The league is serious this time! And football fans are seriously deluded if they think that this is either a good thing, or that it will even happen at all. But you can’t blame the fans for being a little misguided.
The local papers are still reporting on the fantasy that the NFL is going to pay $800M to build a stadium in Los Angeles or Anaheim. The thought that the NFL needs the Southern California market for television negotiations has long since passed, but its fun to play along.
The local papers have said that the NFL Stadium Fairy is going to grant a stadium in time for the 2010 season. Okay, sure. But please dispel any notion that the league will give Southern California an expansion team. It won’t happen. An expansion team would give the league 33 teams—a logistical nightmare that occurred when the league was uneven prior to the Houston Texans arrival.
What about two expansion teams? Sure. NFL owners don’t want to split its revenues with one more team, so they would love to give up two more pieces of the pie along with the Southern California market. So that is not happening. (And really, who has $1B kicking around for the expectant expansion fee?)
So it will be an existing team moving to Southern California. But what team has a lousy lease with an out in 2010?
The Oakland Raiders.
The team that ushered in the era of free-agent franchises holding cities hostage for new stadium deals will be that team who will take that brand new $800M stadium.
Yeah, keep dreaming.
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