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NFL Merry-Go-Round: Relocation Roundelay

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Toronto is an NFL town, not a Bills town. They sold us ridiculous ticket pricing for Bills' home games. Try again.

Actually, what Toronto fans want is to pay & root for our own team. We're the 4th largest market on the continent; if we were a Bills region, they'd not have as many financial challenges.

You sure about that?

No one is sure what #4 is. I've seen Philadelphia, Toronto, the Bay Area, Washington-Baltimore, Houston, and I think Boston. I find it best to smile and nod.

Well for North America, you have to factor in Mexico too.

My "research" on metro areas (consisting of a 5-second Wikipedia search) shows:

1 Mexico City 21,163,226 2010 Mexico

2 New York 19,069,796 2010 United States

3 Los Angeles 12,828,837 2010 United States

4 Chicago 9,461,105 2010 United States

5 Dallas-Fort Worth 6,426,214 2010 United States

6 Philadelphia 5,965,343 2010 United States

7 Houston 5,920,416 2010 United States

8 Toronto 5,583,064[1] 2011 Canada

9 Washington 5,582,170 2010 United States

10 Miami 5,564,635 2010 United States

Now I have no idea how that translates in to TV Market size, but I don't think that even switching this to "CSMA" would change it much. Philadelphia might jump over Dallas and Toronto could jump a notch too.

I didn't realize just how much of Wisconsin isn't very populated. The entire state doesn't even crack that list.

Back on topic.... I know I haven't posted in here, but I get what a lot of people are saying about losing teams. It's still very real to Braves fans up here with the hurt from them leaving. When the Brewers play them, it's like a conflict of heart. Everyone that was around then looks back fondly, then it turns to a little hate.

As far as the Rams go! I'm happy that they are back in LA. Something about them being in St. Louis never really sat right with me. I think that in a few years it'll be old hat again. And you don't have the Cleveland issue as a franchise is returning. I feel bad for St. Louis fans, coming from a Brewers fan, that says a lot, but we'll save that for the baseball thread lol.

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Two teams in Los Angeles didn't hurt San Diego the first time it happened. I don't see why it would now.

Angels and Dodgers existing doesn't hurt the Padres does it?

I didn't say I agreed with the argument, merely that it's what will be put forth, as it has been put forth as the premise for the relocation application to begin with.

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I wish that when Spanos eventually doesn't own the Chargers anymore, they can go back (or stay, if they somehow decide not to go to LA) in San Diego. Especially now since the Rams beat them to LA, it will take them at least a generation or a Super Bowl to gain a significant fan base in LA.

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I can't see the Raiders moving to San Antonio as long as Jerry Jones and Bob Mcnair only need to rally 9 votes to block a move.

I'm also surprised there's been no talk of the Raiders getting something built in San Jose.

Guess being a very affluent city they don't want the rowdies.

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I'm also surprised there's been no talk of the Raiders getting something built in San Jose.

Guess being a very affluent city they don't want the rowdies.

Because the niners play just across the city line from San Jose and San Jose would rather have the A's than the Raiders.

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The San Diego Raiders. I bet they'll play at Qualcomm for another ten years, too.

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Occam's Razor says no.

NY Times: St. Louis Should Be Glad It Lost The Rams

Don’t cry for St. Louis, sports fans.

The departure of the Rams to Los Angeles, whence they came two decades ago, is something for the city’s residents to cheer, not bemoan. St. Louis got lucky.

Sure, fans of professional football in St. Louis are going to miss the Rams. Though they have been bad in recent years, they had some great seasons in St. Louis. From 1998 to 2003, Kurt Warner — one of the greatest undrafted players in N.F.L. history — set the city on its ear, winning two Most Valuable Player Awards as the Rams’ quarterback and leading the team to a Super Bowl victory after the 1999 season.

But the economics underpinning the recent deal St. Louis and the State of Missouri tried to put together to keep the Rams would have been financially ruinous. Let’s not be coy about this: St. Louis, a city of fewer than 320,000 people, with a shrinking tax base, simply couldn’t afford to help finance the $1 billion stadium that the Rams’ billionaire owner, E. Stanley Kroenke, was seeking. Its mistake was in trying.

. . .

The contortions St. Louis and the State of Missouri put themselves through to keep the Rams would be comical if they weren’t so sad. The city went to court and got a ruling that voided the law calling for voters to have a say in the granting of public subsidies, which infuriated taxpayers. The county, rather than calling for a vote of its citizens, dropped out. The governor, Jay Nixon, a Democrat, put together a task force to save the Rams.

The city, which originally put up $70 million, ultimately agreed to pay nearly $150 million — money it didn’t really have. Remember that game-day tax? Instead of using it to pay off the bonds on the dome — $100 million is still owed — it cravenly agreed to turn it all over to the Rams. The state cut a naming-rights deal with National Car Rental for $158 million — money it was going to turn over to the team. Jerry Jones, who wanted the Rams back in Los Angeles, sniffed that $158 million wouldn’t buy a lobby in Los Angeles.

The N.F.L. claims that St. Louis always had a real shot at retaining the Rams, a claim that’s hard to believe. Kroenke had devised plans to build not just a stadium in Inglewood but a huge N.F.L. complex, which would include retail, hotels, the whole bit. It was a real estate play as much as a football stadium play.

And in their application to the N.F.L. to relocate to Inglewood, the Rams sneered at the St. Louis proposal.

. . .

In the same meeting in which the N.F.L. owners voted for the Kroenke-Inglewood proposal, they agreed to give Spanos up to a year to decide whether he would join Kroenke in Inglewood. The word is that Spanos doesn’t want that; given the Rams’ long history as a Los Angeles team, the Chargers would always play second fiddle. And Kroenke would be his landlord.

His best bet, really, would be to use that year to put together a financing package for San Diego, where the Chargers have played since 1961. Last summer, the city and county said they would put up $350 million, money that they were going to have to spend (over decades) refurbishing Qualcomm Stadium, where the team currently plays. The voters would have to approve it, however, and it might also have to get through a difficult environmental review. Spanos, believing the offer was a delaying tactic meant to keep the Chargers out of Los Angeles, ignored it.

He still has the leverage that Los Angeles affords, but that leverage runs both ways. Everyone in San Diego can see that he’s in a pickle. And voter sentiment is such that a stadium proposal is an uphill battle. Whatever Spanos does next will make for fine grist for a sports business columnist. Who knows? Maybe he’ll move the Chargers to London.

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I'm calling BS on the Raiders moving to San Diego. This isn't a video game. You can't take a team from a city, replace it with its hated rival and expect the fans to suddenly root for the team they've always hated.

I'm a Bears fan, and if somehow the Bears moved and the Packers instantly replaced them, I couldn't stop hating them. I'd probably stop following the NFL altogether.

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I'm calling BS on the Raiders moving to San Diego. This isn't a video game. You can't take a team from a city, replace it with its hated rival and expect the fans to suddenly root for the team they've always hated.

I'm a Bears fan, and if somehow the Bears moved and the Packers instantly replaced them, I couldn't stop hating them. I'd probably stop following the NFL altogether.

The San Diego and San Antonio rumors are Mark throwing a tantrum over not getting LA. It's only going to get worse for him from here on out.

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I'm calling BS on the Raiders moving to San Diego. This isn't a video game. You can't take a team from a city, replace it with its hated rival and expect the fans to suddenly root for the team they've always hated.

I'm a Bears fan, and if somehow the Bears moved and the Packers instantly replaced them, I couldn't stop hating them. I'd probably stop following the NFL altogether.

The San Diego and San Antonio rumors are Mark throwing a tantrum over not getting LA. It's only going to get worse for him from here on out.

Yeah. But that doesn't mean we need to indulge him by pretending the idea is plausible.

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Called this four years ago:

Raiders aren't moving to Los Angeles. LA is the sweetest plum this league has had in years. The old boys aren't going to give it to the Davislings. They'll move in with the 49ers, stay in the Oakland Coliseum forever, or Lake County Fielders it up with some big temporary structure that appears only for gamedays, like some sort of cholo Brigadoon.

Still have my fingers crossed for Cholo Brigadoon, though that may end up being equidistant to San Antonio and Austin, supposedly

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I think I threw a napkin or something, but that makes the point a whole let dramatic doesn't it? ;)

Ice happens to be a long time member her who I generally and genuinely respect. I don't consider that simply taking an internet troll too seriously or something. To me it's a real person that I'm at least an acquaintance with (virtually, but nonetheless) calling me a liar and/or questioning my integrity. I don't think there's any issue with my reaction to such a situation.

The feeling is mutual STL :)

To clarify...I didn't mean to call you a liar or question your integrity, and I sincerely apologize if what I wrote came off as me doing so.

My point is that, as someone with no connection to either LA or St. Louis, the LA option seemed the most ideal due to the lack of public subsidies. I know you've been against the stadium proposal in St. Louis for similar reasons, but it seemed to me like your objection to Kroenke's plan was mostly informed by a St. Louis-centric perspective that didn't acknowledge its benefits and the positive precedent it may set.

I didn't mean to imply that you were subscribing to a double standard or anything, and I again apologize if I ever implied you were.

To your follow up, Ice, I don't even think I disagree that things may have worked out about as well as things could have in this s***show. But that's not the same thing as having worked out properly, or fairly, or morally justifiably.

I think the key here is that it is the same team that was taken from LA. Not even a case where new teams adopt an old moniker (Winnipeg Jets, Cleveland Browns). It's the same franchise.

You're correct in that two wrongs don't make a right, but I would say that would only apply if the Bills or Vikings (or some other team) relocated to LA under similar circumstances. Robbing a market of a team to make it up to LA for stealing the Rams would have been terrible.

Instead though? The Rams are returning to a market they probably shouldn't have left in the first place. And St. Louis would still have the football Cardinals if they had agreed to build the EJ Dome a few years earlier.

Maybe some Torontonians can elaborate, but I thought the consensus on the boards was that an NFL stadium wasn't gonna happen in the GTA. Not anytime soon, at least.

It was made abundantly clear that BMO Field would be the last publicly-financed stadium in Toronto for a while. There's no way an ownership group is getting a cent (or is it nickle now that we've gotten rid of the penny?) of public money for a new NFL-calibre stadium.

The Rogers Centre would only work as a short-term venue until one could be built. Which will only happen with private money at this point. That rules out everyone but the MLSE cabal as potential NFL ownership. Between the lacklustre support shown for the Bills in Toronto series and the failed attempt to buy the team after Ralph Wilson's passing? The dream's dead.

And it's probably for the best. I'm not an Argos fan, but I really like the CFL and don't want to see it run out of business just to give Toronto a NFL team people here probably won't care for anyway.

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Trying to slowly phase myself out of all of this, but, we're cool, Ice. Thanks for clarifying what you were saying.

For me I think it comes down to this. I just want people to acknowledged that St. Louis got screwed by forces beyond its control, including the very selfish forces of billionaires, and forces that run counter to what we all want to believe sports is about (which is in turn why these billionaires can make money on sports.)

I'm okay if you want to say that this might have been the best possible outcome because it avoided as much taxpayer spending as possible. I'm okay if you want to say that this is the best possible outcome because while someone is getting screwed, at least an injustice from 21 years ago is being fixed.

I'm just not okay with someone saying that St. Louis deserved to lose the team because of how they got it. (I'm not proud of how St. Louis got the team, but I just don't think that justifies screwing over the fan base who largely wasn't involved with that wheeling and dealing anyways.) And I'm not okay saying that St. Louis had some chance to keep the Rams if only they would have acted 5 years ago (when the EJD was 15 years old, by the way). Kroenke had this move planned a long, long time ago, and it was never his intention to work with St. Louis on a stadium deal.

Now, St. Louis might have been able to appeal to the NFL owners to block Kroenke if 5 years ago they had proposed a stadium deal with 75% public funding. But that's a pretty ridiculous thing to have asked St. Louis to do.

I said before St. Louis made one mistake and it was in 1995. I'm going to modify that. St. Louis made two mistakes. One was the lease that lured the Rams. The other was luring the Rams in the first place. Those two mistakes are what got us to where we are today in a strictly logical sense. But I don't think they provide the justification for abandoning St. Louis.

Again, perfectly willing to admit that there are reasons this outcome may have been the best of a bunch of bad possible outcomes. But if you're going to tell me this is something 21st century St. Louis could have reasonably avoided and/or that St. Louis didn't get screwed, then I'm going to take issue with it.

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For me I think it comes down to this. I just want people to acknowledged that St. Louis got screwed by forces beyond its control, including the very selfish forces of billionaires, and forces that run counter to what we all want to believe sports is about (which is in turn why these billionaires can make money on sports.

I totally get that sentiment, but isn't that the case with just about every relocation? It's not like St. Louis is alone in that experience.

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We'll just have to respectfully agree to disagree on a couple of those points. But while I'm looking for the bright side of this relocation, I won't forget the cost. Sucks.

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