NFL: Why Jacksonville to Los Angeles Would Solve Many League Problems
For those of you who may not be watching the Jacksonville Jaguars, which I assume is a lot of you, the team is bad. The team is 1-7, their only win coming against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3. If the team loses next week, it will be off to the worst start in franchise history. The team is clearly not succeeding, and a move to Los Angeles may be good for the team and the league in the long run.
Los Angeles approved a stadium plan in late September that would put a $1.5 billion stadium in downtown Los Angeles. It may take up to four years for the stadium and convention center to be completed, but as the article states, a team could play in an existing stadium if it wants to move before the stadium is completed. The San Diego Chargers originally looked to be the front-runners to move, but the Jaguars should not be overlooked.
The Jaguars are a young team in terms of history. The team came into the league in 1995, and have only won two division championships with six total playoff appearances. Its last playoff appearance was in 2007, and the team has yet to reach a conference championship game since 1999.
According to ESPN, the Jaguars have never been higher than 21st in attendance, reaching a low of 30th in 2009. A move to Los Angeles would put the team directly into a large market, and that number would increase dramatically. The team would be able to bring in talent because of its market and could be a contending team.
The move to Los Angeles would also not affect the Jaguars franchise very much. Jacksonville is the smallest market in Florida and would not have a hard time switching allegiances to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Miami Dolphins. The franchise has not had roots in the Jacksonville market, meaning that only the younger generation would be affected, and could change easily.
Which Team Should the NFL Move to LA?
The only negative is that the Jaguars are the only "Big Four" franchise in Jacksonville, and the economic value to the city cannot be unmatched. It would be disappointing for the city, but smart for the league.
Finally, it would fix part of the geographical problems with the NFL's current divisional layout. If the Jaguars were to move to LA, they could move into the NFC West, and the St. Louis Rams would move into the AFC South. The new NFC West would be the LA Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. All of the teams are on the West Coast, and they would be able to build natural rivalries between the four of them.
St. Louis would be the smarter team to move over the Kansas City Chiefs because St. Louis fits into the AFC South better than the Chiefs. The Rams could be rivals with the up-and-coming Colts because the Rams are a team that is trending up too. A rivalry with the Tennessee Titans is a given because of Super Bowl XXXIV, which showcased the two. Houston would still run the division, but that would happen regardless if Jacksonville was there or not.
A move to Los Angeles would give the Jaguars a better chance to be a competitive team, and it would also fix some problems with the current division layout of the NFL. The Jacksonville fanbase may not like the idea, but it would be the smartest move for the NFL. Do not be surprised if the Los Angeles Jaguars are playing the Seattle Seahawks come 2016.
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