Franchise relocation is a hot commodity in professional sports today. The city of Seattle, which lost the Sonics to Oklahoma City, is now in a prime position to finally bring big-league basketball back to the northwestern city (via Reuters).
Sacramento appears to be the next city set to lose a professional team to a city pushing a new arena.
California’s sixth largest city is 30th in the NBA in average attendance, only mustering 13,226 fans per home game. It also sits near the bottom with 76.4 percent of tickets sold. To compare, 21 of the 30 NBA teams average at least 80 percent.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles sits in the driver’s seat when it comes to NFL relocation or expansion. Los Angeles will no doubt be the next city to call an NFL franchise home.
Farmers Field is Anschutz Entertainment Group’s biggest project by far. It hopes to solve a major issue for most living in Los Angeles: The absence of the NFL in LA.
Currently, there are three prime candidates that soon may find the AEG-funded stadium too irresistible to pass up. The San Diego Chargers, St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders are those teams—and every day that passes without viable options for new stadiums in their respective cities, the better it is for AEG and LA.
These three candidates share many similar qualities. For one, all three teams have recently hired new coaches, and each has had a long playoff drought.
In addition, all three teams have owners scouting their cities for a new stadium. San Diego is closest to accomplishing the goal, as a site has been identified and public support appears to be present.
The Chargers, Rams and Raiders have all called Los Angeles home, and all have fan bases occupying the greater Los Angeles area.
One thing is certain: The NFL is returning to Los Angeles sometime this decade. All three of these teams are teetering on the edge of relocation. One decision by an arbitration panel, or one failed proposition, could result in relocation.
Let’s examine, in depth, the circumstances surrounding each situation—and let you decide.
All images of Farmers Field can be found at http://farmersfield.com/pages/image-gallery.