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NFL Merry-Go-Round: Relocation Roundelay


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John Oliver's main topic on yesterday's Last Week Tonight was all about publicly funded stadiums, and he talks about the current LA situation for a good part of it - how it's been used to secure stadiums for other cities as well as the situations in San Diego, St Louis and Oakland now. It's worth watching through to the end.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcwJt4bcnXs

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Waaaaait so who's moving to LA? (Easy question right?)

Honestly given what we know, I'd have to label San Diego as the front runner in the NFL's collective eyes. The Chargers have been negotiating a deal with the LA Coliseum (the same venue the league has also solicited bids from for hosting), the Chargers are fairly far along in their plans in Carson, and the league seems most receptive to the Chargers plans if San Diego can be shown to have not done enough (which NFL stadium guru Eric Grubman has already said they haven't).

Now that doesn't mean the Chargers make the most sense to move, or that Kroenke can't just dark horse his way in at his leisure (as we know he can), but right now the odds on favorite has to be the team with the least fans in LA.

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I can see the Rams going first, followed by the Chargers. Maybe the Raiders get into the action but god I hope not. Let's keep them in the AFC with the Chargers.

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I'll still be fascinated by the AFC/NFC dance if the Raiders & Chargers both move to LA. Haven't read a single thing on that from anyone, though to be fair, most writers are in a will-cross-that-bridge-once-we-get-there mode.

Maybe that's a bonus carrot for the Chargers - one less city to travel to/fro 2x a year.

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The AFC-NFC scenarios have been discussed, reported and professionally speculated on for months, as seen earlier in this thread.

Here's one example:

Chargers-Raiders plan "the early favorite" of NFL owners, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports:

http://mweb.cbssports.com/nfl/writer/jason-la-canfora/25191640/chargers-raiders-stadium-co-op-fast-tracks-nfls-la-return-but-rams-may-fight

...but there are concerns the Rams will "force their way out."

Spanos may want to stay, but in that article it says he's played his cards right for a move:

"Chargers owner Dean Spanos, among the league's more respected owners, has exhibited great patience in navigating his franchise through an uncertain stadium situation in San Diego and continued to earn kudos from other ownership groups at the meeting. ... There is a certain political element to this process, in securing necessary votes for franchise relocation -- in this case a dual relocation -- and Spanos has moved expertly, sources said."

And my favorite line...

"Some in the know have speculated the Chargers, in exchange for getting the keys to LA, end up moving to the NFC, with perhaps the Cardinals going to the AFC West, which would maintain the Raiders' rivalries with the Chiefs and Broncos, for as much as that is worth."

And earlier -- before the Carson project was announced, I believe -- it was reported that the Raiders were willing to move to the NFC if it meant getting to L.A.

EDIT: It was October 2014 when the Raiders' willingness was reported:

http://justblogbaby.com/2014/10/08/oakland-raiders-bleacher-report-claims-mark-davis-open-moving-nfc/

Jason Cole of Bleacher Report ended that lull with a bang on Thursday, claiming that owner Mark Davis would be willing to switch from the AFC to the NFC in order to finalize a Los Angeles move.

And here's PFT in February:

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/02/20/if-chargers-and-raiders-share-stadium-one-would-likely-move-to-nfc/

The current thinking is that the Raiders would be the most likely of the two to leave for the NFC West. The question then becomes which of the NFC West teams would move to the AFC West.

But as I said, these links are already in this thread. It's definitely been discussed, and most of the stadium play-by-play since 2011 is in here.

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If the Raiders and Chargers are the two teams that move to LA, and the Rams remain in St. Louis, I'm not sure why the Rams wouldn't be the team from the NFC West to switch to the AFC West.

If you're already breaking up rivalries by moving one of the AFC teams out of the AFC West, then why worry about a Rams-49ers rivalry that was hugely weakened the day the Rams moved to St. Louis? Why not be smart geographically and give the St. Louis market a real shot at a natural rivalry with Kansas City?

The idea that the Cardinals would be the ones to move to the AFC West just seems so bizarre to me. The Rams are the natural fit.

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Waaaaait so who's moving to LA? (Easy question right?)

Honestly given what we know, I'd have to label San Diego as the front runner in the NFL's collective eyes. The Chargers have been negotiating a deal with the LA Coliseum (the same venue the league has also solicited bids from for hosting), the Chargers are fairly far along in their plans in Carson, and the league seems most receptive to the Chargers plans if San Diego can be shown to have not done enough (which NFL stadium guru Eric Grubman has already said they haven't).

Now that doesn't mean the Chargers make the most sense to move, or that Kroenke can't just dark horse his way in at his leisure (as we know he can), but right now the odds on favorite has to be the team with the least fans in LA.

.

The Chargers would be SO stupid to ditch San Diego for Los Angeles, and the NFL would be equally as stupid for letting that happen before the Rams left St. Louis.

All the Chargers are going to do is alienate a LARGE chunk of their fan base by leaving for LA, and you're completely right. Nobody in LA gives the slightest :censored: about the Chargers when you compare them to the Raiders and the Rams.

And sacrificing the San Diego market for the St. Louis and/or Oakland(!) markets is insane.

But the NFL under Goodell and the Chargers under the Spanos family have shown time and time again just how brainless they are, so we're probably going to end up with the absolute worst possible solution rather than rectify the problems that the 95 moves caused in the first place.

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But Bucfan, if a market can't be sacrificed, then the NFL has no leverage.

However, San Diego has been allowed to work on a new stadium for most of the time the Rams have existed in St. Louis.

The bluff was called when Kroenke announced his plans, and it forced the Chargers to show what they had been working on with the NFL's blessing.

Not saying it is right, but the NFL just wants the cities that pay up. If the market is good enough, the NFL has shown it will come back when you are ready to play ball financially.

This is the league that has allowed the No. 2 market in the U.S. to be dormant for 20 years. If they can do it to L.A., they aren't worried about St. Louis vs. San Diego.

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A Rams, Raiders, Chiefs, Broncos AFC West would be appealing on many levels.

(The AFC South swap with the Jaguars or NFC North swap with the Vikings would have been even sweeter, but those days are long gone.)

Just out of curiosity, why would you want to realign the Vikings? IMO Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings is the absolute best combination of teams of any division in the NFL and should be preserved at all costs.

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Agreed. That's one division that should be untouchable, like the NFL East has always been.

Except for the STL/PHO/ARI Cardinals getting expelled from the east, yes. But they weren't part of the big rivals, anyway.

On that note, why did the Cardinals end up in the NFC East while the Buccaneers were in the Central? Even when the Cards were in St. Louis it made no sense. The geographic divisions don't mean much, as shown by the Cowboys, but it's still crazy to say "let's keep this team in a division with three teams 2,500 miles away." Both teams were historically bad, so I don't think it was a matter of any teams lobbying for one to be in their division. Still, I imagine there was some politics behind the decision.

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I'm sure it was a typo, but Tampa never was in the North. They were in the old Central (with all the North teams) until they moved to the South with the new four division format in 2002. I wonder if ColorWerx has any ideas on why the Cardinals were kept in the East. Maybe the Bidwills were close friends with other owners in that division?

Here's an idea. They had the Buccaneers and Seahawks swap conferences after year 1, as was planned before expansion. The Bucs played the first year in the AFC West. Maybe the NFL put the Seahawks in the NFC Central the first year because it would be less travel for them? Then they just sapped the teams in left everything the same until 1995. But it was clearly inconveniencing the Bucs (relatively), and they could have always swapped the Cars and Bucs in 1977.

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The Bucs didn't exist when the original NFC East was created in 1971. My assumption is that the NFL decided it was just easier to add the Bucs to the NFC Central than to move the Cardinals and find a landing spot for the Bucs.

The whole NFC was pretty screwed up at that point, especially once the Bucs were added to the Central. The NFC West included the Saints and the Falcons (and later the Panthers) until the 8 division setup arrived -- one team on the Gulf of Mexico and two in states bordering the Atlantic Ocean.

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Yeah, but swapping the Cardinals and Buccaneers would have been easy and impacted no other teams, and it would have made geographical sense.

And I didn't even think of how messed-up the NFC West was at that time. Although I wasn't pleased with the Seahawks leaving the AFC in 2002, it now seems like a perfect fit, geographically and otherwise. Their dominance and rivalry with the 49ers did a lot to entrench them in the NFC. The NFC West would be even more perfect if and when the Rams move back to LA. The only team which is currently "misplaced" geographically is the Cowboys, but that'll never change because of their rivalries. And ultimately it doesn't mean much because the teams only play at times that are easily viewable to the entire nation, and they only play in their rivals' stadium once per year.

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