They stole the Dodgers from Brooklyn, the Lakers from Minneapolis, and the Clippers from San Diego. They stole the Rams from Cleveland, before losing them to St. Louis, and they stole the Raiders…well, ok, Al Davis did most of the stealing in that one, before eventually taking his ball and going back to Oakland.
In fact, only two major pro sports teams have ever been formed in Los Angeles–the Angels, who moved to Anaheim (before Los Angeles “stole” them back, without even needing them to move), and of course the Los Angeles Kings–because when you think Southern California, you think hockey.
So, despite not really showing that they could support one (or two) NFL franchises in the 1990′s, ever since the Rams and Raiders packed up and left, there has been speculation about who Los Angeles would steal to put a team back in the #2 television market in the United States.
Frequently mentioned have been the New Orleans Saints, who recently re-upped their lease at the Superdome, and the Minnesota Vikings, who are looking for a new stadium, but have an iron clad lease at the Metrodome through 2011. The Buffalo Bills, San Diego Chargers, Rams, Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, and Jacksonville Jaguars have also been mentioned.
But now, the Jaguars may quickly move to the top of that list–and a possible move may happen even sooner than anticipated, with the annoucement that all 10 of the Jaguars home games in 2009 will be blacked out.
Given that there is typically a 72-hour deadline before each game that determines whether or not the game is blacked out, I’m not sure how they can announce all 10 games are blacked out this far in advance–but apparently ticket sales are that dreadful.
And that’s with over 9,700 seats covered with tarps to reduce the overall capacity of the stadium–a move that was made back when the team was actually pretty good. Now that they’re struggling, maybe they need to buy some bigger tarps?