LA smoke = NFL’s fire

So far this year I’ve mostly held off from commenting the routine every-six-weeks rumors about a NFL team or two moving to LA. Buttressed by nothing but anonymous sources and a whisper campaign, I chose to sit back and wait for real news to come forth. Unfortunately for the three cities in line to have potential relocation candidates – San Diego, St. Louis, and Oakland – there’s now too much going on to dismiss it all as mere rumors. Something else is happening, and chances are the NFL is directing the whole affair.

Could Dodger Stadium be a temporary NFL home? The NFL isn't dismissing the idea.

Could Dodger Stadium be a temporary NFL home? The NFL isn’t dismissing the idea.

It always starts out with the NFL leaking info to two national reporters, NBC Sports/Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio and CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora. “Fresh” rumors will cycle about the aforementioned teams, or even the Bills, Jaguars, and Vikings prior to their respective ownership or stadium changes. The nature and frequency of such leaks – with little subsequent activity to make them pay off – made them easy to dismiss. Now, I’m not so sure. Last week AEG asked the City of Los Angeles for a six-month extension to bring in a team. The current agreement is set to expire next week, on October 17. An additional six months would allow AEG to cover the postseason window during which teams are allowed to declare their intent to relocate, usually in February. That could easily happen with the Rams and/or Raiders, who are unencumbered by leases past this season.

Then yesterday, LA Times football reporter (and former Merc scribe) Sam Farmer revealed that the NFL may consider Dodger Stadium as a temporary stadium. That would put three venues in play in LA: the Rose Bowl, LA Memorial Coliseum, and Dodger Stadium. Each comes with a sticking point, even for temporary use. The Rose Bowl has a restriction on the number of large events that can be held there, yet the City of Pasadena wants to encourage additional events that could help it pay for $168 million in recent renovations. The LA Coliseum is controlled by USC under a new lease agreement. An NFL team having to play tenant to a college is not something the league prefers, and the size and condition of the venue are not ideal either. Dodger Stadium, not previously considered as a temporary venue, has a hard cap on the number of seats inside the venue at 56,000. That’s small for NFL’s taste, and it’s obviously not a football stadium. However, Dodger Stadium has plenty of suites and luxury amenities that any team could use to make up for the lack of capacity by jacking up prices. Previously Dodger Stadium had been considered as a potential football venue, with new construction either adjacent to or replacing the current venue with the baseball team moving downtown. That’s an extremely far-fetched idea that has far too many moving parts (AEG, Guggenheim, City) to take seriously at the moment.

One idea that seems possible is the NFL making agreements with two or perhaps all three venues to host some numbers of games. This is especially important if two teams come to LA. The NFL would be able to play matchmaker, juggling three teams and three venues. Eventually one team and one venue will lose out, creating a competitive environment largely controlled by the league. They already wield control in the form of the G-4 stadium financing program and the associated hookups with banks and large financiers such as Goldman Sachs. Those hookups are just as important as G-4 because they mean that the bulk of the stadium construction cost wouldn’t have to be bonded through an open market (read: more expensive) process. Stan Kroenke is certainly rich enough to build a stadium at Hollywood Park himself, but he’s not going to turn down savings of several million per year in order to do it.

Moreover, the NFL has assigned an executive to oversee the LA market. From the LA Times:

Eric Grubman, an NFL executive vice president, said the league was guardedly optimistic about its discussions with AEG and supported the company’s request for an extension of its agreement with the city.

“The discussions are very preliminary, but we are encouraged enough by recent progress that we share AEG’s view that continued conversations would be worthwhile,” he said in a statement. “An extension could well provide the time necessary for us and AEG to determine whether the downtown site can be considered by our membership during our next off-season period.”

AEG’s seemingly dead Farmers Field project has suddenly gotten a boost and some level of validation from the league. The NFL probably still doesn’t like the terms (AEG gets piece of relocating team in exchange for building stadium), but such an exchange may be unavoidable in the future. It certainly doesn’t hurt or cost the NFL to keep Farmers Field in play for now. Ed Roski’s City of Industry plan, a frontrunner several years ago, appears beyond dead though the land remains available if the NFL is willing. There’s even the crazy concept of the NFL building a stadium on its own and housing two teams within. It would be the ultimate in control, though the league would have to go through the lengthy, arduous CEQA process to get it done.

Finally, there’s the very basic notion of teams and the NFL using LA as a stalking horse, which it has done successfully for nearly two decades. While that card will always be in play, inaction on the local level by San Diego, Oakland, and St. Louis make the tactic less effective than it has been previously. If the NFL can use scare tactics to cajole one of these cities to pony up for a stadium, I imagine that they’ll consider it a success. The other two can relocate under the NFL’s guidance and supervision. Relocation fees would probably be baked into the stadium deals and a sale of an ownership stake, with the payoff coming in the form of a 2X franchise valuation.

Now that the FCC has struck down local market NFL blackouts, the ratings-related advantages for keeping teams out of LA will disappear after the current broadcast agreements expire in 2022. It’s a good time for the NFL to act.

91 thoughts on “LA smoke = NFL’s fire

  1. This would be the opposite of when the Dodgers moved to LA in 1958 and had to play in a football stadium for a few years because there was no suitable MLB venue.

  2. It’s going to happen happen soon just a matter of when. Worse case scenario is that AEG buys the Raiders and moves the team to LA. I just don’t see the league wanting the Raiders in LA with Mark Davis as the team owner. The Rams or Chargers will be the one of the team(s) that move to LA. If the Raiders move they will move to St Louis with Davis as owner or to London with new ownership.

    • I agree in terms of the Raiders in LA. I don’t think the NFL trusts Mark Davis enough to give him the LA market. Even with the new blackout rules the local team still has to be televised and if the team is crap no one in LA will watch.

      I don’t see the Raiders moving to St Louis however. St Louis is a baseball town and I think it will always be tough for a football team in that city. They would just be inheriting the Rams problems only with a worse team.

      Given all of the options for the NFL and the Raiders, assuming Davis doesn’t sell, San Antonio might actually be the best choice.

      • @ Slacker
        I agree with most of what you said, I really don’t think the NFL will trust Davis in LA. I’m not sure if he can even come up with the relocation fee, without giving up controlling interest.
        I also believe while San Antonio would be a bad place for the Raiders, I don’t think it would be better than Oakland.

      • The one advantage that San Antonio has over Oakland is the possibility of a government funded stadium which also opens up funds from the NFL. I think San Antonio/Texas are stupid enough to help pay for a stadium to expand football in Texas, whereas that’s not even a remote option in Oakland.

      • @ Slacker you are right about St Louis it is a baseball and hockey town. I just think the Raiders will be the team that will be the first to relocate to London after they are forced to sell to a new ownership group.

        San Antonio will watch with the Raiders for a year or two, but they are not going to put up with watching an inept team like the Raiders for too long. If the Raiders stay or move to a new location they will need #newownership for this franchise to return to its glory days.

      • Let’s be clear here. There will NEVER be an NFL team based in the UK.

  3. I think London is a potential home for the Jaguars when their lease expires in 2027(?)…but I can’t see a team going there before then. The league will keep playing a few games per year there until then to stoke the fires.

    The London Jaguars sounds pretty good.

    Is the Anaheim Angels stadium a potential short-term NFL site, too?

  4. Given how the Angels stadium was specifically de-NFLized after the Rams left and the place is 30 miles from LA, I’ll bet it’s not in contention to temporarily host an NFL team. Dodger Stadium puts the NFL right in the heart of LA – not a county away. Kind of like how the 49ers play in Frisco and not a couple of counties away – oh wait a second. Never mind.

  5. The Jags lease problem is a myth. The maximum that team would pay to break it would be $100 mil – likely much less. There are also attendance and profitability clauses with that lease. For example, if the Jags are in the red for 3 consecutive years they can terminate the lease – that may already have occurred. There are also similar attendance clauses where they could break the lease.

    It appears that ML has been correct about the Raiders though, they and the Jags – or possibly the Rams are the candidates(although the Rams owner is a St. Louis native – Kroenke’s threat may be a bluff)

    • @duffer – It’s easy for us to call $100 million “easy” when it’s not our money. There’s a good reason why no team has paid that amount to break a lease even though many teams have had the opportunity.

    • I just can’t see the Jaguars. There would be literally zero pre-existing fans in Los Angeles that were Jaguars fans prior to the move. All the other three candidates (Raiders, Chargers, Rams) can claim SOME pre-existing Southern California history and fanbase.

      That’s why I think the Jags are eventually headed across the pond.

      • Signing Tebow would have been a no-brainer for that franchise also. They must have plans of relocating somewhere.

  6. Why is the LA Coliseum a better venue that the current Oakland Coliseum? So the Raiders will trade one dirt infield for another? Also, the Coliseum has been reconfigured for football with the temporary seats and the luxury suites while Dodger Stadium has not.

    If the Raiders leave Oakland will probably be better for it. The departure will leave more disposable income to be spent on local Oakland small businesses like restaurants, shops, theaters and other entertainment venues.

    The NFL is a ripp off to their host cities. The NFL takes money out of communities, increases unlawful behavior and contributes to congestion. LA has survived just fine all of these years without an NFL franchise while Detroit has struggled while having four pro franchises.

    Mark Davis is free to go if he pays off the debt on the Coliseum. The Warriors are also free to go after payi g the 62 million they owe the City of Oakland.

    Can you imagine all the newly paved streets and well manicured parks in Oakland with all that extra cash?

    • Have to agree with this most of this. What is Santa Clara getting out of hosting the 49ers? More traffic, fans fighting and clogging up the municipal court docket. Not much else. East Rutherford, NJ has never gotten much out of hosting “New York’s” two football teams…I don’t think Mark Davis is under any contractual obligation to pay off the Coliseum debt if he leaves. Wasn’t there a guy recently who offered to help pay off the Coliseum debt? Who was that guy? Oh that’s right – it was Lew Wolff…

      • @pjk/Elmano – I took the Levi’s Stadium tour today at lunch. There were local businesses and school groups taking tours, as well as at least one private function in the United Club. 2 weddings have already been performed there, with 2 more scheduled so far. 49er fans and many locals are taking great pride in this facility, and since the 49ers are running it they aren’t going to let it decay like the ‘Stick or the Coliseum. The building is doing its job of creating an enhanced fan experience (marketing speak) for paying fans, and growing the fanbase. The list of sponsors is long. Like it or not, this approach is what’s needed to build a successful new venue in the NFL. If a city can’t handle it, they’d best be prepared to step aside, as SF did and Oakland is getting ready to do.

      • @ pjk
        I sure hope Lew Wolff’s offer to pay off the coliseum and arena debt is for real, if so Oakland needs to jump all over that offer.

      • @ML
        That’s a pretty bold statement, your reference to Oakland stepping aside. Is there a white flag up, and we don’t know it yet?

      • No.

      • East Rutherford basically exists to serve the Meadowlands. Santa Clara, while not a big or important city, was and is at least a functional entity of some note even without the stadium.

    • What is also odd about the NFL is its attempts at always pressuring franchises to build new stadiums. The LA Coliseum, for example is ancient, yet that place always is selling out 90,000 fans per game for the USC football. Other college football programs enjoy similar huge attendance figures. The college football fans don’t need a new state-of-the-art stadium – why should the NFL fans require one?

    • It’s not really about the LA coliseum being better than the Oakland now. Not in terms of the actual facilities. But the team value instantly doubles. And then there’s the fact there are easier opportunities to build a new stadium there where you can better leverage that new team value to build.

      That being said, it’s not really Oakland’s loss if it happens. If anything, it’ll help them get off the pot and start focusing solely on the A’s.

  7. ML: You sound as if Oakland is ready to surrender in its fight to at least keep the Raiders. Know something here that the rest of don’t? (FWIW, unless Santa Clara hotels and restaurants are seeing a spike in business because of the stadium – and maybe they are – the benefits seem obscure to the municipality. Sounds like the money is going to the stadium and staying there. )

    • @pjk – You’re missing the concept. Santa Clara is competing regionally with its neighbors in the County and the broader Bay Area. If they can get visitors to provide net economic impact, it’s a win, especially on non-game days. Local hotels are getting lower vacancy rates and business around the stadium is quite robust. The risk was always that financial burden would be too great. Now that the stadium is practically paid off in terms of long-term commitments, all additional direct and indirect financial impact is gravy.

      • I’m sure the Bennigans down the street from the stadium, the In-Out Burger at the Mercado, and a few other businesses are doing great on game days. We’ll see how it all shakes out over the long run.

      • Let’s not forget that there is a massive mixed-use development slated for right across the street (basically giving Santa Clara an actual downtown which they haven’t had since the 50s and early 60s), on the order of 5x the size of Santana Row.

  8. Sure seems like the Rams are definitely lining up to be the first team into LA by all accounts. They’ve got the land, there’s the rumors their filing in February and now this. The big question is who does AEG acquire to be the second team. Raiders seem the odds on favorite being that their owner can’t afford to own an NFL team anymore quite frankly and that the league would undoubtedly not mind seeing the last vestiges of the Davis family simply go away from any control of a franchise. That and the Raiders have a much easier route out of town with still no lease beyond this year and no plans on the table in Oakland beyond rainbows and unicorns. The other party, the Chargers, are at least still working with their city on a ballot initative for 2016 that does at least have a chance of passing if they play their cards right given that city’s desire for a new convention space now that their existing convention center plan was derailed due to the courts. That and the Chargers aren’t interested in selling, nor do they really need to unlike Davis.

    • Also the Chargers could have taken up the AEG offer and moved to LA five years ago – and still haven’t bitten. They appear to have no interest an AEG partial ownership or AEG’s lease arrangement. The Raiders are likely more of a candidate for Los Angeles than SD is.

      • San Diego is viewed as a great Super Bowl site – as long as they can get a new stadium. Oakland? Notsomuch. The NFL has an incentive to try to stay in San Diego.

      • @pjk
        They have an incentive to say in Oakland (Northern California), as well (although not as much), two AFC and NFC teams, one in league LA and the Bay Area. It would retain the division and league alignments as they are.

      • Lakeshore, but they’ve already got a team in NorCal (the one more NorCal football fans follow). Plus if the Raiders and Rams move to LA they can maintain the existing alignments and even the existing rivalries. Nothing changes for them if the Rams and Raiders return home.

      • @athletics68
        Yes, not my best augment for Oakland retaining the Raiders. Still don’t think they get LA with Davis in control, but I guess we will see soon.

      • Oh I agree, if LA happens for the Raiders it’ll be with control going to AEG. I can see Davis hanging around as a minority partner with practice entry rights and maybe a luxury suite but not much else. Which may be all he wants. He certainly has no clue how to run a football team any more than his father did in his later years.

    • @ Dan
      It’s not like a second team is required right away, as a matter of fact if the Rams do make the move an expansion team is more likely to be the second team in. I’m sure AEG and the NFL would prefer Davis just sale the team and walk away, in the end he may just happen, but there remains a path for him to get things done in Oakland, if it’s what he really wanted.

      • Not sure the NFL is going to waste an expansion team on the US at this point either. Remember the league is already at 32 teams which frankly is pushing it. Any expansion teams are going to go to London or Mexico City to begin growing the league into new markets unless they plan on relocating a team like Jacksonville.

      • @athletics68
        See my last statement.

      • There’s NEVER going to be a team in Mexico or the UK.

    • Take it with a grain of salt. The guy who wrote it just went on the radio and admitted it was pure rumor. And anything from Bleacher Report is automatically suspect anyway since they’re not an actual source of actual news.

    • I heard something about this on the news this morning. Glad it is just coming from BR. I know it really means nothing now, but what a slap to have Commish Davis’ Raiders taken out of what was the AFL at one point. For all the talk we do of how the NFL would want to see the Raiders/Davis “x” (punished or whatever we want to call it) this is the one that would be symbolically the best.

  9. It’s beginning to look more and more likely that this upcoming Jan./Feb. 2015 will be the first open filing season for NFL teams to apply for relocation to LA. For this reason, the NFL is hopeful that an extension will allow for an AEG stadium deal to be worked out with at least one NFL team. At the same time, the Rams could be working on a separate deal for a stadium deal on their own LA property. This leads me to believe that two teams could be relocating to LA at the same time, or within one year of each other. The fact that Dodger stadium is now seriously being considered as a temporary facility for a relocating team tells me that two NFL teams could be relocating to LA at about the same time, one playing temporarily at Dodger Stadium, the other temporarily playing at the Rose Bowl. Now start placing your bets as to which teams will be heading to LA.

  10. Louis Gossett Jr. says to bring the Raiders back to LA, “where they belong.”

  11. There was a Goodell press conference today, and a lot of questions were asked about LA. He didn’t say much, but there were a few interesting quotes. NFL is less concerned about the temporary homes for the team’s, than finding permanent home.

  12. Unless MDavis sells the team, I doubt the raiders are not going to LA.

  13. i still see the most realistic scenario of the rams and chargers moving. will the nfl want two teams from the same division, if the raiders and chargers move, to share a stadium? i guess it’s not the most ideal situation but it’d be awkward.

    as for the raiders? i just can’t see them getting a deal done in oakland and i don’t think the nfl wants the raiders back in nfl for numerous reasons both on AND off the field. i don’t think they have the money to build in oakland. the wild card scenario being san antonio? well at least they’d still be in the afc west, heck kc is further east than san antonio is and in terms of geographically there would be a loss less air mileage as it’ll move them closer to both den and kc, especially kc.

    • Good point, they would be closer to Denver and Kansas City, if they were in San Antonio.
      I think San Antonio is around 200 miles from Dallas and Houston (different directions), and a smaller market then a second team in the Bay Area, so it’s really not that attractive of a market, but if you simply want a municipality to pay for most of, or all of the cost of a new venue then San Antonio may be your place.
      Perhaps, they will be desperate enough to pay the ransom it will take, love the Raiders but to hell with them if they leave again.

  14. plus they already have a team with the colors of silver and black so their fans there wouldn’t have to change their colored attire.

  15. in all honestly i actually want the raiders to stay and i’m a niners fan. i’m not like those asses from across the bay who actually want and imo have actively and still are actively trying to get the a’s to move out the bay area.

    just don’t think coliseum will happen. spend a billion dollars for an nfl venue when there is already one having been built in the area? never mind i think it’ll cost more than billion if they wanna add that supposed retractable roof to help draw indoor events too.

    i honestly don’t think levi’s stadium is even an option anymore, at least not long term. niners have damn near paid off the stadium with all their ticket sales, suite sales, and sponsorships and sure they could use the extra rent money that the raiders could provide for a handful of seasons before they get their new venue.

    but the thinking that the niners/levis need the raiders more than the other way around that i’ve read is complete bull. financially and off the field the niners are set up to be at least top 5-10 org in the nfl, on the field is a whole other matter.

  16. Earlier tonight someone in the know was tweeting about how Noel Gallo has apparently softened his stance towards extending the BayIG ENA. If you recall, he has had some harsh words towards them. He has even gone so far as to go on the record saying they need to be replaced. But this is the same Gallo who was putting Lew Wolff on blast just before the lease extension vote, seemingly sour on the deal but was (literally) all smiles the very next day encouraging the JPA to vote in favor of the lease extension. Since then he has endorsed Jean Quan for reelection. I’m guessing partly as a favor to her he’s open to extending the lease for another 4-6 months. I would tend to think Dan Kalb is too for the same reason. Desley Brooks who is not a fan of how the project has been put together has a history of not voting on sports issues instead of voting no. So don’t be surprised if BayIG gets the extension they’re looking for. Just be aware it has more to do with election politics than an imminent deal.

    But there is the issue of the date. The A’s aren’t going anywhere soon so the council can use the ENA extension as a CYA moment. If you extend the deadline past February they’re almost daring Mark Davis to announce he’s leaving. If they allow the ENA to expire on the 21st it would take the miracle of all miracles to keep the Raiders and their need to be “met halfway.” If he leaves while still in a period of apparent negotiation with Oakland it’s easier to deflect criticism and put blame on him. Right or wrong, fair or unfair.

    Personally I’m rooting (and to be honest, lobbying) the council to let the ENA expire. If a deal can still be reached between the Raiders and BayIG – great! But they should do it on their own time and come back to us when it’s done. I’d like to see talks between the A’s and Oakland begin asap. But that won’t happen with a 3rd party ENA. The A’s won’t join in under those circumstances. And rightly so. Unless of course there is a $10 million escrow, which isn’t happening. So I’d like to see BayIG GTFO of the way…..for now.

    But it sounds like that’s not the way it’s going to play out.

  17. By extending the ENA, it’s more failing to get a deal done with the Raiders while nothing at all happens with the A’s, except maybe MLB throwing its hands in the air and approving San Jose. There is a $600 million gap to fill on a Raiders stadium and that gap has been there for a long time.

  18. I’m liking these latest news items:
    1. Raiders being 1/2 billion short on funding a new stadium in Oakland
    2. NFL pushing for teams in LA
    3. NFL also pushing Raiders to consider Levi’s stadium
    4. Mark Davis also considering San Antonio
    5. Oakland is on real estate and start-up/VC and matriculation upswing, due to SF and Silicon Valley both being so immensely expensive and the spill-over effect, making development there more attractive.
    6. Due to being blocked to San Jose, and Raiders possibly (probably?) leaving, Lew Wolff is now seriously considering developing the Coliseum complex (and has let Oakland/Alameda County know this), with new ballpark himself, while offering to pay off Mt Davis debt (price of obtaining control of the land).
    7. Wolff/Fisher being very able to build stadium, develop “mini-coliseum city”, pay off debt, and turn a long range profit. No funding shortfalls (see item #1).
    8. Alameda county being behind Wolff/A’s
    9. Warrior also leaving for SF.
    10. A’s get new stadium, with Oakland/East Bay to themselves, Oakland itself gets economic windfall, and the A’s thrive.
    11. Raiders are happy in LA or SA, Warriors are happy in SF, Giants are glad they didn’t give up SJ, but mad because they failed to drive the A’s out of Bay Area …. HA!!!!
    It’s a win-win-win-win all the way around. The only losers in this scenario are the East Bay Raiders fans, who understandably want to keep the Raiders. But unfortunately, the Raiders have no financial way of building in Oakland (again 1/2 a billion short), and they have far better alternatives. In fact, the only reason Davis has had any skin in the Oakland stadium game is that both he and the NFL want to show that they’ve made a “good faith effort” in Oakland.

    But at least Oakland gets to keep one team – the Athletics.

    I seriously see all the above as very realistic and probable. Once Davis pulls the trigger, the pieces will all fall into place.

    • The Raiders aren’t going to LA so long as the Davis family remains in control of the team.

      A couple points you brought up made me realize that the A’s are very much a West coast, American League version of the Mets. Which is kind of sad.

      • @ SMGVII
        It’s even a bit sadder than most realizes, the A’s being the west coast Mets. The Mets may not get respect (which of course the A’s don’t either), but they have a new stadium and an above average payroll; I can hope the A’s will have those two things someday.

      • The A’s as second fiddle to the Giants is false media hype. The giants do appear to have most of the media in their back pocket though. If you recall, only 20 years ago, the A’s were the dominant team, outperforming and outdrawing the giants by big numbers. The giants were becoming a joke and attempting a move to Tampa FL

        . The A’s have accomplished way more historically than the giants have done in post season play. (Very unlike the Yankees/Mets situation, where the Yankees have always been the favored team and achieved way more than the Mets have)

        After a few years of under .500 ball, the Giants bandwagon fans will fade away – and the A’s will dominate them again, just as before. (The Giants owners know this – that’s why they are desperately attempting to drive the A’s out of town) Sabean’s bailing wire and gum routine of keeping the Giants as playoff contenders will eventually become ineffective. The Giants are under big pressure to out perform the A’s in order to achieve their so-called status as the preferred team – their plan could implode easily and quickly.

      • As a New Yorker, it is incorrect to equate the Mets in New York to that of the A’s in the Bay Area. For one thing, the New York media places the Mets on equal footing coverage wise with that of the Yankees, despite the disparity with each team’s respective play out on the field. The same could not be true with the way the A’s are treated as the poor stepchild to the Giants throughout the Bay Area media. The Yankees and Mets are on good terms with each other, and in fact the Yankees are truthfully disappointed with the way the Mets have been performing and operating like a small market team. The same could not be said about the Giants who most desire their own dominance over the A’s both out on the field and in their overall popularity status within the Bay Area market.

      • @IIpec

        Sounds like the relationship between the two New York teams are completely different, then the relationship between the two Bay Area teams, it’s really too bad.

      • The Giants were under .500 from ’05-’08 and didn’t make the playoffs from ’04-’09 and it didn’t even dent their popularity a little.

      • The A’s play second fiddle to the Giants. They have for pretty much their entire time in the Bay Area. There is a lot more to this than in game attendance numbers. Those numbers are not the best numbers to look at for two reasons:

        1. Candlestick was a nightmare for anyone to get to, which suppressed attendance.
        2. The AL and NL counted attendance numbers differently for much of that stretch and it benefitted the A’s (read up about the A’s 1990 attendance doctoring if you have time).

        Every other measure shows the two teams at par or the Giants being more popular. Over 45 years. It’s not some recent media meme. It’s the reality of a 10 year head start and a market that has really only grown into a large enough market for two teams in the last 20 years.

        The Giants have had miserable stretches and still outdrew the A’s by A LOT.

        The only way this ever changes is the A’s go on a remarkable span of playoff baseball, going to the playoffs 8 out of 15 years or something. Oh, wait…

        Or if the Giants go on a historic slide and end up with a decade of nothingness, while the A’s go on an “every-other-year” type playoff spurt during that same decade.

    • This. What Jeff said.
      I’ve been rooting for this scenario as the most likely of the “best case scenarios.” If your primary interest is keeping the A’s right where they belong, this will prove to be the ticket. Yes, there will be casualties, but that’s the cost of victory.

    • @JeffreyAugust – Your take with the A’s/giants is a better pro-giants b.s. spin job than any of the local pro -giants media boobs typically are. AL/NL count attendance differently? Are you sure you aren’t Ray Ratto using a pen name? At the time when Lurie gave up on SF (after SJ voters wisely rejected the giants moving here) the A’s were definitively dominating the gnats in attendance, they beat the giants 16 years to 10 at that point. The A’s were consistently and substantially outdrawing the giants during the La Russa tenure.

      Also, in case you haven’t forgotten – the giants attempted moving to Tampa FA. If the giants were the bay area favorite and dominating the A’s as you believe they were – why did they give up on SF and attempt moving to FL? At that time -.even the SF police chief joked about the giants. After a reporter asked him about the safety of attending night ball games at Candlestick – he suggested to go to A’s games instead (much safer)

      • If you think I am a Giants fan/homer… you are as big of an idiot as you seem from these last few comments.

        Awesome isn’t it? The whole personal attack. You should probably not do it anymore because it cheapens your argument.

        Here is how you don’t cheapen an argument:

        Are you disputing that the two leagues counted things differently (turnstiles v tickets sold) in the past? Because they did up until 1992. The below link sheds some light on it, and yes, those “16 to 10” years the A’s counted people that weren’t there while the Giants didn’t count people that paid for a ticket but weren’t there. The A’s even counted tickets they gave away as tickets sold (teams do that now, too.)

        The ultimate measure of fan support in a sport that is a business is the same as it is for any business: How much money can one generate?

        Feel free to go back and look at the Blue Ribbon Report on Competitive Balance ( if you doubt that the Giants made more scratch than the A’s. Even when they were in Candlestick.

        And lastly, why did Bob Lurie try to sell the team to Tampa investors that would move the team? Because he couldn’t get a new stadium anywhere in the Bay Area and Candlestick was truly a dreadful pit. Funny that the league didn’t see it his way…

      • @Jeffreyaugust: There is an idiot here and it isn’t me. When the giants played at Candlestick – the fact is that the A’s outdrew them 17 out of the 32 years (perhaps in the gnats world – 15 out of 32 years is dominating)

        When Lurie sold the Gnats to Tampa Bay – the A’s led the giants in attendance 16 years to the giants 9. Anyone who believed that the giants dominated the A’s in attendance when the giants played at the ‘Stick must be smoking some really good stuff. When the hometown (SF) police chief starts cracking jokes about the team (giants) – they have definitely have jumped the shark and become a joke.

      • Excellent deflection and another personal attack.

        You are really good at this game!

      • @Jeffreyaugust: It appears you’ve become yet another victim of the Giants’ massive spin/propaganda campaign to rewrite history.

      • @duffer – You’re not gonna win any arguments here by calling someone else a Giants fan. Your arguments are so paranoid I have to wonder about your sanity sometimes.

      • As opposed to you duffer; you’re just cherry-picking years instead of looking at the entirety of their coexistence in the Bay Area. That’s no way to make a point. Either base your argument on hard facts or don’t expect to be taken seriously.

      • @ML – there are a few giants fans who comment here -Jeffreyaugust is very likely not one of them though. I am just stating the facts: the A’s outdrew the Giants when the Giants played at Candlestick – to the point where the Giants owner gave up and sold the team – to dispute that and also claim that the giants have always been the bay area favorite team could be considered insanity.

      • @duffer – That’s bad logic. Lurie sold because he tried 4 times to get a local stadium deal and ended up with a golden sombrero. By 92 he was losing money from bloated payrolls. The A’s didn’t drive him from the market.

      • @ML – All those failed attempts by the giants to build a new stadium is more evidence that they weren’t that well liked at the time (besides beating the A’s at attendance only 9 years out of 25 before the Tampa, FL fiasco.)

      • No, it’s evidence that the public had no interest in new taxes to fund any stadia, which is true today. It’s also evidence that you need to take classes in critical thinking and statistics.

      • @ML – all I know is that the giants failed to get stadium measures passed several times, that the A’s beat the giants at attendance before 2000, and that a former giants owner attempted to sell to the team to an owners group that was going to relocate the giants to Tampa – that is evidence that the giants – at that time – weren’t dominating at any categories.

      • Who’s talking about dominating? Both teams had multiple seasons of < 1 million in attendance in their first 20-30 years. They both sucked at the gate at times.

      • Look at the fucking attendance numbers provided duff. You’re wrong 30/47 years.

      • SMG – the fact is that if they didn’t build phonebooth park – they would now be titled the Tampa Bay Giants. The A’s dominated the giants until they moved into that ballpark.

      • That’s completely fucking wrong duff. The Giants have outdrawn the A’s every year starting in 1993. That means they outdrew the A’s for 7 consecutive seasons immediately before moving to the new stadium. Let me spell it out for you since you’re too god damn stubborn to look at directly linked evidence already provided.

        Who drew more each season?:
        Giants (1993-present)
        A’s (1987-1992)
        Giants (1986)
        A’s (1981-1985)
        Giants (1977-1980)
        A’s (1972-1976)
        Giants (1971)
        A’s (1970)
        Giants (1969)
        A’s (1968)

        The longest streak the A’s had outdrawing the Giants was 6 seasons from 1987-1992.

        The longest streak the Giants had outdrawing the A’s is currently at 22 seasons.

        These are objective facts. If you can’t deal with it, then that’s your (illiteracy) problem.

      • SMG – the giants needed a new ballpark to survive in SF period – the att park saved their ass.

      • Go ahead and keep moving the goalposts. You have been making claims that are mathematically WRONG. You’ve been provided with hard evidence of that and you still refuse to admit you have no damn idea what’s going on. Your only “point” (that the Giants needed a new stadium to “survive”) is 100% conjecture.

      • @SMG – the bottom line is that the A’s are the better franchise:

        A’s: 4 WS titles, 18 playoff berths

        Giants: 2 WS titles, 11 playoffs

        The A’s accomplishment is even more impressive because the Giants had been in SF 10 years before the A’s were here. The A’s have even made the playoffs more frequently that than the giants have since the giants moved to phonebooth park.

        The A’s outdrew the giants 17 of the 32 seasons the giants played at Candlestick. – the only edge the giants have over the A’s is they have out drawn the A’s since moving into their attpark – other than that – the A’s are the better franchise.

      • This is fruitless. You keep moving the goalposts based on subjective shit because you have literally no fucking idea how to make a consistent, objective, or cogent point. Enjoy your bubble.

      • Looking at attendance figures from 20+ years ago is also somewhat irrelevant because the Bay Area is a very different place today than what it was 20 years ago.

        20 years ago was and pre the national revival of living in urban areas. Both of these have had a massive impact on the demographics of San Francisco and the Bay Area.

        The Giants really hit the jack pot with the timing and location of AT&T, so even if the A’s were more popular in the 80’s, that doesn’t change the fact that the Giants are more popular today and there’s a lot more to it, than just the ball park.

      • So the A’s won more WS. Tell me, when did they? The last time was 25 years ago and the other times were all 40+ years ago, which is beyond the memory of probably a majority of their fans. The Giants have won all of theirs within the last 4 years. The past is nice but where we are today is the relevant factor. It’d be nice to see the A’s actually DO SOMETHING in the playoffs one of these days.

  19. the relationship between the two bay area teams could be how it is with the two nyc and heck even the two other markets with two teams in chi and la back pre mid 90s. ever since then i think it was the midgets’ jackass of a hierarchy to get rid of the a’s anyway they can out of the bay area.

    be it the stand for sj nonsense or piccinini speculating it was the midgets who possibly torpedo’ed him buying the a’s and building the org a new park. i’m pretty they’ve been shady over the 15-20 years in dealings both publicly and privately trying to get the a’s out of the area.

    we’ve seen how low that org can go and the media itself is too scared to even mention anything negative about them. go ask the likes of krueger, bruce, and just recently beggarly on how their entire org from the top down to even the players acts like a bunch of of punks when somebody dares crosses them and or writes anything that would put a stain on their “classy org”, my ass.

  20. The Raiders will not be moving to LA period.

    Here is why:

    1. Mark Davis has zero site control in LA, he has to sell the team and why would he do that? He wants to be in charge and going to LA will not be possible to keep control, plus the NFL does want any owner to sell their team at current market value to AEG and when the stadium is built reap the new found equity. This is why AEG and Roski have failed to this point, this has been on going for almost a decade.

    2. The Rams are moving there first and their owner has site control to build a stadium, looks like Rams will be there next season according to this report:

    But Stan Kroenke is from Missouri, for him to do this would mean alienating his home state, he could never go back….Much like George Shinn in Charlotte years ago. So I take the report with a grain of salt, Missouri could drop their pants to keep the team…I would not be surprised.

    3. The San Diego Chargers are not going to allow any team to move back to LA unless they are involved some how. Their bottom line would take a major blow if a team moves to LA and they have been public about it. If the Rams come back to LA as the above report indicates then the Chargers have to be the 2nd team not the Raiders.

    4. The Raiders royally screwed up by not building with the 49ers in Santa Clara and the NFL is not happy about it. The NFL is going to put 2 teams in LA no matter what, the Raiders should have made a pledge to the Bay Area as a whole and shared with the 49ers as 50/50 partners. Now they have no control in LA and Oakland needs a miracle with their Coli City idea.

    In the end, the Raiders are stuck in mud, they are not going anywhere. In fact if the Rams don’t move and Missouri pays for a new stadium I can see LA being vacant for another 10 years while San Diego figures it out.

    • a) Hollywood Park is a god-awful place to build a stadium.

      b) A joint Niners-Raiders stadium would have been awful. It would have been a completely soulless grey mass with the designed-by-committee feel of MetLife. A joint stadium in LA would be no different.

      c) I’m of the opinion that it’s either 1 team in LA and 1 in SD or 2 in LA and 0 in SD. NOT 2 in LA and 1 in SD. But what the hell do I know? They do it with baseball already.

      • I would have to agree, I just don’t see the Raiders in LA., of course unless Mark sales the team, but he will hold out to the bitter end, as much as I would love to see them stay in Oakland, I think there is actually a better chance they could end up in San Antonio then in LA., for all the reason’s that have been started.

      • Sorry : That last comment was in response to Sid’s last comment. (out of order)

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