Sunday, August 14, 2011

AZ's Slant on Sunday -- I Love LA, but for Football...?

As a lot of you might know, there are three big keys to marketing a home: location, location, and location.
There's obviously a lot of people in LA, you know. Even in the projects.

There has been a large amount of speculation that started in the beginning of the month that the next NFL relocation will be hitting the Los Angeles area. Some of the teams that may be in danger of relocation (as far as I know) have been Buffalo, Jacksonville, and Carolina among others. Because California could probably qualify as it's own country at this point, they have a strong chance for being the next possible NFL team within the next five years.

I know we're looking hard into the future, but after the approval of a football stadium being built in the City of Angels, you have to start asking questions and having opinions about these things. Am I at least right about that part?

Oh hey's Randy Newman playing for us while you read this blog post!

As far as the population density goes, this fits relatively well for the state. The largest metropolitan area in California is in fact the Greater Los Angeles area. That means it's so big, they have three basketball teams (2 NBA, 1 WNBA), a hockey team, a soccer team, and one and a half baseball teams--the half being the annexation of the Angels from Anaheim. I guess if they want to complete the plating of the major sports teams, they need a football team.

Los Angeles is the second largest media market in the United States. However, they are the largest without an NFL team. That wasn't the case about 15 years back, as the Raiders and Rams danced around there until they landed in Oakland and St. Louis, respectively. Since then, LA has been very determined in gaining stature back in the league by acquiring another team. There have been several repercussions over the years though, and at the rate they are going, this is the closest they have been to gaining a new team. Before this, the closest they were was in 1999 when the Houston Texans happened. Since then, there has been talks of a revival of the USFL among other constructions of buildings and arenas for football. So far, about 90% of those talks have fallen through. The thing that makes me scratch my head the most is where all of the money for this is coming from, especially in a recession like this. I hope Arnold isn't digging into is Terminator earnings fund just to save face.

However, is it absolutely necessary for a large metropolitan area to have at least seven or eight major teams? When did cities become so separated with this stuff? It's like sports have begun to have secret affairs with our political system or something. I come from a metropolitan area myself, so I sort of understand why teams may be so clumped around one particular region. Cities can be so big that they do have sections along the lines of a North and South. Think of the New York Jets and the New York Giants for a second. With Buffalo aside, you have all of the sections of the New York metro area, plus the state of New Jersey swimming around in there whenever it pleases. There's enough of a fanbase out there that they can keep a team. Plus, they play in New Jersey anyway, but that's beside the point. Sometimes areas are so big, they can get away with having more than one team in a sports league. However, there are those times when a whole state only has the capacity to have a team for the rest of the state or states like the Tennessee Titans or the New England Patriots. Then you have the people in the dead zones that are forced to root for out-of-state teams, like people in the Dakotas, for instance.

I myself am not too keen on having an established team relocate to an area that can be considered a sports juggernaut of a state, but if there are the people out there to support it, there isn't much one can do but to wait and see what comes out of it. Just look at what happened when Winnipeg got another NHL team recently; sure, the people in Atlanta who were Thrashers fans (or lack thereof) may have been crushed by it, but the team was relocated to an area that bled hockey and really benefited from this. It could go either way; we don't quite know just yet how beneficial it will be to the gainer and the loser.

Some people do fear change, but oh well.
Without question, this is going to fuel rivalries between LA, the Raiders, and the Rams, so that would obviously be something fun to see. However, there's going to be fumbling with the divisions again, so there's a chance that teams will have to get ready to face adjusted divisions and new rivalries. Does everybody win all around on that one? You see, I was too young when all of the teams had the heavy amounts of relocation and renaming in the 90's; you can't hold that against me. Something like this to people like me are a bit of a culture shock. Once you're used to one thing, it's hard to see it re-branded or changed. But if it's for the people (not so much for the money) I'm okay with it.

There is one final thing I do want to ask: Despite the CFL existing in Canada, why did they shop around in Los Angeles before any other major city in Canada like Toronto? The NFL is wildly popular up north, and you would think they would extend the boundaries to get more people involved with the league and to gain a bigger and wealthier unit of fans and benefactors. I guess I'm asking the question that's too obvious for answering. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

Is the NFL in Los Angeles 2016 bound? Most likely. At this point, it's not going to stop for anybody.


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