Wayne Weaver is not interested in moving the Jaguars to Los Angeles. “I’m committed to Jacksonville”, he told to the Florida Times-Union.
That doesn’t mean he couldn’t sell the franchise to someone else to make the move.
We all know it’s just matter of time for the NFL to return to Los Angeles. AEG is ready to start building a stadium next to the Staples Center and getting a team for it will probably be Roger Goodell’s top priority after the lockout ends.
There are five or six teams considered as options to take their talents to L.A., but the truth is no one makes more sense than the Jaguars.
Jacksonville has struggled a lot in the past years to sell seats and many of their games have been blackouts in local TV.
It’s true that their situation improved a lot in 2010 when they had no blackouts, but the effects of the lockout could reverse that.
Even if they manage to avoid constant blackouts, the Jaguars remain in one of the smallest markets for the NFL, with the added disadvantage of competing with college football in a state devoted to the NCAA.
Of course, similar issues can be said about teams like the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills or Minnesota Vikings, the other top candidates to become the L.A. franchise.
But there is one key difference: tradition.
The other teams have a lot of history in the NFL. They also have fans across the country and worldwide which can make a difference to keep their teams.
Yes, the NFL allowed the Cleveland Browns moving to Baltimore in the 90’s, but the city recovered its team quickly. Now there is no room for expansion.
Minnesota is already making an almost last-minute effort to build the stadium the Vikings want. We can expect similar reactions from Oakland or Buffalo if their franchises get closer to Los Angeles.
A NFL without Vikings-Packers? No Bills to guarantee two Patriots victories per year? Al Davis moving the Raiders to L.A. again? I don’t see any of those happening.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars are still too young of a franchise with no significant memories or rivalries. Sadly for Jacksonville, nobody would miss them.
The Los Angeles Jaguars would also allow a realignment in the NFL, maybe switching places with the Rams. That would create and instant L.A.-San Francisco rivalry in the NFC West and a Tennessee-Indianapolis-St. Louis triangle in the AFC South..
Sooner or later, it’s going to happen.
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