Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

IPPOLITO: Raiders, Rams Are LA’s Best Options

Since the city council of Inglewood, a suburb of Los Angeles, approved a stadium plan submitted by the St. Louis Rams on Feb. 24, Los Angeles’ dream of luring an NFL franchise increasingly seems like an impending reality.

Ever since the Raiders and the Rams packed up and moved to Oakland and St. Louis after 1994 and 1995, respectively, Los Angeles has yearned for at least one NFL team.

In many instances, the threat of departing for Los Angeles has been the premier bargaining chip for franchises that wish to extract concessions from their current cities and local taxpayers.

As the Rams have all but given up in trying to extract concessions from the city of St. Louis, spurred by Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s purchase of 60 acres of land in Inglewood in early January, the Raiders and the Chargers are the latest teams trying to use Los Angeles as leverage to extract increased funding from their respective cities.

It is extremely unlikely that the NFL will allow all three teams to relocate to Los Angeles — two seems to be the most likely option. At the point when the league must decide which two teams are allowed to move to Los Angeles, the Chargers should be the excluded team, and the Raiders should split a stadium with St. Louis.

Last week, the Chargers and the Raiders announced their willingness to share a reported $1.7 billion stadium that would be located in Carson, Calif., another suburb of Los Angeles. Even if the stadium does not use a dime of taxpayer money, as supporters allege, the construction of a second stadium on top of the Rams’ expected new arena in the greater Los Angeles area is not ideal for either the teams involved or the residents of the area.

Both of these teams will face stiff competition for a limited number of resources and fans and will also have to split the revenues generated by naming rights and sponsorships, making it unwise for the owners of all three teams to allow two stadiums to go forward.

In addition to the limits on resources that teams face, building a new stadium does not solve one of the key problems of each franchise, as a new arena will not make either the Raiders and Chargers better teams.

Both teams’ lack of success is not because their stadiums are old; the franchises are unsuccessful because the management, coaching and overall talent are inferior relative to the rest of the league. Instead of developing their teams into top contenders in the league, owners pursue new stadiums because they want to profit from personal seat licenses, luxury boxes and lucrative sponsorships.

For this reason, the Raiders may find it advantageous to relocate to Southern California, as the Raiders would likely lose a competitive battle for resources if it were to erect a stadium in Northern California to compete with the recently built Levi’s Stadium for the San Francisco 49ers.

Finally, the proposal also ignores the actual problem that cities of San Diego and Oakland are facing: decaying stadiums. Even if the Chargers and Raiders move, there will still be two massive stadiums that are a drain on public funds because they require maintenance or are still not completely paid off.

In the case of Oakland, the Oakland Athletics, which share the Coliseum with the Raiders, would ensure that the city and county still face the same problems of a decrepit stadium that costs taxpayers millions.

However, the problems the city of Oakland would face are less troublesome than what San Diego would face, as the Colisuem would still be used for something; if the Chargers leave San Diego, there will be no use for the Qualcomm Stadium.
If a new stadium will be built and two teams are destined for Los Angeles, perhaps sharing a single stadium is the best option that will minimize any inevitable problems — the right two teams just need to be involved.



Michael Ippolito is a sophomore in the College. THE WATER COOLER appears every Friday.

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