All of the hullabaloo started less than 2 weeks ago, when a proposal was floated by the Oakland Raiders that they'd be willing to be co-tenants in a new stadium in Los Angeles. The kicker in the proposal was that Raiders would be willing to switch from the AFC to the NFC to make the arrangement work - and putting teams in Los Angeles in separate conferences, like the Giants and Jets in New York [Editors Note: New Jersey] in New York (Editors Note: New Jersey).
The Raiders' proposal was a revealing statement, and here's why.
- It means the Raiders are not the current front-runners to move to Los Angeles. The statement smacked of desperation on the part of Raiders' owner Mark Davis, who clearly doesn't want to get frozen out of the chance for a new stadium.
- The fact that the Raiders offered to switch to the NFC means that "someone" desperately wants to create the idea that the Chargers are legitimately interested in moving to Los Angeles.
- It means that, at present, the most likely team to move to Los Angeles is, in fact, the St. Louis Rams. Given that they have already said they don't want to "share" Los Angeles, this means...
- The NFL is the entity desperately trying to create the impression of a two-team race to Los Angeles.
St. Louis Rams
San Diego Chargers
"That is a very important issue to us because over the last 20 years we have spent a lot of time working into the Orange County/LA market, and 25-30% of our business comes from that area" he said. "So when the Rams and Raiders left 20 years ago, we really worked hard to obtain that business. So having a team or two teams going there would really be devastating to us right now. We want to be protective of our business down here, so it would not be in our best interest if a team or two teams went up there." - Dean Spanos
- Secure some sort of a future agreement to split the marketing in the lucrative Orange County region.
- Secure extra financial rewards for giving up rights to Los Angeles, in exchange for not opposing a move.
- Sending an unofficial signal that the Chargers are readying a move of their own.
In Closing - My Pipe Dream.
There's no chance this happens, but let's go with it anyway. Because I'm a native San Diegan and the idea of the Chargers playing home games in Los Angeles is anathema to me - not even with SoCal Chargers window dressing.
- $200 million from the Chargers.
- $200 million from the NFL Stadium Loan Program.
- $150-200 million for naming rights.
- $150-200 million from the league for giving up current Los Angeles marketing opportunities and not opposing a move.