benspn is back and as decent as we’ve ever been! To all the loyal fans out there, I know, and you know, that the one thing that you’ve been missing in your life is a benspn article so we’ve decided to give you one.
As many of you may know, the St. Louis Rams moved to Los Angeles for the start of the current season and played their games in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, to a 4-11 record, one might add. (What’s worse, their most recent loss jeopardized benspn’s chances of repeating as winner of their knockout pool.) But the team will move into its massive new stadium in Inglewood, named (wishfully) the City of Champions Stadium, in 2019. The building’s estimated cost is $2.66 billion. The Rams’ move marked the return of pro football to LA after 21 years. The Raiders left the city to return to Oakland in 1995, a year after the Rams themselves took off, first for Anaheim and then St. Louis.
And there may be more moves: The Chargers and Raiders are both in the midst of discussions of also moving to the City of Angels, and now let me explain to you why either of those teams moving, whether to LA or anywhere else, is a horrible idea.
Twenty years ago, LA obviously struggled to support two NFL teams so when the Rams returned, that should have been the discussion should’ve been over. Teams moving players around is risky business, and teams changing cities is completely detrimental to their fan bases. Both the Raiders and Chargers have developed devoted fan bases in their cities (which are already in California). Moving would leave these fans without a team to support, even as it’s possible that adding more competition to LA would cause over saturation in the city.
The plan that would move the Chargers to LA is still up in the air, but seems likely. Chargers owner Dean Spanos is most likely going to exercise his option to move to LA for the upcoming season before his deadline of January 15. But his plan for actually getting his team a place to play in LA has not been solidified after his first two plans were rejected by the public. Spanos’s original plan was to have a joint, $1.7 billion stadium with the Raiders in the LA area, but the plan was rejected because it called for a 4% hike on LA’s hotel tax and the use of approximately $1.15 billion of taxpayer funds.
This is one of the major problems with teams switching moving cities: Owners want taxpayers to pay for large parts of their new stadium with very little in return. The money taxpayers spend on a new stadium could be used for nearly anything else that to definitively benefit the city. More than a billion dollars can go a long way towards helping the public. Even after the owners would receive the money they would do very little to pay the city back when they are finished building. There would be no revenue sharing between the team and the city and profits from everything from parking to ticket sales wouldn’t be used to payback the city, leaving the city much, much poorer.
The other options for the Chargers involve using other stadiums while they explore further options to build a new home in the city. The team could attempt to share the Rams’ new stadium when it opens in 2019, which would still require them to find a temporary home until then. Venues such as the StubHub Center, a soccer stadium which seats 30,000 could be used but the Chargers would still be forced to build temporary practice space until moving into the Rams’ building.
The Raiders, have more options: The team is also willing to move to Las Vegas and management has declared that if Vegas gives them a stadium they will move there instead. This move makes even less sense than the Chargers’ plan. The Raiders would be moving out of the country’s sixth-biggest media market (the Bay Area) to the much smaller Vegas region. It would be nearly impossible for the Raiders’ large Oakland fan base to get to games in Las Vegas, almost completely alienating their original base (again). This plan also calls for infamous casino mogul Sheldon Adelson to put $650 million toward the $1.9 billion project in exchange for part ownership of the team, which seems pretty unfavorable for Mark Davis, the current owner. The Vegas offer may be lucrative but it could isolate the team and doom it to failure.