoid a two time disaster.

  29. The biggest problem with one or more of these teams moving to the LA area is where they will play the next year or two until a new stadium is built. The next biggest problem is financing that stadium in Carson. It’s a big financial leap for the Raiders and Chargers to borrow $1.8 billion to build their own stadium, as opposed to public financing. Deep pocketed Kroenke has money, partners, and a plan to make money by developing large real estate holdings next to the proposed stadium. It’s a win, win for him even if he moves without league approval. I somewhat believe the Rams will move whether or not the league approves it, but I am only speculating, same as this reporter.

  30. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT allow an NFL franchise out of state move to LA. No state, especially California, deserves FOUR NFL franchises. That is just ridiculous, especially for a state how has shown time and time again that it can barely support three, and anytime they have had four it has quickly failed. There is not enough water in California to keep 4 NFL football fields green.

  31. Best Option: StanK buys Raiders and moves them to LA, Chargers & Rams stay put with new stadiums.

  32. the raiders should move to vegas to aviod california state taxes. plan b should be the A’s should move and mark davis can use the 400 million he says he has to refurbish the coliseum.

  33. It seems the NFL desperately wants to go to LA . . . But I hear very little from LA desperately wanting an NFL team.
    Ii seem to remember that when teams moved before, there was areal buzz from the new city begging for a team. Maybe I mis-remember, but it seems like cities have finally gotten sick and tired of the NFL running their racket on them to get cities to put up huge money to fund a stadium and facilities for Billionaires to become multi-billionaires.

    First of all, I think if anyone moves to LA, it has to include the Chargers. Having a team in LA hurts the Chargers, so I cannot see a scenario where a team moves to LA with the Chargers staying in San Diego.

    Second, neither the Raiders nor the Rams deserve to move to LA. They both were there before and left only to increase profits. If either team moves there, I think one or both will move out of LA in 25 years.

    Here’s my solution. Designate one team or even two teams as migrant teams. They can play for four or five years in LA, then move to San Antonio, then maybe to Columbus, Buffalo, Toronto, Vancouver, London, etc. that makes as unchanged sense as what the NFL is trying to do now.

  34. chris6523 says:
    Dec 6, 2015 1:07 PM
    However this shakes out, the talk of the third team left out in the cold moving to San Antonio starts immediately. The only problem is for one of the two teams in LA, they become a second class citizen. Also, will San Antonio really embrace a relocated team. I have to assume SA has one hell of a Cowboys following.

    Go to Google images and type in San Antonio Saints.
    There is your answer.
    Yes, they will.

  35. Those Prius driving hacks for CA do NOT deserve 4 NFL franchises. If you want a team in LA, then move one that is already in the state. The state has already proven it cannot support 4 franchises. nuff said

  36. Coming back to the idea that the owners don’t want to “help” Mark Davis in any way, I can only assume it goes back to still wanting to find a way to stick it to AL, even from the grave.

    Problem is, if that’s their goal, they’re trapped in a curious Catch-22. They have no choice but to ultimately help Mark, and therefore, AL. Here’s why:

    If they allow Mark to move to LA , that’s essentially letting AL “win” (those who are old enough will remember the rancor surrounding the Raiders original move there). So the simple solution is to block the Raiders from moving back to LA, and keep Mark Davis in Oakland, right?

    Not necessarily.

    Leaving Davis to twist in the wind in Oakland might be a vindictive victory, but the league simply cannot allow the Raiders to continue to play in the Colisewer indefinitely either, especially from a PR standpoint.

    That means that they’ll need to help Mark Davis fund a new stadium in Oakland, which, in many owners eyes, will be viewed as giving AL a handout.

    Either way, AL wins.

    Viewed through the lens of that kind of grudge-holding, good ‘ol boys ownership network, I can see where this is a potential quagmire for the NFL.

    And it’s going to be tough to force him to sell too. It’s not without precedent, but forcing a sale because “we don’t like your dead dad” probably isn’t going to get it done.

  37. Over the past year, during the life of this NFL back to L.A. story, it’s been truly amazing to me how so many people who decide to post at this site clearly have no clue as to what the truth is. Perhaps they’ve never even been to L.A., or are merely envious of it. So, here are some facts:

    1. Los Angeles has not had an NFL team since 1995 because taxpayers here, and I am one of them, refuse to spend one penny to help billionaires build an NFL-sized stadium when the billionaire owners and the millionaire players will not profit-share with the city. Taxes alone would not repay the citizenry of Los Angeles or Orange County. Especially on a structure that will be used, on average, about one dozen times a year, including the rare major concert attraction.

    2. Lack of fan support is not the reason the Rams and Raiders moved. Stop with the “they lost three teams already” bull. The Chargers were here for only one year, 55 years ago, and the Rams’ popularity overwhelmed them at that time, so they ran off to San Diego. The Rams and Raiders moved solely because of the actions of their greedy and foolish owners. One drove her team into the ground, and inspired a legendary hit movie called “Major League” in the process. They had to change the sport in the film to avoid a potential lawsuit. St. Louis, her “hometown,” offered her a ridiculous lease which is now blowing up in their faces, plus tens of millions of dollars, to move a team she only saw as her personal ATM and pick-up bar. Even though St. Louis was her “hometown,’ she never really moved there, and is buried in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Al Davis allowed a bunch of unruly fans to hijack mainstream city and countywide support of his team, and then, instead of waiting several months to one year to strike a deal with the FAA and LAX concerning air travel over HIS Inglewood stadium, (the very same location we’re still talking about in 2015,) he threw a temper tantrum, and also allowed the constant public whining of his former Coach Madden to brainwash him into making the stupidest mistake of his life, returning the Raiders to Oakland. Al Davis regretted his decision within months, sued the NFL to return to L.A. and lost. The Rams at the Coliseum regularly drew crowds of 70,000 to 100,000 for most of their 49 years in the L.A./Anaheim area. Moving the Rams to Anaheim was a mistake, but the Rams still had strong support there until the owner began gutting the team of its stars and quality players to pocket more cash for her lavish lifestyle. The Raiders drew well at the Coliseum until the average fan began to fear for his or her life. No way would they bring their kids to the Raiders game!

    3. Owners and teams fight to move to Los Angeles, not move away from it. Frontiere and Davis are the exceptions. This area fully supports two teams each in MLB, the NBA, the NHL, and soon, once again, MLS. NFL owners have known this all along. The Houston Texans exist and the Los Angeles Conquistadors do not because that L.A. ownership group wanted to build its stadium, “the Hacienda,” on the same polluted Carson site now being proposed by the Chargers (and Raiders). Back then, the NFL really wanted no part of this site, and I suspect, if we could all be in same room with the owners nowadays, I don’t think this has changed. Because the Carson site is still as dirty now as it was then. To be fair, it also helped that Texans’ owner Bob McNair also found an extra $150 million to $200 million in his back pocket to add to his expansion fees at the last possible moment, giving the L.A. group little to no time to respond.

    4. This region will once again support the Rams and the Raiders. For some reason, despite solid evidence to the contrary, Dean Spanos believes that he has a large fan base for the Chargers in L.A. KCBS-TV force feeds Chargers games into L.A. most weeks, and after 21 years of this, the Chargers still have very little to almost no fan support in the Greater Los Angeles area.

    5. Fan support of all major league sports and major college sports in L.A. is second to none. I can say this in the Number 2 American media market because while we have USC and UCLA–and it is not unusual for 140,000-plus fans to attend one or both of the home games for the Trojans and Bruins on the very same day–New York City really has no major college sports programs at this time.

    6. No one in L.A. is asking for the return of the NFL? Really? There are over 56, 000 Facebook followers of “Bring Back The Los Angeles Rams.” When the Rams scrimmaged against the Cowboys in Oxnard this past summer, over 10,000 Rams fans showed up for all the public practices and scrimmages. Other Rams-related events often have 500-2,000 Southern California Rams fans attend. Secondly, if you actually walk or drive around Los Angeles, there are Raiders items everywhere. As a Rams fan, even I have to admit that I often see more Raiders merchandise on display and being worn than Rams gear, but there is also plenty of Rams stuff around the area. Each team has a lot of support in Southern California, and if these two teams share Inglewood, they will each succeed.

    7. Chargers stuff or fan support in L.A.? I have been attending pro and college games of all major sports since 1971, plus viewing games in restaurants and bars, and I have only met two actual living and breathing “L.A. Chargers” fans in all this time, and one of them only in the past year. The Chargers would always play second fiddle to the Rams or Raiders. The Chargers have no business being in L.A. other than the fact that Dean Spanos apparently has seven or eight good buddies among the other owners who have his back. In L.A., the Chargers would always be the Clippers, and the Rams or Raiders would be the Lakers.

    8. The people of San Diego do not deserve to lose the Chargers. That team is still drawing despite Spanos and Fabiani’s efforts to nuke all their bridges in San Diego. St. Louis fans love to point out the Rams’ losing records. It’s not exactly been a parade route in San Diego all these 54 seasons, has it? San Diego is also a great Super Bowl destination.

    9. The Raiders are in Oakland at least until the Inglewood stadium is completed for the 2018 season. This is because the transitional locations around L.A., like the Rose Bowl, refuse to rent to the team because of the past horrible and violent behaviors of a certain segment of the Raiders fan base. If Oakland can build a new stadium with the help of the Rams’ relocation fee, and the other NFL owners chipping in, Mark Davis and his mother Carol, (who is the actual owner of the team, by the way,) do not really want to leave Oakland and that situation is resolved. If the Raiders cannot get a new stadium in Oakland done, then the team could return to L.A. in 2018 and share the new stadium with the Rams.

    10. If Spanos is dead set on leaving San Diego, or if the current downtown stadium plans lead by ex-Padres owner John Moores cannot be seen to fruition, then the Chargers can move to San Antonio, St. Louis, or any other American city it chooses. It will almost certainly be the spot which will offer Spanos the most tax money.

    11. Finally, I would rather the NFL expand or move a team to Honolulu than to London or to Mexico City. All of the NFL’s teams belong in the United States. Canada has the CFL, and most other countries worldwide have their own football, which we call soccer.

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