There is no questioning that the National Football League is going to have a franchise based in Los Angeles, California in the very near future. This much we know. L.A. is the second-largest media market in the country, trailing only New York City, and the NFL has never been the type of entity to let an opportunity to increase its profits and brand awareness slip by the wayside. The only real question remaining about the NFL potentially having a franchise in Los Angeles is figuring out which franchise will ultimately move there.
The idea of expansion – with either one or two teams – has been all but officially eliminated from consideration due to oversaturation and diminished profit sharing concerns among the league’s current ownership groups. That leaves franchise relocation as the only realistic means by which the NFL can get the team they so desire in the City of Angels. The league is reportedly prepared to waive any relocation fees to get a deal done, and it’s no secret that there are really only three franchises in the running: the Oakland Raiders, the San Diego Chargers, and the St. Louis Rams. All three franchises are fervently seeking stadium upgrades, with the Rams being the only team that plays in a city that is genuinely willing to work with them on a stadium project. With that being said, the Rams are more than ready to relocate to Southern California if the opportunity becomes available. On the other hand, the move to Los Angeles would be quick and easy for the Raiders and Chargers who both already reside in The Golden State.
With the news that the NFL held an impromptu owners meeting on Tuesday, rumors about an L.A.-based franchise have only grown stronger over the last 24 hours. In fact, the buzz has grown to be so strong that the oddsmakers in Las Vegas have now released odds for which team they think has the best chance to end up in Los Angeles. Here is a look at what they came up with.
3. Oakland Raiders
The Raiders already have strong ties to Los Angeles, having been located in L.A. from 1982-1994, and have an extensive fanbase throughout the Southern California region. The franchise is in desperate need of a new stadium, as O.co Stadium is arguably the most run-down venue in the league. The Raiders have already come together with the San Diego Chargers to propose a shared $1.78 billion stadium in Carson, California that would give both teams the upgrade they are looking for. The key holdup with the Raiders is the notion that they truly belong in the Bay Area. That may not matter, though, as the allure of a fancy new stadium will likely trump any geographical ties in this situation.
2. St. Louis Rams
Rams owner Stan Kroenke recently bought a plot of land in Inglewood, California that is ready for immediate development and is large enough to house an NFL stadium. Kroenke has also long been rumored to be interested in moving his franchise to the west coast, and the Rams already have a following in the area after being based in the Los Angeles region from 1946-1994. These facts have clearly not slipped past the oddsmakers in Vegas who seem to think a that there is astrong chance the Rams will return to L.A.
1. San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are the favorites in Las Vegas to be the team that ends up in Los Angeles. The franchise and the city of San Diego are pretty far apart in their negotiations for a new stadium that would satisfy the team’s dire need for a new venue. As we previously mentioned, the Chargers have teamed with the Raiders on a proposal for a shared stadium in Carson, California, and both teams are willing to change divisions to get a deal done. On top of that, San Diego is just a two-hour drive Los Angeles. At this point, the burning question seems to be whether or not the Chargers will keep their name, logo, and colors when they are playing in Los Angeles.
All odds courtesy of Bookmaker.EU.