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NFL & LA doing their same old dance, but is this tune different/LATimes

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by RamBill, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. RamBill Well-Known Member

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    NFL and L.A. doing their same old dance, but is this tune different?

    By Sam Farmer

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/nfl/la-sp-rams-raiders-chargers-la-20140720-story.html#page=1

    It is a bizarre anniversary, one that would have been crazy to predict.

    Los Angeles has gone nearly two decades without an NFL franchise. The Rams and Raiders began their final season in Southern California 20 years ago. Since, the nation's No. 2 market has watched its No. 1 sport from afar.

    In a nod to Roman numerals, we're fast approaching LAXX.

    Dozens of ambitious plans — from billionaires to business leaders to blowhards — have been tossed on the scrap pile. In the meantime, the NFL has flourished without Los Angeles, and L.A. fans have grown comfortably accustomed to watching the NFL from their homes. Even with stadium proposals that gained momentum, there has been no cohesive, community-wide push for any particular concept. And there likely never will be. There's one general consensus that even the league has learned to live with: No public money for a stadium.

    That said, this season is different. The St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders — all of whom previously played in L.A. — are eyeing the market. That's not new. What's different, though, is for the first time since this saga began, each team has what amounts to a year-to-year lease in its current venue.

    It used to be that only the Chargers had an option to leave after each season, a considerable advantage over other NFL clubs weighing relocation. But now the Rams and Raiders have caught up, and all three teams are searching for stadium solutions.

    With long-term TV and labor deals in place, and a proven willingness to experiment with a new way of doing things — witness changes to the Pro Bowl, draft and scouting combine — there are indications the NFL is ready to make another run at L.A.

    "We're excited about that," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said this week. "We're investing billions of dollars in new stadiums. We'd like to do that here. We think there's a great opportunity here. We think opportunities are starting to develop, maybe in part because we have that long-term planning in front of us."

    In one sense, the league has already taken a step toward Southern California. L.A. and Chicago are the two finalists to play host to the 2015 NFL Draft. That event has been held in New York since 1965, but the league couldn't work out a deal with Radio City Music Hall to keep it there.

    All this L.A. talk will set eyes rolling, of course, because of the rich history of all talk and no action. The threat of L.A. unquestionably has been used as leverage over the years to get deals done in other cities. Without that hammer, for instance, would there be new venues in Seattle or Indianapolis? Would Minnesota have a new stadium in the works? Absolutely not.

    The fact that the iron is glowing hot doesn't guarantee a return to L.A. any time soon.

    But league executives and owners insist the city is once again a bright blip on the radar screen.

    "I think ownership is collectively very concerned that we don't have at least one team in downtown L.A.," New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said. "We'd like to do everything [we] can to help facilitate that happening."

    There is another difference about this year, too. Last December, Rams owner Stan Kroenke quietly bought the 60-acre Inglewood parcel that sits between the Forum and Hollywood Park, land that's sufficient to accommodate a stadium but not all the parking that the league would want.

    Kroenke has looked into buying the whole Hollywood Park property, which would give him all the land he'd need for a stadium, parking and ancillary development. And seeing as the Rams and St. Louis are about $600 million apart on how much the city, county and state should chip in for a new stadium, Kroenke's interest in L.A. should not be underestimated.

    Buying that land was a shrewd move by Kroenke because he can keep it and potentially move forward with a stadium project, develop it in some other lucrative way, sell it (the owners of the Forum wanted it in the first place), and all the while hold smelling salts under the noses of negotiators in St. Louis.

    As for the L.A.-area sites that are currently in play — and keep in mind these fall in and out of favor with the league and team owners — most of the inside chatter these days involves Hollywood Park, downtown, Carson and Dodger Stadium. At this point, there is little talk about City of Industry.

    The most viable of these is Hollywood Park, mainly because Kroenke owns those adjacent 60 acres and might not be able to find a solution in St. Louis.

    The Raiders are scrambling to line up their own Southern California stadium options in case they feel compelled to leave Oakland, and they have said they're not interested in becoming a second tenant in the San Francisco 49ers' new stadium in Santa Clara.

    O.co Coliseum in Oakland is the only venue shared by the NFL and Major League Baseball. But the Raiders and the Oakland Athletics don't share the same stadium vision. While the A's are working on a 10-year lease to stay at the site, the Raiders would like the city to demolish the stadium and build them a new place to play football. One or both of the teams could end up leaving.

    There are indications that the Raiders would be willing to be the second team at Hollywood Park. Al Davis, late owner of the Raiders, wanted to build his own stadium at Hollywood Park, subsequently arguing in court that the NFL torpedoed his plans by insisting that his be a two-team venue.

    The Chargers, too, are kicking the tires on L.A., just as they have for the last decade. During that span, the City of San Diego has seen seven mayors come and go. The franchise has never gotten much traction on a stadium solution.

    The Chargers' most recent unsuccessful bid was made last fall when the club proposed combining a new stadium with the expansion of the Convention Center, similar to the Farmers Field concept in downtown L.A. That San Diego concept is now saddled with at least three pieces of litigation which could require years to resolve.

    Sitting idle as another team moves into the L.A. market would be devastating to the Chargers, not only because a significant number of their premier customers (suite holders, local sponsors) are from Orange County and north, but also because they would lose what leverage they now have to get a deal done in San Diego. In other words, if another team is already in L.A., San Diego would be far less concerned about the Chargers' threatening to relocate.

    So the Chargers are quietly on the lookout, as well.

    All this could just be more fantasy football. L.A. has been "at first and goal" so many times that even the most ardent NFL fans have lost hope, interest, or both. Still, there's no denying the dynamics have changed this season.

    That could mean the stage is set for a solution. Or just another false start.
     
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  2. Boffo97 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the Raiders would be successful in another move to L.A. People would be waiting for another move back to Oakland.
     
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  3. SierraRam Recreational User

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    "I think ownership is collectively very concerned that we don't have at least one team in downtown L.A.," New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said.

    Why do I have this feeling it's going to happen now? Hello LA Jaguars

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. rdlkgliders Hugo Bezdek

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    Blah! Blah! Blah.......................................................BLAH
     
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  5. Boffo97 Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, but only in the sense of there's been a lot of verbiage dedicated to this but nothing new for quite a while now.

    It does still remain an entirely valid possibility for the Rams to move (and a near certainty SOME team will move. I don't think the NFL is in a hurry to expand given that the current league structure makes schedules REALLY easy), but I still think they're St. Louis' team to lose. Unless St. Louis/Missouri go into all of this with the attitude that the Rams can't possibly leave, or the "Not one more cent!" attitude I've seen from some St. Louis fans, they should be able to keep the team.
     
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  6. LoyalRam Well-Known Member

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    I'm an LA guy that thinks the team is in St Louis for my lifetime....Missouri Gov. and Kroenke will make a deal that's beneficial..Something with LOTS of Tail gate parking that Kroenke owns, with NFL financing/matching......Kroenke wants to own the parking, stadium, and the surrounding land to develop...St Louis has the land for all of that, without the NFL relocation penalty...
     
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  7. mr.stlouis Well-Known Member

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    That makes a ton of sense. I've look at the TV broadcast maps every week and the Jags get squat every week. Tampa Bay and Miami rule those regions. Who thought it was a good idea to put three teams in Florida? That's just crazy.
     
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  8. Boffo97 Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, if it came down to it, the relocation penalty wouldn't be a fraction of the barrier people think it might be. Even if the Rams couldn't get it reduced/waived, in the long run, a franchise based in the much larger Los Angeles market is going to be more valuable than a franchise based in St. Louis, thus making it a worthwhile long-term investment.

    I just don't think things are going to get that far unless St. Louis/Missouri fumbles the ball.
     
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  9. SierraRam Recreational User

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    I'm a LA guy too. They'll probably get a team there soon, but I hope it's not the Rams. They're right where they belong, and I hope they stay. St. Louis is home to the Rams' greatest success, and I've changed my pennant and bumper sticker, so that's that.
     
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  10. CGI_Ram Hamburger Connoisseur

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    I think you are both right.

    Here's the thing I keep coming back to... Kroenke is already a rich man.

    $5.7 billion rich / 258th on Forbes list to be exact.

    Does a 66yr old, Missouri resident, really need to chase a dollar by uprooting the Rams to a new market? The Rams are likely waaay down his list of opportunity to make more money.

    That said; I feel for fans in LA. I'm just not convinced the NFL is as eager as they say to fill the market that builds the rest of the owners new stadiums. Add this to the growing list of things the NFL does that feels greedy.
     
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  11. CGI_Ram Hamburger Connoisseur

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    This is an interesting idea;

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on...urn-to-la-own-the-stadium-and-act-as-landlord

    Looks like the NFL-to-L.A. idea isn't dead yet.

    Though it's seemed more likely in the past few years that London would procure a franchise before Los Angeles could get another crack at hosting an NFL team, the L.A. Times reports that the league still has plenty of interest in the city.

    Already, L.A. and Chicago are the only two cities now being considered to host the 2015 draft, and on Saturday, the newspaper reported "the NFL is taking another run at returning to Los Angeles" and possibly exploring the idea of building a stadium that the league itself would own.

    The newspaper writes that a team could move to L.A. the old-fashioned way by building a stadium itself (most likely with a loan from the NFL in order to do so) and then owning that stadium and all the profits that are generated by it. But ... the league also could pay for its own stadium and then reap the benefits of naming rights, personal seat licenses and whatever else could be sold.

    Another reason that could benefit the NFL entirely: the other 31 teams could share in that stadium-generated revenue.

    But why would a franchise that's relocating to L.A. agree to the NFL acting as its landlord?

    "That's the pivotal question, and there are a lot of owners who wouldn't want Big Brother as a landlord," writes reporter Sam Farmer. "That said, the NFL could make it more enticing by giving tenants control of key revenue streams such as sales of suites, club and general admission seats, local sponsorship and advertising, parking and the like. The challenge for the league would be making the deal attractive enough."

    Another advantage: the NFL could begin building the stadium right away in order to be ready for a team to be named later. That way, a franchise that's relocating could announce that its leaving its host city and already have a new stadium waiting in L.A., thereby avoiding the ire (and eventual disinterest) of the original city's fans who the team still would want to fill the lameduck stadium.

    "I'd love to be back in Los Angeles. But it has to be done the right way, we have to do it successfully ..." commissioner Roger Goodell said in October. "I want both [London and LA], but it doesn't matter which one is first."
     
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  12. blue4 Well-Known Member

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    The only way the Rams leave is if we let them go. I don't think that will happen, but it could. It is a possibility. I know that this is just a anecdote, but I'd say out of the people I know, less than half support giving a billionaire financial aid. I know there is much more to it than that, but I can't say that I blame people who think along those lines. I'm as big a Rams fan as anyone, but he is worth 5.7billion. I'm not sure that a general vote would pass.
     
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  13. CGI_Ram Hamburger Connoisseur

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    There are a lot of people that will look at his $5.7B and come to that conclusion.

    But; I argue that's shortsighted.

    What do the Rams bring to the city? It's the age old debate.

    At least at one point, back in the early 1990's, city officials concluded the NFL was worth the investment.
     
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  14. blue4 Well-Known Member

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    It does seem shortsighted, but the perception of billionaire welfare queens has some basis. And people view these things thru the context of their own circumstances. If you haven't had a raise in 2 years, it's tough to feel for the NFL. Especially if you are not a football fan to begin with. But that all would only apply to a general vote.
     
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  15. Boffo97 Well-Known Member

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    Does he NEED to chase a dollar? No. Is he going to? Probably.

    Again, while I do think staying in St. Louis is the most probable, relying on Kroenke's loyalty to the area over money is probably a bad idea.
     
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  16. blue4 Well-Known Member

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    Relying on Kroenke be loyal to anything over his money would be a bad bet.
     
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  17. moklerman Warner-phile

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    Kroenke's desire to take on the challenge of making St. Louis into a media player is what might keep the Rams in St. Louis.

    His desire to be a power player in the NFL is what might make them leave.

    That's the only real question. If Kroenke wants to be one of the top power players in the NFL, he might have to move his team to LA. There are very few juggernaut-type media markets and I don't think St. Louis will ever be in that kind of position.
     
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  18. LesBaker Mr. Savant

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    Farmer is a crap-stirrer when it comes to this topic, and he often plays fast and loose with facts.

    He makes a lot of assumptions and pawns them off as facts.
     
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  19. moklerman Warner-phile

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    Yeah, he's way too connected to AEG to take any of his articles as impartial.
     
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  20. Dodgersrf Well-Known Member

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    It does seem odd, that Goodell is clamoring for SF, to let Oakland play in their stadium.

    If they want football in LA as badly as they say they do, why won't they push to have the Raiders go back to LA?
     
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