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NFL Merry-Go-Round: Relocation Roundelay

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I've long said that if the LA market was so central to the Chargers' business plan then they should just move there. Glad to see that's getting traction.

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So then what would happen with the Raiders? They aren't doing too well in Oakland right now, so San Antonio?

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Meanwhile, I see a report that the announced attendance for last night's game was 55,900. Meaning 11,000 empty seats, right on the border of blackout territory (can't remember - did the Rams lower their threshold).

Rams fans have an opportunity to give their city leverage with the team and the league, an opportunity they're letting go to waste.

(Isaac) Bruce to Rams fans: Show up

If you actually did watch the game, the upper bowl looked EMPTY last night.

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I think the presumption is that the second team into LA would involve selling a piece of the club to AEG and trigger Farmers Field. But given that second club is almost certainly going to be either the Raiders or Chargers, there might not be a piece of the team on offer. So they'll need to rent from somebody, might as well be Kroenke.

I know I'm repeating myself, but...

Farmers Field essentially has been dead to the NFL since October 2011: http://www.fieldofschemes.com/2011/10/11/3182/nfl-hates-on-aeg-los-angeles-stadium-roski-retools-industry-offer/

It's useful for leverage and headlines -- name recognition and all that -- but it hasn't been a serious contender for three years now. Which is why Kroenke's empty lot, Chavez Ravine and the NFL-controlled superstadium keep getting brought up.

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Kroenke Field is a totally separate animal. The Rams were never going to play at Farmers. Ever. That became clear once we knew he owned a stadium-sized parcel of land in a city that would very much like his stadium there.

I know the NFL doesn't seem to like the plan, but if Stan forces the hand of Davis and Spanos, the league might have to get used to it very quickly. Chavez Ravine just isn't happening, and Farmers remains shovel-ready in LA, which means they have at least half a decade's worth of jump on any competing proposal. There's no other realistic alternative, save renting from Kroenke when the Rams are out of town.

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Except Roski's forgotten plan, which supposedly was shovel-ready long before Farmers.

Even if you set aside the Rams, will the Chargers or Raiders really be desperate enough to sell a piece? It does seem more likely they'd be tenants first, which is why the NFL wants to take charge in L.A. whether it's Kroenke's site or the pipe dream of Chavez. They won't "settle," because they really don't have to, even after 20 years away.

And let's be honest, the NFL is running this thing, not the individual owners. Al Davis isn't walking through that door.

I think the NFL's plan for Farmers Field is a beautiful downtown baseball park so they can do what they want with what the Dodgers leave behind. As I said, pipe dream.

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Except Roski's forgotten plan, which supposedly was shovel-ready long before Farmers.

Even if you set aside the Rams, will the Chargers or Raiders really be desperate enough to sell a piece? It does seem more likely they'd be tenants first, which is why the NFL wants to take charge in L.A. whether it's Kroenke's site or the pipe dream of Chavez. They won't "settle," because they really don't have to, even after 20 years away.

And let's be honest, the NFL is running this thing, not the individual owners. Al Davis isn't walking through that door.

I think the NFL's plan for Farmers Field is a beautiful downtown baseball park so they can do what they want with what the Dodgers leave behind. As I said, pipe dream.

While Ed Roski is still sitting there with his Industry/Grand Crossing plan, no current NFL owner is willing to sell his/her majority control.

As for Mark Davis, he and his mother own less than 49% of the Raiders, so him selling half to Roski, who wants controlling interest, was a nonstarter. It is controlling interest compared to the other shareholders and allows Mark a seat at the owner meetings.

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I believe Roski dropped his ownership requirement.

But other than that: City of Industry v LA Live? Not much doubt there.

The Chavez Ravine plan is baffling. It's like "We want a team in London" - it's not going to happen, the obstacles are prohibative, and the league only looks sillier the more they claim it will (or even could) happen.

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As for Mark Davis, he and his mother own less than 49% of the Raiders, so him selling half to Roski, who wants controlling interest, was a nonstarter. It is controlling interest compared to the other shareholders and allows Mark a seat at the owner meetings.

The Davis family has never held more than about two-thirds ownership interest in the Raiders. Certainly they hold at least 30% (thanks to NFL ownership rules), but my guess is it probably isn't much more than that anymore. The Davis family holds control thanks not to that, but to various limited partnership agreements which Al executed over the years - either buying (initially) or selling ownership points, but all the while maintaining control and relegating the buyer to a silent partner.

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I've long said that if the LA market was so central to the Chargers' business plan then they should just move there. Glad to see that's getting traction.

The Rams are the linchpin here. If they manage to get a viable St. Louis stadium, that in theory gives San Diego every chance possible to keep the Chargers. If this St. Louis stadium plan doesn't work out (regardless of how) and the Rams show their intent to move, that would force the Chargers' hand in showing how committed to San Diego the they are:

1. Stay and wait until the 2016 stadium referendum vote is complete and give up on Los Angeles (as the Rams and Raiders likely beat them there), or

2. Pull the trigger and beat the Rams and Raiders to LA while not giving San Diego a chance to decide on a stadium, possibly leaving the Rams high and dry.

I've heard rumors from Bleacher Report's Jason Cole (take it for what you will) that:

1. The Rose Bowl and LA Coliseum won't let the Raiders play in either place on a temporary basis (apparently not true),

2. Stan Kroenke won't share the Hollywood Park site (???), and

3. It's unlikely that any team is moving this offseason, though it would be surprising if no one moves after next year (I do believe inertia holds off any moves off this year).

Also of note is that no word has been made on narrowing the relocation application window. It could mean that nothing is imminent for this offseason, that one team has decided to move and needs that time to get logistics in order (or announces to move after the Super Bowl), or (most likely) nothing's has been decided yet.

Edited by DustDevil61

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As for Mark Davis, he and his mother own less than 49% of the Raiders, so him selling half to Roski, who wants controlling interest, was a nonstarter. It is controlling interest compared to the other shareholders and allows Mark a seat at the owner meetings.

The Davis family has never held more than about two-thirds ownership interest in the Raiders. Certainly they hold at least 30% (thanks to NFL ownership rules), but my guess is it probably isn't much more than that anymore. The Davis family holds control thanks not to that, but to various limited partnership agreements which Al executed over the years - either buying (initially) or selling ownership points, but all the while maintaining control and relegating the buyer to a silent partner.

FWIW regarding the true Davis share, E.W. McGah was the Raiders cofounder and passed well before Al. There was a 2005 settlement which reportedly included the sale of the McGah family's 31 percent stake in the team to Davis.

Then in 2007, Davis later sold 20% of what he had to Paul Left and associates.

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Jeez. No love for the Raider Nation? Sounds like they'd have a better shot at relocating if they just did a total rebrand. Name, colors, everything.

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Ugg...no thanks. The Raiders are the Raiders. They've proven that the Raiders hold no allegiance to any one city. They can, and should, keep everything intact if they leave Oakland.

San Antonio Raiders. With a statue of Al Davis in front of the stadium flipping the bird in California's general direction. That's most Raiders-like thing that could possibly happen.

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Jeez. No love for the Raider Nation? Sounds like they'd have a better shot at relocating if they just did a total rebrand. Name, colors, everything.

Again, it's a rumor and may not be true, but too bad if it is. The Raiders still have a substantial following in Southern California (well, the Rams still do, too) and if they can somehow turn themselves around and become relevant again, there's no reason that they can't be the top team in town.

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Ugg...no thanks. The Raiders are the Raiders. They've proven that the Raiders hold no allegiance to any one city. They can, and should, keep everything intact if they leave Oakland.

San Antonio Raiders. With a statue of Al Davis in front of the stadium flipping the bird in California's general direction. That's most Raiders-like thing that could possibly happen.

Exactly. I even see the Raiders logo even remaining intact in San Antonio as it could pass as something a motorcycle gang would wear. The colors would even fit perfectly in San Antonio (and aren't a bad match for Los Angeles IMO).

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FWIW, Anecdotal observations indicate the Raiders have a large following among the U.S.'s Hispanic population. I suspect the Raiders would be welcomed by many San Antonians.

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It's a valuable and well established brand, and none of its marks are location dependent. There is no reason and no benefit to be gained by changing.

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Shouldn't shock anyone that the Rams attendance Thursday night was low. It's been low throughout the season (and longer), a discussion we've had many times.

Maybe some figured a national TV game would draw higher attendance for some reason, but I didn't think so. It's a late, week-night game and going up against the Blues (which isn't nearly the same as going up against the Cardinals, but it still means there was a fight for the St. Louis sports dollar).

Should also note that attendance doesn't decide blackouts, tickets sold does. As far as I know, the Rams did NOT opt for the lower blackout threshold (that assumption is based on not hearing anything rather than hearing something). I think the Rams have generally sold enough tickets to avoid black outs. Maybe they've gotten help from sponsors or even themselves to avoid them by buying some, but I haven't seen that reported this year. In any case, I think many who have purchased tickets just don't show up.

If you want to restate your views on attendance your welcome to, but I'm not trying to bring that up. I know some of you believe it's just a bad market. Others believe they have an obligation (if they want to keep the team) to make a statement by showing up. I've disagreed with both of those views.

But my point here is just to suggest that there's no particular reason Thursday's attendance should have been expected to be any different.

I suppose you could say the Rams had a chance to hit .500, so maybe fans would be excited. I'd say what actually happened is why it that didn't have a meaningful impact on attendance. Yet again the Rams had fans excited and ready to buy in only to not show up. Mediocrity replacing historical awfulness is still mediocrity.

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You can get Rams tickets on the secondary market for roughly a quarter the price of Blues tickets. The Rams are a rather cheap outing at the moment, so I don't buy that "competition for the sports dollar" crap.

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