Yesterday we learned that Magic Johnson was cashing in some of his investments and that he would love to move an NFL team to Los Angeles. So let’s play oddsmakers and see which teams are most likely to end up in L.A….
BUCCANEERS: Owner Malcom Glazer and his family are reportedly in debt to the tune of $1.5 billion. As a result, the last couple of years the Bucs have fielded one of the lowest payrolls in the NFL. And despite a 3-2 record, the Bucs have announced that they will likely have TV blackouts for all eight home games. However, the team has an airtight lease at Raymond James Stadium and the Glazers have given no indication that they have any interest in selling the team…50:1
BILLS: Owner Ralph Wilson is 92 years old, and could be talked into selling the Bills. But with the Bills playing eight home games over five seasons in Toronto, it seems as though the team’s backup plan may be north of the border. However, the Rogers Centre has struggled to sell tickets for the Bills games and if the Bills were ever to move across the lake, Toronto would have to build a new stadium. And that doesn’t seem likely at this point…15:1
VIKINGS: The Vikings lease expires after the 2011 season and there is no immediate plans for a new stadium in Minneapolis-St. Paul. However, recently, the Governor of Minnesota said it was “highly likely” that a new stadium for the Vikings would get done. Of course, until that funding actually gets approved, the Vikings could be an ideal target. Besides, Minnesota has a history of providing purple teams for LA…10:1
CHARGERS: The Chargers problem is Qualcomm Stadium which is over 40 years old. The team has been trying to get a new stadium for years. Their most recent proposal would require $500 million in public funding, and there were signs recently that it could get approved. But if this proposal falls through, the Chargers could be heading north. Interestingly, the Chargers started in LA, where they played one year (1960) before moving to San Diego…8:1
JAGUARS: Moving the Jaguars to LA would be an immediate improvement for the league as a whole as they would be trading the 49th biggest TV market (second-smallest in the NFL) for the second-biggest. And after seven blackouts last year, this team looked prime for the picking. But the Jags have bounced back with sellouts in each of their first four home games this season. And owner Wayne Weaver has repeatedly said that he believes the team can succeed in Jacksonville. Still, there are certainly many people in the league that question the long-term growth of the NFL in north Florida. So Jacksonville could be number one on many lists, including Magic’s…5:1
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