- Arash Markazi, ESPN Staff Writer
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Welcome back to the NFL@LA mailbag, where I’ll be answering your NFL in Los Angeles questions every Thursday. You can send me a question in the comments section below, on Twitter, or you can find me on Facebook. We’re pretty flexible around here. And remember if you didn’t get your question answered or want to discuss anything further we will have an NFL@LA chat on Friday at 1 p.m.
Can we trade the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for the Green Bay Packers?
Something tells me the folks of Green Bay, Wis., who also happen to own their team, are not going to go for that. Now maybe if we threw in the Anaheim Ducks …
How soon will the San Diego Chargers move to Los Angeles?
I think the Chargers have the best odds of being Los Angeles’ next NFL team but I don’t see them moving here in 2012. I think they want to put their downtown San Diego stadium proposal on the ballot in November 2012 so they can say they made their best effort to stay before it gets voted down. Also the downtown Los Angeles stadium project will not be ready for construction until June and the Chargers have only until May 1 to get out of their lease. My guess would be to look for the Chargers to move to L.A. in February 2013.
Will we get the Jaguars?
--Mando Rodriguez Jr.
No, I don’t think the Jaguars are moving to Los Angeles. Despite making the most sense to relocate, considering its market size and low attendance figures, the Jaguars' lease is the longest and hardest to break of the seven prospective teams (with also include the Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders). The Jaguars' lease to play at EverBank Field runs through the 2029 season, and if the Jaguars wanted to leave before then they would be required to prove they had lost money in three consecutive seasons or persuade a local judge that the city was failing to properly maintain the stadium. The odds of any NFL team losing money in any year, let alone three consecutive years, or a judge allowing the local NFL team to leave town are remote. Of course, leases can usually be broken for a negotiated price, but it seems the penalty would be too steep considering the other relocation candidates available. Also, Wayne Weaver, who has been the owner of the Jaguars since their first year in 1995, has no plans to sell or relocate the team.
Can we get a team first before we build a stadium?
-- Tony Alvarez
No. Both stadium proposals will need to secure a team before construction can begin. With Farmers Field, that is written into their agreement with the city of Los Angeles. With Grand Crossing, that is just an understood fact as the financing of the stadium will begin when a team is secured.
How long is it going to be until the Rams play their first game back in L.A in 2012/2013 season. Now that really sounds good. Bring the Rams back to L.A. Forget the Chargers and Raiders.
--Samuel I. Chima
The Rams could possibly be back as early as 2013, although I think it is more likely that they would be the second team to move to Los Angeles after the 2014 season. The Rams can get out of their lease agreement with the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission after the 2014 season if the Edward Jones Dome doesn't rank in the top quarter of NFL stadiums. It is currently one of the league's older facilities. The commission has until Feb. 1 to give the Rams a proposal for how it plans to give the Dome "top-tier" status. The Rams can agree to the offer a month later or reject it and make a counter offer by May 1, which is the most likely scenario. The commission can then either agree to the counter offer by June 1 or reject it and go to arbitration. If such a scenario unfolds, the lease could be voided and the Rams could rent the Dome on a year-to-year basis or choose to move elsewhere. So the Rams could easily get out of their lease if they are adamant that anything less than a new stadium will not be sufficient for them. Getting public funding for such an expensive undertaking in St. Louis, which is still paying off the original construction debt of the Dome, is highly unlikely.
I actually prefer the City of Industry site over the AEG-proposed Farmers Field. What progress, if any, has Ed Roski made in getting his project going?
-- Carlos Eastwood
Roski recently adjusted his offer to NFL owners and is now seeking a “meaningful” percentage interest in a prospective team that he would buy at market value in exchange for his 600 acres of land in the City of Industry. Roski does not want to own or operate the stadium if he is not the majority owner, so the question of how a team owner would privately finance a stadium under that scenario is still a mystery.
Why not get the Rams for the City of Industry and the Raiders for Farmers Field?
They will not build two stadiums; only one stadium will be built. So if there are two teams in Los Angeles, they will both play at whatever stadium gets built.
I know that they should have gone with the Carson, Calif., site. It had the best freeway access.
-- Dennis Wayne Allen
There was a proposed NFL stadium site for Carson in 1999, but if AEG gets a team to play at Farmers Field the practice facility and headquarters would likely be located near the Home Depot Center in Carson.
Why don't they just bring back the Rams and have them play the first game in Anaheim for old time's sake and then put them in Pasadena?
That wouldn’t be a bad idea for one preseason game. Angels Stadium is a baseball-specific park, but they could certainly host one preseason game there. If the Rams moved back to Los Angeles while a stadium was under construction, I think it would make sense for them to play at the Los Angeles Coliseum, where they played from 1946 to 1979.