What is the main purpose for relocating NFL teams?
The main reason for moving teams is to gain revenue for the league. According to Mike Ozanian, a writer for Forbes, “The Chargers, Raiders and Rams all fell among the bottom seven teams in our valuations last year primarily because of their bad stadium economics”. These ended up being the three teams that moved solely so that they could make more money, and with the revenue increase they most likely will see it will help the teams improve along with helping the NFL reach the revenue goal. Many of these moves have instant impacts on the franchises. As for St. Louis, they went from the 21st largest market to the second largest market and doubled in value, the sixth highest in the NFL (Belson 9). As St. Louis gains even more money from the move they will create money for the franchise and also increase collective bargaining for all NFL franchises. With money being the main focus, Los Angeles has had two moves in two years.
Why Two Moves to Los Angeles in Two Years?
Both of the LA moves came down to new stadiums. The first example of this was in St. Louis. St. Louis had planned to build a stadium for $1.1 billion on the Mississippi River but the NFL would have to pay $200 million which doubled league policy(Rams headed back to Los Angeles; Chargers have option to join 17). In the end these financial challenges caused the NFL to decline the idea and go along with something that they wouldn’t have to dish out tons of money. That similar event was seen in San Diego, the staff from NFL.com reported that,”San Diego voters rejected a ballot measure that would have raised hotel occupancy taxes to help pay for a proposed $1.8 billion downtown stadium project… officials failed to agree upon a stadium plan that would have kept the franchise in San Diego”. This again shows how their failure to retain a new stadium caused them to move. These moves have also caused much controversy around the league.
What do NFL officials think of the moves?
NFL officials have very mixed feelings about the moves that are taking place. After the Chargers move to Los Angeles the NFL commissioner addressed his concern. The NFL staff at NFL.com, reported NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, stating,”Relocation is painful for teams and communities… It is especially painful for fans, and the fans in San Diego”. This shows how not only does he show concern for the team itself, but also for the fans-something rarely talked about in relocation moves. The first LA move from St. Louis felt a lot more support from around the league. Peter King from Sports Illustrated found that NFL owners voted 30-2 in favor of the St. Louis Rams moving to Los Angeles. Which is much different from the opinions that the Chargers move has bolstered. The NFL owners first vote could have been very different if they would have known the Chargers would also move. Not only is there much debate with NFL officials but also with fans.
What were the fans reactions to the teams moving?
The reaction that is seen the most when teams relocate is anger and sadness from their respective fan bases. Courtney Cronin, a writer for The Mercury News, quoted Annette Sanchez, a die hard Raiders fan saying,”It’s unbelievable that they would do that… Now that we’re finally starting to see progress, it’s like they’re going to get good and leave.” This shows how Raiders fans just wanted the team to put more effort into staying. Now season ticket holders like her now have to driver hours to go to a game. Chargers fans also had a similar reaction to the move back to LA. In a New England Sports Network article, they showed examples of how Chargers fans burned their old merchandise or just dropped it all off at their old stadium. This is an example of just how passionate these fans are about their team and how disappointed they are in the owner's idea to move the teams. This same thing could get even worse if teams were to move around the globe.
Fans reacting to Rams Move
What are possible relocation plans for the future?
There are many different cities that could a land team in the near future, but the international movement of the sport looks like a large possibility. With the NFL pushing for larger markets, like they did with the Raiders and Chargers, USA Today Sports writer Luke Kerr-Dineen reported that, London has a very good chance of getting a team. With their population of 8.5 million and the success of NFL games being played there, the option looks likely. Do go along with this idea, Lawrence Dukes, a Sports Journalist major and writer for The Sports Junkies.com, found that,”Ticket sales from the annual London trip accounts for 15 percent of ticket income and The team website has gone from the least searched in the NFL, to one of the most popular.” This shows just how much influence one game a year in London has had one team. Because of the this the Jaguars are front runners for an international move.