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Los Angeles’ Bargain Bin Football Teams
Angelenos everywhere are rejoicing over the return of the Rams to their smoggy city. The NFL was not only kind enough to give them back, but they even made it a two-for-one deal which will manifest itself with either the San Diego Chargers or the Oakland Raiders. While St. Louis mourns the loss of their franchise, Oakland and San Diego wait with baited breath to see which of their cities is next to be eviscerated.
Ignoring another city’s woes for the moment, it’s not difficult to see why more than just Los Angeles natives think the city deserves a football team. The greater metropolitan area boasts two major league basketball, hockey, and baseball teams as well as a soccer team with another on the way. It’s the second most populated city in the country behind New York, the 2nd largest media market, and apparently obsessed with the number 2. This seems somewhat excessive until you consider the fact that L.A. County encompasses more than 4,000 square miles, almost 10 million residents, and according to Forbes, more billionaires than most countries. ALL countries in fact, with the exception of China and the U.S. as a whole. This tidbit of information begs the question, why couldn’t Los Angeles create a new team?
The immediate answer one might conjure would be that the NFL doesn’t want to mess up their nice bracket of thirty-two teams divided into four divisions mirrored across two conferences. This would be a poor excuse for any NFL representative to use as this bracket only came into existence in 2002 with the creation of the Houston Texans. Prior to that the Baltimore Ravens were another singular team to be added in 1996 along with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers in 1995. The number of games each team plays, as well as who they play, is something that can and has been changed frequently in the past.
Going back to our friends at Forbes, the average NFL team is worth about $2 billion with the Dallas Cowboys being worth twice that. Even with the proposed cost for the new Inglewood stadium somewhere around $1.86 billion, the construction contracts and post-completion permanent jobs will only be a boon for the city. Whichever teams do inevitably occupy the stadium will undoubtedly recoup their losses in merchandising and ticket sales with exponential return over the years. With our countries seemingly endless willingness to spend money on entertainment, the military, and alcohol, just about any professional sports team seems like a wise investment.
In the end one can only assume a number of factors are at play here. The political machinations of the NFL undoubtedly make the process tedious and expensive. The up-front cost of moving a team to another city is markedly cheaper than starting over from scratch. It would however be beyond foolish to assume that in a city such as Los Angeles you would have a greater fan following for a previously hosted team than an uproarious new generation of fans excited over witnessing the birth of their very own franchise.