Yesterday the Los Angeles City Council approved plans for an NFL stadium to be built in the downtown section of Los Angeles but there’s still the matter of getting an NFL team to relocate before any stadium construction can begin.
Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com takes a look at a number of teams that could find themselves playing in Southern California at some point in the coming year.
San Diego Chargers:
– As of now the Chargers are the odds on favorites to relocate. The move from San Diego to L.A. would allow them to retain a good amount of their current fan base while expanding into the countries second biggest market. So far the Chargers have been unable to strike a deal for a new stadium so there’s definitely and incentive to leave San Diego.
St Louis Rams
– The St Louis Rams have a new owner and similar stadium issues to the Chargers. Seventeen years ago the team was still playing L.A. so there’s already a connection in place with the city. St Louis also plays in the NFC West so there’s a seamless transition to be made as far as league’s and divisions are concerned.
The Vikings could end up being the NFL’s version of the Lakers if they choose to be the ones that leave for greener pastures. Minnesota has battling for a new stadium after the collapse of the Metrodome last year but legislation has been sluggish thus far to produce any city financing for a new stadium. The Vikings are still less likely to leave than some of the other teams.
Al Davis’s team keeps coming up as strong possibility considering that he’s laid claim to Los Angeles years ago and still has decent fan base in place there. Recent talks between the Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers have produced the idea that the two teams would look into building a shared stadium like the New Meadowlands stadium that houses both the Giants and Jets in New York. It’s hard to say as of now just how much this could factor into the Raiders decision but you can expect them to be weighing their options in the coming months.
The Bills have been a floundering franchise since the early part of the 90’s and have even located regular season games in Toronto for the last few years now but Bills owner Ralph Wilson is set on the idea that the Bills will remain in Northern New York.
Although Jacksonville has proven to have been a bad investment for the NFL, their owner has taken a similar stance to the Ralph Wilson in that he intends to keep the team in Jacksonville despite plenty of suggestions that the team makes the most sense to be relocated considering that it would be moving from the No. 47 overall television market to the No. 2.