Rams most likely to go to L.A.

How much does it matter to the Chargers?

The St. Louis Rams are the team the National Football League considers most likely to relocate to Los Angeles, according to a report by Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, as reported by Sports Illustrated today (October 20).

Florio says the 60-acre plot Rams owner Stan Kroenke purchased in Inglewood is the most likely place for a Rams stadium. The Los Angeles City Council meets tomorrow to consider a deal for a team relocation, according to Sports Illustrated.

If Florio's report is true, where does this leave the Chargers? The team claims it gets 30 percent of its revenue from the Los Angeles and Orange County markets. Many suspect that the league will want to place two teams in the L.A. market. This could mean the Chargers, who earlier could not reach an agreement to go to L.A., may make concessions to be the second team to relocate there. (The third team said to be in the running is the Oakland Raiders who, like the Rams, were once based in L.A.)

Another possible site for the stadium would be next to the L.A. Convention Center. This has been under discussion for a long time. Last week, Anschutz Entertainment Group received a six-month extension to identify a team for the downtown site.

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Gee Don this story seems like chum for the new stadium crowd. People around here paint their houses Chargers colors, blue and yellow. (Not real good as house décor but such is fandom)

I'd say let's invest in rehabbing Qualcomm Stadium but looking at where it sits and Papa Doug's love of Mission Valley housing I'm thinking a plan is in place and waiting.

MichaelValentine: The corporate welfare/subsidized stadium crowd will seize on this to sell their fraudulent scheme. If this report is true, the Chargers either have to sell themselves to L.A. as a second team there or try to get San Diego to build them a stadium. At least, that will be their argument.

The Chargers painted themselves in a corner by saying L.A./Orange County accounts for 30 percent of their revenue.

I say they should stay at Qualcomm. If it needs rehabbing, as you suggest, that would be a lot cheaper than paying for a new one. The Chargers are making a lot of money at Qualcomm, and will continue to do so. Best, Don Bauder

I am doubting the Chargers will be moving, because it's already been said that they will receive a large cut of the relocation fee pie to appease them and their complaint about losing market share. That means more cash in the pockets of the Spanos clan sooner rather than later.

danfogel: You may be right. They are already making a bundle playing at the Q. But if they stay, they will try to get San Diego taxpayers to pick up the tab for a new stadium. Best, Don Bauder

Subsidies, in the hundreds of millions of dollars, for billionaires who employ millionaires yet it's the individual poor person who's called the welfare queen.

That's sociopathic thinking.

MichaelValentine: So true. The real welfare queens are the pro sports billionaires who snooker taxpayers into paying for 70% to 80% of a stadium.

Last Sunday there was a game in Denver. The cheapest ticket was $501 and the most expensive $12,000. Ugh. Best,Don Bauder

Problem is people don't want to admit it's welfare for billionaires. Supposedly "independent" consultants get paid loads of money to come up with slanted reports that purport to show how the subsidies for billionaires and millionaires actually benefit everyone. In contrast, almost every truly independent researcher (see e.g. fieldofschemes.com ) comes up with the conclusion that the subsidies for billionaire owners and millionaire players mostly benefit the owners and players (Roger Noll has some good studies as well)

ImJustABill: Roger Noll, emeritus at Stanford, has done some excellent work in this area and is often quoted here. It's true: independent economists overwhelmingly believe that subsidies for stadiums result in benefits for owners and players, but not the public, which is likely to get screwed. Best, Don Bauder

I think the NFL has gotten great mileage from using LA as a constant threat against any city that actually has the temerity to resist the requests for public stadium financing.

But now maybe the time for that has come to an end.

It sounds like they want to put 2 teams in LA - presumably one NFC and one AFC team. So the Rams and Raiders seem like the likely choices but I wouldn't completely rule out the CHargers

ImJustABill: Yes, owners in their extortion schemes used L.A. for years -- threatening to move there. The same thing happened to Tampa in baseball. Finally, Tampa got a team.

I do think the NFL wants two teams in L.A. -- one NFC and one AFC. The L.A. market has the money required for the stadium extortion racket. The game has changed. The emphasis now is on filling up luxury seats and boxes. That wasn't the case in 1994 when L.A.'s two teams played their last games. Best, Don Bauder

Twenty years ago, if you had told me that LA would go without any NFL team for two decades, I'd have laughed in your face. It is a natural spot for one or even two teams, yet no governmental agency would just build a stadium there and rent it to an NFL franchise for a song. I've heard over and over that the city wanted the Coliseum to host whatever NFL team called LA home, and that the requirement was the sticking point. But that seems very strange to me. That stadium goes back a century, with expansions and rebuilds along the way, notably in the early 30's to host the Olympics of 1932. There were plenty of other places that could have held a stadium, and razing a square mile of LA's notorious slums to accommodate one would have made some sense. That is if the city or county or . . . were willing to pick up the tab. But even sports-besotted LA couldn't marshal the political pressure to pull that off.

But somehow, San Diego, which doesn't have a single tax dollar to waste, was being called upon to cough up the bigger part of $1 billion to build a new stadium for the local NFL team, lest it leave. And yet it has a stadium now, and one that's not all that old. If that one needs some renovation, the cost would be a small fraction of the cost of a new facility. Furthermore, it has the best central location for a sports venue of any spot being proposed.

LA was smart for a change; it seldom is smart about anything. In the 1940's one prominent columnist referred to it as "a great, slobbering civic idiot." San Diego is perilously close to doing a most foolish thing, acting more foolishly than LA. Hard to stomach, isn't it?

Visduh: if San Diego builds a stadium with a retractable roof on it, to be used both for football and convention center expansion, San Diego taxpayers will pay over $1 billion, because the total cost would be at least $1.45 billion, probably closer to $1.5 billion, and taxpayers generally pick up at least 70 percent of the tab for a subsidized stadium.

I agree that Qualcomm is a good stadium. If it needs rehabbing, the City or City and County should do it -- maybe get the Chargers to chip in a bit, although don't count on that.

Pro football has now changed into an upscale event. The teams want to attract the rich to the luxury seats and boxes. San Diego doesn't have that kind of money. That's why it can live with Qualcomm. Best, Don Bauder

Perhaps the Spanos gang cannot live without luxury seats and private boxes. The problem for them will not be solved with any new stadium or even a remodel of the current one. If they have to have that revenue source, they have to move to a city that can provide it, which you point out is not San Diego. Ergo, they should move ASAP.

Visduh: The most logical location for the Chargers is probably Las Vegas. It has the billionaires and multi-millionaires to fill the luxury seats and boxes. The league will protest that it doesn't want to be associated with gambling. Such nonsense. From the beginning of the league in 1920, the teams have been owned by gangsters and high rollers. Gambling and the NFL are almost one and the same. Best, Don Bauder

If anything the league (and Vegas casinos) would be disappointed that you won't be able to bet on a Vegas NFL team, as Nevada law doesn't allow wagering on Nevada teams.

ImJustABill: That could be changed in a hurry. Legislatures hungry to have a pro sports team change their laws with amazing rapidity. Best, Don Bauder

If not L.A. how about L,E.

The really wacky idea keeps popping up that the NFL will put a team in London. Story today (http://sports.yahoo.com/news/british-government-wants-nfl-team-london-173341205--nfl.html)

"LONDON (AP) -- The British government wants an NFL team based in London. George Osborne, the British treasury chief, told the Evening Standard newspaper on Wednesday that the government will do whatever it can ''to make this happen.''

Of course the players will fight this idea - I think no matter how nice the airplane flight is jet lag will be a serious problem for teams travelling between London and USA.

You might want to read these: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000366012/article/goodell-london-team-could-be-five-or-10-years-away


Since it's not much more than a couple of hours longer from NY to London than it is from NY to the west coast, I wouldn't think that jet lag would be that big a deal. Teams that currently play in London have a bye the following week. I would imagine that the NFL would work the schedule so that a team traveling to London would play on Thursday the week before and would travel a couple of days earlier than normal. Personally, I would think that the 45% tax rate and the extremely high cost of living would be of more concern.

danfogel: Very good point. High taxes and high cost of living could definitely be a factor. Also, football would be sucking hind teat to soccer. The NFL isn't used to being in second place. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder There is another side to that coin as well. Yes, American football would be taking a backseat to soccer, but then again every sport does. It's played by over 250 million players in over 200 countries. But here we have the home of soccer, the country in which it was first played as an organized sport asking us to bring our puny little game to them. Not only do they like to watch it, they want us to put one of OUR teams playing OUR game in their country. It's always easier to be asked in the front door, rather than trying to kick in the back door.

BTW, did you know that basically, you can't find a country in Europe that doesn't have an American football league? Yes, that's true. As of a couple of years ago, there were more than 700 American football leagues spread out thru over 25 countries. Would you be even more surprised to learn that American football is played around the world? the International Federation of American Football has five separate continental organizations. The European Football League has been around for close to 30 years. Yeah, the NFL is the new kid on the block, but American football has been played in Europe, and around the world, for quite a while.

danfogel: Oh yes, I know that American football leagues exist in other places. Players who can't make the NFL often play in Europe (after trying Canada first, usually.) There are basketball leagues abroad, too. Japan and other countries have baseball leagues. Best, Don Bauder

ImJustABill: Just imagine. A team plays a particularly violent game on Sunday afternoon. Then it packs up and flies to London for a Thursday night game.

The people who gamble on football figure that the team that has to fly a long distance has a bit of a disadvantage. If there were regular games in London, the oddsmakers would watch the schedule more closely. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder except that won't happen. Each NFL team plays one one Thursday night game and they alternate playing at home one year and on the road the next. I would imagine that the team going to play in London for a Thursday game would have their bye the week before, giving them plenty of time between games both the week before and the week after. And don't forget, the team in London has to play on the road also. Rather than having to deal with int'l travel once, like the visiting team, they would have to deal with it for half of their game.

I think to reach the USA prime time TV audience the game in London would have to start pretty late at night. Maybe 10pm start to hit 5pm on East Coast.

From a TV perspective I think it would be better to have a Sunday game which could accommodate reasonable times for both live fans and TV viewers

I think that when a team is located in London, the games should be played to the benefit of the home fans. When playing in London, play at the normal start times, London time and when the London team is on the road, play at the normal start times for that home team, irregardless of the day on which the game is played. That's how it's done now and I see no reason to deviate more than maybe an hour each way just because the team is in London. Sky sports has the Chargers and Broncos at 1:30 am and the other games are live at their respective times. Atlanta-Detroit play in London this week at 2:30pm London time so if you want to watch the game here, you get up at 6:30. No big deal and you get an extra game this week. And the Cowboys-Jags play in a couple of weeks at 6:00pm there so that's the normal time here. As I said, play 'em at the normal local time. Fans will watch regardless.

danfogel: I'm not staying up to watch any game in any sport at 1:30 a.m. Best, Don Bauder

Don Bauder, Since you live in Colorado and not London, it shouldn't be a problem as it's om at 4:30 pm in your neck of the woods.

danfogel: Tonight's (Thursday's) Chargers-Broncos game is on at 6:25 p.m. mountain time. What I meant was that I am not going to get up at 1:30 a.m. to watch any sports event, including the Olympics. (I seldom watch Olympics events.) Best, Don Bauder

You and I may think that the games should be played to benefit the home fans but the NFL will care what the Dollar and the Pound think. And the Dollar and Pound most likely will think TV revenue is more important than fan revenue.

Most of the games in London so far have been at 6PM GMT (1PM EST) although this year one of the games this year will be 1:30PM GMT which is at 9:30AM EST.

If you look at it this year there are 6 teams making the trip to London so I guess it's not that far off to have 10 teams make the trip (2 preseason + 8 regular season).

ImJustABill: TV is a big enchilada in pro football revenues. Scheduling games in London would be tricky. But Americans adjust to the Olympics in foreign locations. Best, Don Bauder

Don Bauder, you're missing one thing. Not every fan follows every team. Are Chargers fans going to get up at 6:30 to watch Atlanta-Detroit play in London this week? I'm not. If you're a a fan of a team that is playing in London, you might. Otherwise when a televised London game is an afternoon game there, it's a bonus game in the States because that Sunday, both networks get 2 Sunday day games.

danfogel: Not every fan follows every team, but you wouldn't know it by looking at those TV ads touting packages permitting one to watch everything going on in the NFL. I always wonder who buys those packages. Best, Don Bauder

Well, I have it. That means I can choose which games I want to watch instead of being stuck with just the network games. I also have the NHL and NBA packages and had the MLB packages. Yeah, that's a lot of sports, not even counting the networks games. But I look at it this way. I had both Dodgers and Angels season tickets and will continue to have them. But I chose not to renew Lakers, Kings and Ducks season tickets. The cost of all of those sports packs combined is no than the cost of 2 people going to probably for or 5 those events, not of each sport, but in total. For me it's just a matter of no longer wanting to drive into LA or up into north OC probably 75-100 times more combined more than I did during baseball season.

danfogel: Wow! You are a real fan. It seems to me I saw tonight that this Sunday a game from London will be televised. It seems to me that I wold have to watch it at 6:30 a.m. No thanks. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder, Yes, as I have noted twice in my comments, the NFL game in London will be televised, 9:30 in the east, which I believe is 7:30 in your neck of the woods. Though I am usually awake at that time, I won't be watching either. I sense sarcasm in your description of me as a fan. Yes I enjoy a sporting event from time to time. As I said, I just don't feel like driving into north OC or up to LA that much any more. So instead of spending $150 or so and 4 hrs to go to a game, I spent about the same for the season package and can watch a game when I feel like it and not have to leave home. No different than someone who pays $15 a month per channel just to watch movies.

danfogel: I am not being sarcastic at all describing you as a fan. Someone who arranges to be able to watch every NFL game, as well as other sporting events, is obviously in love with sporting events. Nothing wrong with that.

Confession: I started in journalism in sports. I was sports editor of my high school paper, and assistant sports editor and sports editor of my college paper until I moved up to managing editor and finally editor in chief.

Want another confession? Despite all the negative things I write about NFL owners and their slimy connections, and the league's greed and mistreatment of its players, I watch the NFL on TV. Hypocrite? Yes. Best, Don Bauder

Don Bauder, perhaps sardonic would be a better word. I am not in love with sporting events. Rather than arranging to be able to watch every NFL game as well as other sporting events, because I have the means to, I have "arranged" to be able to watch ONLY ones I want, instead of just the ones someone else says I can watch, and watch them at my convenience, from the comfort of my home. No different than someone who subscribes to a pay movie channel. They don't watch every movie that's on, but instead are able to the ones the want at their convenience. Bagging on the NFL when all the while you are watching the games on TV is not hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is a lingerie shop without a front window.

danfogel: What happens in the playoffs? How does the league make sure that any team playing in London gets adequate time either before or after the game?

You've also said that two more hours shouldn't worsen jet lag greatly. In my own experience traveling on, say, a 14-hour trip, those last two hours make a difference. Best, Don Bauder

Don Bauder, I think it's less than 12 hours from both Los Angeles and San Francisco to London, and a couple of hours less from Seattle, so that's the most a team would have to travel. Obviously, a team in London is going to be in the eastern division, so most games will be in the east. For example, the Jets play 2 games west of the Mississippi, at KC and at SD. The Giants play at Seattle and in Dallas. You get the idea. It's going to be mostly eastern teams that would play in London and the same thing works going the opposite way. A London team is not going to be having 14 hr flights every week. Should a team halve to go to London for the playoffs, I would imagine that they would leave at least 1 and probably 2 days early and they should have no problem.

danfogel: You are as enthusiastic as Roger Goodell. Players complain all the time that the NFL doesn't give a hoot about them. They especially bitch about Thursday night games, coming only a few days after a Sunday game in which they get beaten up. Players complain about long plane trips, too.

Ditto for alleged amateur athletics. Tell me why the Big Ten, with schools based in the Midwest, has put Maryland and Rutgers in the league. At one point, SDSU was going to join a league with teams in the East. Thank goodness, sanity prevailed. Best, Don Bauder

don bauder I'm not sure what you mean when you say that I am as enthusiastic as Roger Goodell, but I will certainly take that as an insult. As far as players complaining about ONE short week per season and a couple of cross country plain flights, I can only say this. If they hate it so much, then let then give up that job that pays an AVERAGE of over $2 million a year, spread over 17 weeks, with full benefits, and find a real job.

danfogel: It was certainly not meant as an insult. All I meant is that you seem as enthusiastic about London as a base for NFL football as Goodell is. He thinks it is only 5 or 10 years away. That may be true, but I don't think players will be enthusiastic about it. Best, Don Bauder

Actually, I couldn't care less either way about a team based in London. I just happen to find all of these "excuses" that people have quite humorous. At this point, the team most likely to move there would seem to be Jacksonville. Of the teams that I follow, only Dallas plays a road game with them this year meaning I would entertain watching only one game from London. It took about 7 hours for Atlanta and a little more than 8 for Detroit to get there with each taking the redeye. Atlanta left Sunday night and Detroit left Monday night. That should be more than enough time to acclimate and both coaches said that they will keep there routines the same from Wednesday on. According to what I have read, both this year and years past, the logistics are planned out in the spring. The only thing different about this game is the start time. I believe the games are normal a 5pm London start.

danfogel: Sorry. It sounded like you were enthusiastically endorsing the placing of a team in London. Best, Don Bauder

I don't know if it was sanity that prevailed or just the Big East finally folding. The only league SDSU should consider joining is the PAC-12. I think putting SDSU in the Big East was absolute proof that the so-called student-athletes are really semi-professional athletes whose job is to earn football (and basketball) revenue for the school.

ImJustABill: Could SDSU compete in the PAC-12? Basketball, yes. Football, doubtful. All the other men's and women's sports -- probably too expensive. Best, Don Bauder

I think the effects of jet lag are more serious than you seem to suggest. Per wikipedia, "The condition of jet lag may last several days until one is fully adjusted to the new time zone, and a recovery rate of one day per time zone crossed is a suggested guideline. "

Personally, it took me about a week to get acclimated to a European time zone the few times I've gone. Maybe with the time and budget an NFL team has they can pull out all the stops with lighting changes and keeping players hotel rooms dark during day so that the players' Circadian rhythms can stay sync'd to the American time zone and they won't get super tired.

But I think it is a challenge.

imjustabill you have your opinion and I have a differing opinion. Nevertheless, when the NFL relocates a team to London, eight teams will make the trip to play in the regular season. I believe that next months game is already sold out, which means every game played at Wembley has been a sellout. In addition, at least thru the game played earlier in the year, each game has also had over $1 million in NFL merchandise sales on site game day. Look for 5 regular season games next year. That means a total of 10 teams making the trip, more than would in a normal full regular season schedule. Barring some as yet unseen logistical issues with that many teams making the trip, I would expect that if next years games are even close to as successful as have been the preceding games, the league will begin scheduling a full slate of 8 regular season games within a couple of more years. A sort of trial run at a full season, if you will. Remember, when Roger Goodell says the NFL want's to go to London, he's speaking for the owners, the ones who control the purse strings.

Rich Gibson: I don't think the Chargers should leave San Diego. Rather, they should build their new stadium with private capital -- without a cent of taxpayer money. The likelihood of that is about zero.

Still, I am not sure the team will leave. It is making a bundle of money playing at the Q. If the team moved to, say, Vegas, it would have to put at least some of the money up for a new stadium. In San Antonio or London it should be able to play in existing stadiums, but would have to spend money developing a market. The team's best option is to get taxpayers to put in some money to rehab Qualcomm. Best, Don Bauder

DAMN! I was out of town last week, so I missed this story. Here is what I have heard will be happening just after the Super Bowl this year. 1) The Rams will announce they are leaving St Louis for LA. This is pretty much a forgone conclusion in the St Louis area. Stan Kroenke (Rams owner) has purchased 60 acres in Inglewood between the now-closed Hollywood Park racetrack and the Forum. He is apparently more than willing to build his own stadium, but he doesn't want to share it with another team. How the NFL would deal with that is unclear. 2) The Raiders have put the city of Oakland on notice. Mark Davis wants to see plans for a new stadium in Oakland, or the Raiders are leaving. Not for LA, but for San Antonio. The Alamodome is available, it's already a much better stadium than the Oakland Coliseum ever was, and San Antonio has apparently already committed to building a new stadium should the Raiders move there. Which leaves--3) The San Diego Chargers, and the sound of crickets. They don't know what to do. They have said they will try to block any team from moving to "their territory" (LA), but the NFL will probably tell them too bad--it's good for the league to have a team there. Since Kroenke doesn't want to share his stadium, any other team moving there would have to have another stadium built for them, unless the NFL can convince him it would be better for the league if he did, and the NFL, money talks. In the meantime, the Chargers have backed themselves into a corner by waiting until 2016 to put whatever stadium proposal they have on the ballot, and without any new stadium planned for them in the LA area, the Chargers are stuck. Of course, the NFL is so hot to put a team in London--the London Chargers maybe?

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