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Coming Soon: Los Angeles Jaguars?

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?

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26 Responses to Coming Soon: Los Angeles Jaguars?

  • Tony P says:

    With Hollywood and the Celebs and all of the glitz the name Jaguar would still be appropiate.

    I sure wish teams would change their nicknames when they make no sense. Just thinking about the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals off the top of my head. Of course the Lakers is the most famous and will never be changed.

  • Tony P says:

    I can hear the screaming around the world at even this suggestion!!!!!!

    Los Angeles (Jaguars) moves back to their home in the NFC West to play their rival San Francisco 49ers — St.Louis (Rams) moves back to their home in the NFC East to battle Skins and Eagles rivals— and the Dallas Cowboys could move to the AFC South to begin rivalry with the Houston Texans . LOL!!! It would be great for the Texans and many Texas fans but many Dallas fans and the League would probably hate it. Actually it would probably improve the Cowboy’s chances of getting to a SB if they could get away from that East Division.

    Would Jerry Jones ever let that happen? Maybe. He’s just whacky enough. What do youall think?

    Most likely if the Los Angeles Jags came to be — they go to the NFC West and kick the Arizona Cardinals to the AFC South which makes a little more logistic sense. And who gives a flip about the Cardinals? Kind of like the Brewers and Royals in baseball. Always the first names to be thrown around in a realignment.

  • Tony P says:

    If Jaguars move to LA would fans want the Commish to encourage an attempt by the teams to reclaim their old names?? LA could reclaim the “Rams” , St. Louis could reclaim “Cardinals” and Bidwell should come up with his own name for his Arizona team. Anyone have a good name for Arizona?

    As a traditionalist I’d be all for that!! Tennessee and Baltimore did things the right way. I called the Rams Los Angeles for years because they kept the same uniform and nickname.

  • A season long blackout on local TV is the beginning of the end for the Jags in Jacksonville, isn’t it? LA seems like a logical place to move if the city will take them and the league will allow it.

    I did have a little fun with the blackouts on our sports satire blog.
    Jaguars Games to be Blacked Out Inside the Stadium Too

  • Tony says:

    Tony – I don’t see it happening, given that it would confuse franchise vs. team histories. But it would be interesting.

  • Tony P says:

    What than do you think would happen. Los Angeles stays in the South with Indy, Tenn, and Houston? It’s already the dumbest geograpic divison in football.

  • SirWhoopass says:

    Why move the Jags to to the problematic LA when there is a more profitable city only twice as far away?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/jan/30/nfl-london-team

  • Tony P says:

    The brokest state in the Nation. Hmmm. What other big market cities are options?

  • Tony P says:

    awe.. the Las Vegas Gamblers. :)

  • Tony says:

    I’d love a team in Las Vegas (the Aces or the High Rollers would be my team name choices), but no way it happens…Sir Whoopass is probably closer with his London guess than Vegas.

  • Kenny says:

    Jaguars move? Why? The economy has seen better days. Iam sure its no better in Los Angeles. It cost money to move. The Jaguars should ride out this storm. Win more games and fans will come out, thats anywhere you go.

  • Tony says:

    Kenny – It comes down to money. Even before the economy went in the tank, the Jaguars struggled to sell out. There’s no guarantee they’d sell out in LA either, but if they get a sweeter stadium deal, they’d have to consider it.

  • Fred M says:

    The Chargers began life as the LOS ANGELES Chargers. LA has had more than 2 pro teams begin life there, and Los Angeles is hardly the only city to have teams relocate to it. Virtually every major sports franchise more than 50 years old has relocated at one time or another.

  • Tony says:

    @Fred M – I did forget about the Chargers spending a single season in LA to start. Congrats to LA, they’re up to three franchises started there by my count.

    I’d hardly say virtually every other major sports franchise more than 50 years old has relocated at one time or another, though–especially when you consider that the AFL teams are 50 years old this year (well, the leagues was founded 50 years ago, anyway).

    In the NFL alone you’ve got the Packers, Bears (Decatur to Chicago in 1921 is hardly a relocation, in my book), Giants, Eagles, Steelers, Patriots, Bills, Jets, and Broncos by my count all at about 50 years or more in the same city. Some have changed names, and maybe cities within a market, but not market. And that’s just the NFL.

    I’m not trying to criticize LA for trying to lure an NFL team, either–frankly, I think the Jaguars would be better off in another location, most likely. But I’m also not convinced that in the long run, the NFL absolutely needs to be in LA–the Raiders and Rams didn’t make it there for a reason, and there’s no guarantee that a new team will get the support it needs eihter.

  • Fred M says:

    The Rams “made it” there just fine for decades. They moved because Georgia Frontiere wanted them in her home state, Missouri.

  • Yes, they had “made it” there for some time–but by the mid-90′s, they weren’t making any money. The product on the field was terrible, fans had largely lost interest, and thanks to a recession, they couldn’t get a better stadium built or renovations approved (since they were unwilling to pay for them, of course).

    According to Wikipedia (not the greatest resource, but willing to take their word for it for now), she actually tried to move the team to Baltimore first, but was rejected by the NFL.

    Bottom line, if they were making money in LA, she probably would have kept the team there.

    If LA gets a new stadium built, I have no problem with a team like the Jaguars moving there–but if a team like the Raiders moves there (again), do you really think fans will be interested in watching a team that is so poor for several years? Especially when perennial powerhouse USC is just down the road?

  • Fred M says:

    The Raiders are garbage. Nobody wants to see the Raiders, except their small emotionally disturbed core group of fans (serial killers, rapists, gang bangers, etc). I was a Los Angeles Rams fan for 20 years. Since Georgia moved them, in a scene straight out of the motion picture Major League (and trust me, she played a role in the Rams not making any money in LA – so she could move them), I have wished for nothing but the complete and total ruination of that football team in St. Louis. I would love to have the Jags in southern California. I’ve been a football fan without a team since 1994. It’d be nice to have someone to get behind again.

  • Alan says:

    I would like to offer up some prospective from some one living in Jacksonville and a season ticket holder since they came into existence in November of 1994.

    You have to realize some key factors that have played a major part of the lack of ticket sales and corporate sponsorship for the Jacksonville Jaguars…

    One thing I am sure of is that it is not for a lack of moral support in this city. The majority of people that I know love and support the Jaguars and want nothing more than for them to succeed in Jacksonville… Most here identify themselves as Jaguar fans.

    But the fact of the matter is, paying for the tickets in a very weak economic situation, having a team just to the south of us that won last years BCS Championship and is knocking on door again in 2009, along with one of the most iconic college players to ever play the game.

    Along with a rebuilding football team that went 5-11 last year, with a ho hum home schedule of teams this year, has produced the perfect storm in Jville.

    One additional factor was perpetuated by the team itself and help cause some of the long term problems and their dilemma that they now face.

    When we first got the Jaguars you could purchase season tickets with a three year commitment, and of course they had game-day single tickets as well. Not including club seats or luxury boxes.

    This wasn’t too bad, because the team issued you a payment book and said pay us over the course of 12 months. So for me I grabbed two tickets 55.00 ea x 10 games =$91.00 a month.

    Easily manageable. That was the first six years or so.

    We’ll somewhere down the line over the course of several years, some genius down at the stadium decided that they no longer wanted to be in the finance business, and decided to do away with the monthly payment plans as they had set them up.

    I remember listing to a radio interview about how they were going to be changing the way they invoice season ticket holders. The person speaking for the team said something to the effect that they no longer wanted to be in the collection business, and that they would be changing their ticketing methods. Ticket payments would need to be made only by automatic withdraw, or all upfront, and or over the course of a six month period as well as making a long term commitment.

    Well duh…That slams the brakes on for a lots of folks.

    I’m sure many were just scraping enough together to make the monthly payments to them along with all their other monthly bills, and now the football team wants them to pay the equivalent of a car note or maybe even more per payment over the course of six months.

    Let’s see that pretty much shuts the door on the football games for many.

    For me personally I went along with the new plan, but had to drop one of the tickets. Many just stopped going. They Jaguars have cheap tickets one of the lowest in the entire NFL, but if you take people from paying monthly and ask them to pay more than double that in just a six month period then you reap what you sow.

    Simply put, they got extremely arrogant and IMHO somewhat greedy.

    This brings us to covering up seats, and before the current crisis that we face now.

    Many that had to purchase under the new plans stopped going…To expensive!

    Those that chose to stay did so until their agreements ran out in guess what??? 2009. Uh OH!!!!!

    We’ll that just happened to be 20,000 steady paying fans that no longer wanted to be subjected to a crappy payment plan, coupled with a team that lost nearly every single home game last year.

    I mean what kind of value is that for your dollar.

    See where I’m going with this.

    Crappy payment plan, crappy team the year before,crappy schedule for 2009 home games,crappy economy…What you end up with is crappy attendance in your stadium.

    But the Jaguars didn’t seem to recognize this until it was too late. Because their whole game plan changed when it came to buying tickets just before the season started and they became the most creative ticketing venue in the country.

    You could buy three game packs, al a carte game packs, make payments pretty much however you wanted. They were just short of giving the darn things away. Unfortunately for 2009 it was too little to late. Throwing hail marys in the forth quarter was not going to get our stadium sold out this year.

    Earlier I mentioned a perfect storm and that’s just what it has been, but heck we live in Florida and deal with those all the time. This has been one hell of a storm, but in my opinion there is a good chance that it will start to clear up.

    1.The Jaguars are on the uptick and do still have a chance of making the playoffs as of this writing.
    2.Wayne Weaver is not selling the team. As long as he owns it… Jaguars play in Jacksonville! Period end of story.
    3.Florida Gators are coming to the end of a nice run win or loose, this year the Tebow era in Gainesville is over. He’ll be in the NFL next year.
    4.The ticketing situation is now manageable again, and people like myself can afford to buy more tickets.Being flexible with your fans is helpful.
    5.The stadium is in great shape, and the Jaguars have a sweet deal with the city.

    Most teams that are even contemplating moving have issues with the stadium, it’s always been that way. Stadium first… fans second. Jacksonville’s issues are with people being able to afford to buy tickets not because they don’t want to.. it really comes down to justification of wanting to.

    Win football games, be contenders, offer fair ticketing terms, and the stadium will once again be alive and back where most everyone wants them to be.
    In Jacksonville, FL. to stay.

    L.A. would not support the Rams when they were there in the late 80′s and early 90′s. I lived there during those years and watched the Broncos play most of time because the game was blacked out.

    L.A really could careless about pro football. If they have a team great if they don’t… great. Nobody will miss a beat one way or the other. On the other hand if the Jaguars should leave Jacksonville it would be one of the most devastating things to happen to a city. Like I said most in North Florida identify and are fans of the Jaguars.

    Personally I think it would be a very sad day for the NFL overall if the Jaguars did actually move.

    Certainly not one that should be celebrated.

  • Tony says:

    Alan – Thanks for taking the time for that response. I had no idea that the stadium deal in Jacksonville was a solid one, nor that they had messed up their ticketing options (nor that they had fixed them now). I certainly wouldn’t be celebrating a move of the Jaguars–actually, I’m against any NFL team moving, especially to LA–they had their chance with two teams, and lost them both.

    Heck, if my Vikings do move to LA–and there are rumors around here that the Wilfs might decide to sell if they don’t get a new stadium soon–and our state budget office just announced that we’re going to be another $1.2 billion short of our budget over the next two years, so the legislature is unlikely to have the guts to step up, despite what I think is relatively strong support for figuring out some way to make a new stadium happen–if they move to LA, I would probably give up on the NFL all together.

    It wouldn’t be easy, but I gave up on the NHL when the North Stars moved to Dallas. Granted, I was just starting to get into hockey at the time, but we do have a nice new baseball stadium that I could probably be convinced to go spend more time at…

  • Tony P says:

    Tony,

    You quit watching hockey and I started when the North Stars moved to Dallas. That was a great team that beat Buffalo in 7 games for the Stanley. It was short lived though because I quit watching shortly after. Come on!! Hockey in the South. Actually some folks do like it around here. Our team down here is the Austin Ice Bats. :)

    Sorry! It is rotten when a place loves a sport so much only to lose them. That said, it usually is an annoying speed bump.

    Los Angeles certianly doesn’t need nor do I believe do they really desire Pro football because they have plenty of sports to follow. If it was that important they would of been clamouring to replace the lost Rams many years ago.

    There have been threats to move the Vikings for 20 years. Not likely but if they ever do move to LA. please change the damn name. The Lakers are just dumb in LA. For that matter so are the Dodgers unless they think trolley car dodging has been replaced by bullets? Probably not a thought in 1958. I’m only kidding!!

  • Yeah, they definitely would have to change the name–I would hope at a minimum we would sue to keep the name and records, ala the Cleveland Browns. My only real concern over them being more likely to move now vs. the last 20 years is that the lease is coming up on the Metrodome–my understanding is that they actually had an ironclad lease that prevented them from not playing in the dome since it opened–otherwise I think Red McCombs may have tried to move the team years ago.

    One thing I never understood with the North Stars moving to Dallas–if you move to the Lone Star state, why didn’t they change ‘North Stars’ to ‘Lone Stars’? It sounds so much cooler than ‘Stars’…

  • Alan says:

    It was my pleasure to offer my personal prospective..

    This issue is very distressing for me I don’t even like the thought of my team leaving. Like I said before Jacksonville loves football, and most have a fond affection for the Jaguars.

    Not winning games and poor ticketing terms has been the real dilemma. That plus lack of corp sponsorship. If you win games and get on TV the corp sponsors will come back to purchase the luxury boxes.

    That issue belongs to the team…not the fans.

    If they keep the ticketing terms reasonable, and start winning games on a consistent basis at home, then the fans will come back, and the talk of relocation will come to an end.

    I have however uncovered some other seniroios that have some real traction and what I think makes even more reasonable sense for a team in LA.

    I found an article about how Eddie DeBartlow the former owner of the SF 49ers back in the day was potentially looking to purchase a team or be part of an ownership group.

    http://forum.sbrforum.com/nfl-handicapping/75891-rams-up-sale-could-move-back-la.html

    The Rams are on the block in St Louis and their stadium deal is up soon..that would make the most sense in reality to instantly relo back to LA. The reasons for them leaving were more of a personal choice by Georgia

    They basically would have an instant core fan base and wouldn’t need to change the team name. Nor does it upset the latest realignment of the NFL’s divisions.

    St Louis is one of the teams with a stadium issue as well plus the teams for sale. Now that is the perfect situation.

    The Jaguars issues are there but it’s a solid deal for the Jags and the city.

    I found this article that was written a little while back well several years ago but the bottom line is this still is relevant.

    http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/122902/jag_11340226.shtml

    Just to be clear about the stadium… The terms of the deal for the Jaguars may not be a perfect situation because the stadium belongs to the city.

    But the city upgrades and keeps it a highly respectable facility that is more than adiquate for the NFL. It basically does whatever the Jaguars ask them to do and their lease doesn’t expire until 2030.

    Plus as the article points out the league as it’s own bi-laws that prevent a team from moving if they are breaking a solid stadium lease with the hosting city. Last time I checked we are still several years away from 2030.

    I guess its conceivable if it were within a year or two but we’re talking 20 freaking years that a whole different ballgame.

    Honestly the article makes me feel better, and of course anything is possible.

    But it’s important understand that it’s not as easy as those that just like to pop-off in the media make it sound. Which makes me wonder if the ones that write and come up with the stories of who might be moving where or even if they can move legally, actually do any kind of research???

    Based on this information I don’t think that relocation is really on the Radar for Wayne Weaver. The ownership group in LA has already stated that they will be shopping for a team and will then move them to LA and there is a 50/50 chance of that happening in 2010 playing in the Rose Bowl, and a 100% chance of 2011.

    As far as I know Weaver is not going to give up majority ownership.

    So its a for gone conclusion that a team will be in LA. But knowing what I know now after reading that article and the long term commitment of the Weaver family in Jacksonville… I don’t think it will be the Jaguars that move. It’s just easy to pick on them because of our small TV market and small attendance levels, but those are for the reasons I have already mentioned.

    One thing that is mentioned in the article above, and what most forget is that the NFL team owners share the TV revenue.

    That is what allows small market teams to exist and make money. Losing money is almost impossible unless absolutely nobody shows up.. Even our lowest point right now we are still getting 42,000 to 45,000 for some really crappy teams… Cardinals…Nobody cares seriously…Bills???, Titans??? Houston…etc. Is not enough to have them on in the local market but it’s not like we’re not watching whatever is scheduled for Sundays. Jacksonville watches the NFL in large numbers and that is a fact.

    Like I said before stadium leases, and stadiums are what cause teams to relocate. The City of Jacksonville has provided the stadium,it’s up to the team to sell the tickets.

    You do that by winning football games!

  • Brad says:

    When the Jaguars passed on drafting Tim Tebow last week, who arguably is not the best fit culturally for the Los Angeles market, that confirmed for me that the Jags have throwni in the towel on Jacksonville and are L.A.-bound. There is no other rational explanation that I can ascertain.

  • jrbze says:

    The LA Sparks (WNBA) and LA Galaxy (MLS) started out in LA… as well as the now-defunct (but perhaps soon-to-be-reinstated) LA Sol (WPS)

  • Cody says:

    I Love Los Angeles and Let Alone The Entire State of California LA Deffinatley Needs a Team. but heres another suggestion of some relocations, what ever team to relocate or be expanded go to LA. the Chargers stay in the semi-out-dated market of San Diego absolutely keep the 49ers in Frisco. but move the Oakland Raiders to these 3 markets in California, Redwood City, Sacramento or Redding.

    other than NFL California
    heres some more ideas i have.

    Move The New York Giants to Yonkers, NY or somewhere near or in Manhattan and (tecniclly) relocate the Jets to New Jersey to ultimatley become the New Jersey Jets
    relocate The Houston Texans (with a new name) to Delaware
    relocate the Cinncinatti Bengals to Las Vegas
    relocate Tampa Bay to either Oregon or Alaska
    and Finally, Relocate The Detroit Lions to Hawaii

  • tony p says:

    Is this a joke?? :) Hawaii, Delaware or Alaska? LOL!!!

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