Saturday, October 26, 2013

NFL Musical Chairs at 1 Billion Dollars Per Chair: London or Los Angeles?


     I'm sure you remember the game of "Musical Chairs," in which there are fewer chairs than players. When the music stops, someone is going to be left without a chair.  This same game is being played on a much larger scale with NFL franchises.  The NFL had previously announced that one or two current NFL teams would be welcome to move to the Los Angeles area.  This is a sound business move for the NFL, since the Los Angeles market is the number two TV market in the country and it is currently vacant.  Roger Goodell's instructions to teams wishing to move to Los Angeles are contained here in the following link from our friends at  goodell-sends-los-angeles-relocation-memo .  The memo indicates that the new stadium in Los Angeles must be suitable for not one but two franchises to occupy.   There must also be some reasonable attempt to stay in the original host city, though this is probably just lip service.  Al Davis and the Raiders proved that it is possible to defy the league wishes as they moved from Oakland to Los Angeles and back again, and that this can stand up in court.  

This week Commissioner Goodell gave a clear signal that the NFL will move into London, England as well as Los Angeles:  los-angeles-vs-london-nfl-wants-both .  In other words two to four current NFL franchises are going to move.  The most frequently mentioned teams are habitually poor teams such as the Jacksonville Jaguars, San Diego Chargers, Buffalo Bills, St Louis Rams and the Oakland Raiders. When that happens, the cities that are abandoned will attempt to obtain franchises to fill the new vacancies, no doubt upping the ante in the process.   

Basically, in the Village Elliot's view, the NFL believes it can blackmail American cities into paying outrageous fees for NFL Franchises, and they are probably right.   Supposing that the Jaguars move to London, say, then the City of Jacksonville will be willing to pay just about any price to replace their team with some other team.  So Jacksonville will try to lure the Rams out of St Louis, perhaps. It is possible that franchises will appreciate in value by about 100% if this kind of bidding war emerges. There could easily be a half dozen franchise shifts in the next five years.  

And it is certainly possible that the Cleveland Browns will be added to the list of candidate franchises to move if Mr. Haslam can wriggle out of his stadium lease.  Die-hard Browns fans are convinced that the lawyers can rescue Haslam despite the fact that the cash register at Pilot Flying J was found to contain tens of millions of dollars that wasn't actually supposed to be there.  However the same fans figure that those same lawyers will be unable to break the stadium lease with the City of Cleveland.  Those two bits of logic elude the Village Elliot entirely.  I think that if Mr Haslam is in fact successfully rescued by his attorneys, that seem legal team will try to break the current lease with the city.  The Browns will try to leave for greener pastures if they can.


This week

No comments:

Post a Comment