saints (n.) - NFL franchise presently based in New Orleans; boondoggle (n.) - an unnecessary or wasteful project or activity; saintsdoggle (n.) - the Saints' potential relocation situation in New Orleans, and the resulting boondoggle by Louisiana to keep the team from leaving

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

LA push for NFL to peak next week; Are the Chargers the team?

Several media outlets including the L.A. Daily News are reporting that officials from Los Angeles will make their pitch to an NFL committee early next week in Dallas for at least one franchise to relocate to their city.

According to the Daily News, the itenerary is as follows:
1. An 11-member committee of National Football League owners is to meet Monday and Tuesday to hear presentations from Los Angeles, Anaheim and Pasadena on locating a team in their cities.

2. The committee is scheduled to submit a recommendation to the owners of all 32 franchises when they meet May 21 in Denver.

3. NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said Tuesday that he expects the owners to make a decision at either their May meeting or at another set for October.
The Daily News also quoted Tagliabue to say, "We're at a defining moment. It's time to make a decision - whether it's up or down. The owners are making a decision and it's their investment. It's their vote."

Given all the effort put into making this happen, and Tagliabue's previous assertions that returning to L.A. was a goal of the NFL, expect that the owners will give a thumbs-up to the L.A. proposal.

If that happens, you can fully anticipate a rumbling from fans of a handful of teams this summer or fall as to which franchise will make the move.

Of course, as the story points out, it is entirely possible that two franchises could relocate to Los Angeles. However, the likelihood of this happening, and both franchises playing in the same stadium, are low in my opinion.

This is because it's blatantly obvious that the Coliseum (after remodeling) is the clear front-runner to be cleared to host an NFL franchise. And, with USC still playing football there as its home stadium, it would make field upkeep practically impossible with three teams playing on the same turf.

Of course, they could install field turf or something of that nature there. But I don't see that happening.

In any event, it is highly likely that one present franchise will be packing its bags in the very near future. Who could it be?

I think the leader now is San Diego. The Chargers' stadium lease is probably going to expire and the team likely will be granted freedom to negotiate a new lease anywhere else in the country. L.A. would be a perfect fit.

Of course, the Saints are up on the list too, given the league's uncertainty surrounding the future of New Orleans - in spite of Tagliabue's extensive dedications to keeping the Saints in the Superdome. Jacksonville could also be on the chopping block, as could Buffalo.

But the leader in my eyes for the moment is San Diego. Which should be outstanding news for Saints fans if that is the case.


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