Video: Suddenly, the NFL loves LA again

posted at 6:41 pm on January 5, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Do they love LA, or are they using LA as a prop to wring concessions from their home-town politicians? That has been the modus operandi of NFL franchises ever since the Rams packed up and moved to St. Louis. Now owner Stan Kroenke says he wants to bring them back to the Southland rather than take the reasonably generous deal offered by St. Louis, but he also has competition from two of his colleagues. The NFL will meet next week to see which teams, if any, will win approval for relocation– the Rams, the Oakland Raiders, and/or the San Diego Chargers:

Kroenke persevered in his relocation decision despite St. Louis’ efforts to preclude the Rams from returning to LA with a new stadium proposal of their own. Given the fact that Kroenke already owns land in LA for a potential new stadium, the city’s offer for a $1.1 billion facility isn’t exactly a blockbuster, at least not by league standards. It proposes a split in costs — $150 million investment from the city, $250 million from Kroenke, $200 million from the NFL, another $160 million in seat-license sales, with Missouri picking up what’s left from the tab — about $550 million or so (although passage in the state legislature isn’t a certainty). With Kroenke set to build a $1.8 billion stadium complex in Inglewood, complete with retail and hotel accommodations, his interest in pursuing his California options are obvious.

However, that deal may not be enough for Kroenke to get the 3/4 vote needed to approve relocation. The Raiders and Chargers have deeper California roots and want out of their markets for more pressing reasons. They’re looking at a joint effort to build a stadium in Carson, a mostly industrial area of Los Angeles with excellent freeway access, for $1.7 billion. That effort has some high-powered money and SoCal prestige backing it in the form of Disney CEO Robert Iger. Not only could that tempt NFL owners for its connection to an entertainment giant, that deal would involve two relocation fees instead of one. It could also mean less disruption in league scheduling as both teams would stay in their current time zones, although it might be a bit awkward to have two division rivals sharing the same facility. Would that require juggling conference assignments — perhaps swapping the Chargers with the Rams?

Some answers may emerge next week. At first I figured that Kroenke and the Rams might have the inside shot, but the existence of a stadium deal and the complications of having two California teams without one probably works against them — and Iger makes a difference, too. It may end up that the owners approve none of the proposals, preferring to keep LA as the carrot that forces other cities to cough up public funding for new playgrounds for millionaires and billionaires. However, at least this time Angelenos have numbers on their side, and perhaps the tease strategy has hit its expiration date.


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Comments

Whichever nets the NFL the most money, they’ll do.

I see 3 teams in LA next year.

Steve Eggleston on January 5, 2016 at 6:44 PM

Well, it’s failed twice before, so I guess the third time will be the charm.

RadClown on January 5, 2016 at 6:46 PM

I lost track of all these city changes. Last time I cared about the NFL, the cardinals were in St. Louis, the LA Rams were in Anaheim, and the LA Raiders were in Oakland.

Did something change while I was gone?

HugoDrax on January 5, 2016 at 6:47 PM

I think every team in the NFL should move to LA, there should be 32 LA based teams.

Serously though LA should have a team, what a bunch of clowns that they can’t get their act together.

I hate these greedy owners who want the hapless taxpayers to pay for luxury boxes and other nonsense in brand new stadiums rather than keeping perfectly acceptable older stadiums well maintained.

Probably none of the owners even want a team in LA, they want to be able to threaten their local municipities to foot the bill or else they will move there.

Redstone on January 5, 2016 at 6:48 PM

I laugh at the LA Angels who are not only not in LA but aren’t even in LA county.

That was awkward.

artist on January 5, 2016 at 6:49 PM

Municipalities.

Redstone on January 5, 2016 at 6:50 PM

Does tofu and Football mix?

Oil Can on January 5, 2016 at 6:51 PM

Isn’t LA just a third world city now, anyway? Why would you want your business to move there unless your business is burritos? Hispanic people are not big on American football. They like baseball to some extent, and soccer, but not football.

HugoDrax on January 5, 2016 at 6:56 PM

Isn’t LA just a third world city now, anyway? Why would you want your business to move there unless your business is burritos? Hispanic people are not big on American football. They like baseball to some extent, and soccer, but not football.

HugoDrax on January 5, 2016 at 6:56 PM

So you have never been to Texas? Hispanics are some of staunchest Cowboys fans I have ever seen.

Ars Moriendi on January 5, 2016 at 6:59 PM

How many times will a team have to fail before LA understands that it just isn’t a football town? London, England, makes more sense than LA for any team looking for a home.

Happy Nomad on January 5, 2016 at 7:00 PM

SOCAL is an ILLEGAL ALIEN SHEET-HOLE now……..

Realdemocrat1 on January 5, 2016 at 7:04 PM

Frankly, I’m more excited at the idea (more of a wish, actually) that the Redskins make it all the way to the Super Bowl. The SJW hysteria of a team with a “hateful” name making it to the big show in San Francisco would be pure entertainment.

Happy Nomad on January 5, 2016 at 7:04 PM

So you have never been to Texas? Hispanics are some of staunchest Cowboys fans I have ever seen.

Ars Moriendi on January 5, 2016 at 6:59 PM

NO, never been to Texas. But the point is not that an Hispanic can not be passionate about sports. Clearly they are. Hispanics are passionate about everything. Kind of like muslims. The point is that in general, the Hispanic culture is not into American football. I believe that if the US was to go mostly Hispanic in the future, the NFL would die out and soccer would become the most popular sport.

HugoDrax on January 5, 2016 at 7:05 PM

What annoys me is when professional sports teams fleece taxpayers for retractable roof stadiums…and never open the [email protected] roofs!

The weather was beautiful in Houston Sunday and the Texans kept the roof closed. The Astros do the exact same thing.

Mike Honcho on January 5, 2016 at 7:06 PM

Isn’t LA just a third world city now, anyway? Why would you want your business to move there unless your business is burritos? Hispanic people are not big on American football. They like baseball to some extent, and soccer, but not football.

HugoDrax on January 5, 2016 at 6:56 PM

It’s a weird mix. There is the entertainment business mostly in the Valley and the Westside. The dot coms are moving in the Westside. The white areas are the West Valley and parts of Orange County. Hispanics are in LA and the Inland Empire and few cities in North Orange County. Asians control the San Gabriel Valley and Irvine. The blacks area are slowly disappearing.

However, now most the business (not entertainment and tech) are ethnically ran and therefore cash. Even Toyota is shutting down and move to Texas.

It’s path work extremely large ethnic neighbors and no sense of America, except in my area, but that’s changing. I have 5 years left to live here.

Oil Can on January 5, 2016 at 7:08 PM

I thought St. Louis was out of this and building a new stadium?

AYNBLAND on January 5, 2016 at 7:10 PM

What would the carbon footprint of an LA stadium? Should the LA Times be all over this?

newtopia on January 5, 2016 at 7:11 PM

Given the fact that Kroenke already owns land in LA for a potential new stadium, the city’s offer for a $1.1 billion facility isn’t exactly a blockbuster, at least not by league standards. It proposes a split in costs — $150 million investment from the city, $250 million from Kroenke, $200 million from the NFL, another $160 million in seat-license sales, with Missouri picking up what’s left from the tab — about $550 million or so (although passage in the state legislature isn’t a certainty).

Why would the Missouri state legislature agree to pay $550 million to LOSE the Rams, and all the revenue they generate (including Illinois residents crossing the river to see games, and spending money in Missouri)? Besides, St. Louis isn’t exactly a tourist attraction lately, with all the troubles in Ferguson, so that St. Louis needs all the revenue it can get from football.

If Los Angeles wants to attract an NFL team, it should put up money to build the stadium, not try to force the team’s current home city or state to pay to lose the team!!!

It would seem like the Oakland Raiders would be the team with the most to gain by moving to Los Angeles. They currently split the Bay Area market with the San Francisco 49ers, who have had better won/lost records than the Raiders in recent years. By moving to Los Angeles, the Raiders could have the huge LA market all to themselves, although they could have some competition from fans who have followed the San Diego Chargers during the time there were no NFL teams in Los Angeles.

Steve Z on January 5, 2016 at 7:12 PM

Do you know how to fight some progressive propaganda? You boycott pro-sports that’s how.

Mr. Arrogant on January 5, 2016 at 7:22 PM

Since its been so long the owners have forgotten why the LA Rams first moved to Saint Louis and why the Oakland Raiders gave up on their LA experiment and returned to Oakland.

The football market in LA is already dominated by a team. Anyone who actually pays attention knows that the USC Trojans are the team with the most consistent fanbase in LA. Worse, their tradition of winning has tainted the potential fanbase. In most markets one down season is somewhat tolerated, but in LA you can’t ever miss the playoffs as a pro team or you lose a huge portion of your fanbase the next season.

And that’s what will likely happen. Any team that does move will only get a 1 or 2 season grace period before the fanbase abandons them for failing to win. This is doubly true as any team coming there other than the Oakland Raiders won’t have any built in fanbase. (the Raiders own the poor sections of the basin.)

The problem is that 1) as the author of the original post pointed out the teams are hoping to extort money from their current cities. and 2) The owners don’t understand the issues and just know that LA is the #2 media market in the country and without a team so they figure any team will have an instant lock on the potential fanbase. They don’t understand that there is no potential fanbase. The fact that every NFL game is televised pretty much guarantees that fans have their team picked already, even if there is no local one.

mvargus on January 5, 2016 at 7:39 PM

I lived in SoCa, Orange County, for the better part of 17 years spanning the late 70s to the early 90s, it is not pro football country and the illegals don’t really become Americans in any sense of the word so they don’t much care for football. Very different in Texas from what I have seen, the Mexicans are serious Dallas fans. Any team that moves there will see empty stadiums unless there is a serious shift in football popularity. L.A. can’t afford to pay for some high tech stadium and if they were smart would force any team wanting to move there to pony up for the stadium, that won’t happen of course and the tax payers will get stuck with the bill.

major dad on January 5, 2016 at 7:42 PM

The Chargers and Rams can do what ever. Oakland Raiders belong in Oakland. Period.

TfromV on January 5, 2016 at 7:44 PM

Ars Moriendi on January 5, 2016 at 6:59 PM

Hadn’t thought about it much but the Texans have a huge Hispanic following, not much Spanish spoken at the games so they’re prolly majority natives given its Texas.

I know when they play soccer the Hispanics are way over the top for Mexico if they are on the field.

DanMan on January 5, 2016 at 7:54 PM

Although I don’t live anywhere near St Louis, it will be unfortunate if they no longer have an NFL team. LA does not need three of them.

cat_owner on January 5, 2016 at 8:01 PM

If I recall correctly from the time I spent in Southern Cal, the only time anyone cares about ANY team (other than the Lakers) is when they are winning.

arik1969 on January 5, 2016 at 8:22 PM

After Georgia Frontiere had her husband killed (seriously, an Olympic caliber swimmer drowns in less than 3 ft of water? And that’s not suspicious?), and inherited the majority stake in the team she did everything she could to poison the fanbase of the LA Rams. Moving to Anaheim, trading all players worth anything, renaming them the “California Rams”, having her boy-toy made starting QB, fired her dead husband’s son from the management team because of conflict with her chosen manager (who bungled the finances badly), and then taking the money to move out of LA so that St Louis, which lost the Cardinals, would have a football team again.

So, for all the tears from St Louis, let me point out: KARMA, SHE IS NOT A NICE LADY

MunDane68 on January 5, 2016 at 8:40 PM

New York is a Pro Football town, LA is a college football town. College Football will never be big in New York, Pro Football will never be big in LA. Hello blackouts.

fitzfong on January 5, 2016 at 8:52 PM

New York is a Pro Football town,

fitzfong on January 5, 2016 at 8:52 PM

Don’t the Giants and Jets play in Jersey.

RickB on January 5, 2016 at 9:07 PM

I can’t imagine any pro sports team members wanting to play anywhere in California because of the Jock Tax. California has the dubious distinction of charging the highest personal income tax rate, now 13.3 percent. That is paid by each team member on his personal return. Even an injured player who travels with the team has to pay jock tax, whether he practices with the team or not. Last year visiting NFL players paid in close to another $16.4 million in jock tax.

2nd Ammendment Mother on January 5, 2016 at 10:01 PM

MunDane68 on January 5, 2016 at 8:40 PM

Excellent summation of the LA Rams. As a kid, I was a big Rams fan but Georgia turned me into a Raiders fan.

From what I hear, the Chargers are definitely coming to LA. They have nothing in SD and a good deal in Carson, so good in fact that the Raiders are trying to get in on it. The Rams’ deal would be almost entirely paid for by Kroenke, with some small financial commitments from Inglewood.

My understanding is that the NFL owners are all for the Chargers moving, a little leery of the Raiders moving, and generally against the Rams moving. The problem is that Kroenke has a history of getting these things done and the guy is paying for most of it.

Also worth noting: the relocation fee each team has to pay to the others owners is $550 million, which is divided evenly between the other teams. If all 3 teams move, that $1.6 billion divided by 29 teams, or about $56 million for each owner for basically doing nothing.

Captain Kirock on January 6, 2016 at 1:06 AM

Not one more public dollar for a business that profits off of life-altering (and ending) brain damage.

I used to be a fan just like the next guy. Now, I can’t in good conscience support any of it. If there won’t be any concrete steps to stop the rash of concussions, then burn it all down. Besides, given what we know, what loving parent would send their child out on the field to get their brain rattled and irreparably damaged?

wvmikep on January 6, 2016 at 7:50 AM

What makes them THINK that after LEAVING LA, because of low attendance, that it is going to get better now?

This reminds me of the “Simpsons” episode to hack free TV cable..
‘First I’ll try the red wire…ZZZZZZZaaaap!
‘Now, I’ll try the blue wire…ZZZZZZZaaaap!
‘Next, I’ll try the red wire…ZZZZZZZaaap!

Glubber on January 6, 2016 at 11:17 AM

I think every team in the NFL should move to LA, there should be 32 LA based teams.

Serously though LA should have a team, what a bunch of clowns that they can’t get their act together.

I hate these greedy owners who want the hapless taxpayers to pay for luxury boxes and other nonsense in brand new stadiums rather than keeping perfectly acceptable older stadiums well maintained.

Probably none of the owners even want a team in LA, they want to be able to threaten their local municipities to foot the bill or else they will move there.

Redstone on January 5, 2016 at 6:48 PM

The NFL, not Los Angeles, has stridently blocked every thought of moving another team to L.A. after the Raiders were pressured to return to Oakland. The reason is, as always, money. In the second-largest viewing market in the nation, the revenue lost to local blackouts of home games in L.A. is a big deal. The city would have had to guarantee a large portion of that cash loss, and L.A. just doesn’t have much money, being run as well as any other deep blue locale.

Well, with the changes in media sources and availability over the last two decades, the situation is no longer the same. The primary driver of NFL revenue still is still TV ads, but less dominantly than before.

Freelancer on January 6, 2016 at 12:43 PM

Los Angeles County, where sports franchise’s go to die.

Missilengr on January 6, 2016 at 5:37 PM