LA Football: Raiders, Chargers, and The Teams That Could Move to Farmers Field
AEG and Farmers Insurance Exchange announced the naming-rights deal that it is worth $700 million over 30 years for a proposed stadium in downtown Los Angeles. The 64,000-seat retractable roof stadium will be named Farmers Field.
If you build it, will they come?
There hasn't been a NFL franchise to call Los Angeles home since the Raiders and Rams both left the city in 1995 for Oakland and St. Louis, respectively. It is hard to believe that one of the largest television markets has gone 15 years without a franchise in the country's most popular sport.
Even if a stadium gets approved in Los Angeles, they still need a team. The NFL more than likely will not be adding any expansion franchises any time soon so a team will need to be persuaded to relocate to Los Angeles.
Here are the five most likely franchises to relocate to Los Angeles should they build a new stadium.
5. Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings' need for a new stadium came to the forefront after the collapse of the Metrodome roof this season.
The team has been in discussions with the state on how to come up with the necessary financing to fund the new stadium. The government is holding fast to its desire to not pay for the stadium from the state's general tax funds.
Aside from the discussion of how to pay for the stadium is the actual location and design. They have a couple potential sites including a former Army ammunitions plant. The city wants the new stadium to have a roof on it so that the venue can be used for multiple events. The Vikings however, want an open air stadium.
They can go back and forth on the details but the fact remains that the Vikings lease with the Metrodome is up after next season. They wouldn't be the first team wearing purple and gold to relocate to Los Angeles.
4. St. Louis Rams
The Rams have been attempting to get a more updated facility than their current home in the Edward Jones Dome. They have a clause in their lease that will free them from the current agreement if the dome is not among the top quarter of facilities in the NFL in 2014.
By 2015, it will most likely not be in the top quarter of NFL venues.
The math means that only eight teams have to have a better facility. After the new facilities in Dallas, Indianapolis, Houston, Detroit, New York, and Arizona that leaves only two more teams to make the clause a reality.
The Rams could consider a return to Los Angeles in 2015. A new stadium and a city that has the ability to truly support two NFL franchises could be enticing enough to relocate.
3. Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders are another team with an expiring stadium lease. Not only is their time coming up but their current stadium is a dinosaur.
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum was built in 1966. In today's modern stadium era it cannot keep up with the other facilities in the league.
The Raiders could benefit by returning to Los Angeles for multiple reasons. They still have a large following in the area.
The city would benefit since without a new stadium the chances of the Super Bowl returning to Los Angeles are slim to none.
In the end, Al Davis will do what Al Davis wants to do.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars need a new stadium and a new city. They have had dwindling attendance and are in a market that has shown it isn't large enough for a NFL team. The city also failed miserably as a Super Bowl host.
The problem is that the team is under lease for the stadium until 2030.
This creates a lot of complications for the team to relocate to a new site. It has been estimated that the costs to move the team could be as high as $250 million in fees.
The only location that could make sense is Los Angeles. The market is large enough that the team could be able to work out some form of a deal that would be financially reasonable.
If they can't then they will continue to lose money as fans don't show up whether the team wins or loses.
1. San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers have notified the city that they will not exercise the exit clause they have available in 2011.
That doesn't take away from the fact that they need a new stadium. Their current home, Quallcomm Stadium, was built in 1967 when the team moved from Los Angeles to San Diego.
They could be returning to L.A. if the team, league and city can't come up with a viable financing plan for a new stadium that can be voted on in 2012. The team and city have essentially been working off of a year-to-year lease since 2004.
Three of the NFL's four oldest stadiums are in California. It seems to be the most probable option that one of those stadiums and teams relocate into the new venue.
Unfortunately for Chargers fans, the Chargers are probably the most likely to leave.