The Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Rams could all be moving to Los Angeles in the next year. Or two might. Or one might.
“Let me start by saying this in order of likelihood,” former Raiders executive Amy Trask said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I believe that either there will be a team or teams in Los Angeles by the 2016 season, or at a minimum we will know the identity of that team or those teams. Look, if you had told me 20 years ago when Al (Davis) and Georgia Frontieri chose to move their respective teams that we would still be having this conversation some 20+ years later, I would have looked at you and crinkled my nose and said you’re nuts. If you would have said to me 10 years, fair enough. But some 20 plus years later, we’re still having this discussion. And in that regard, the league really does need to do something now because everybody believes it is closer than ever. The league has articulated that it is closer than ever. And if something doesn’t get done, it’s very akin to Lucy pulling that football out from under Charlie Brown for the umpteenth time.
“So that said, let’s look at the market as a whole,” Trask continued. “I don’t think it is smart to have three teams in Southern California. I’m not sure I think it’s smart to have two teams in Los Angeles – at least not to start. But let’s look at it this way: If the Chargers remain in San Diego, then I think the league would be foolhardy to put two teams in Los Angeles because now you’ve got three teams in one region, and the Chargers have been holding down this market for the league for the last 20 years. If the Chargers slide north . . . (that would be) a very interesting option.”
Indeed, it would be.
“We don’t speak of the Boston Patriots; we speak of the New England Patriots – and they represent that entire region,” Trask pointed out. “So the Chargers could slide some 90, 100 miles up the freeway – and you now out here in Southern California, 90 miles on the freeway is not a big deal to us – and they could represent the region as a whole just like the New England Patriots represent that region as a whole. But if the Chargers stay in San Diego, then the question becomes which team comes to Los Angeles? Well, Stan Kroenke obviously has the economic gravitas and wherewithal to do a stadium deal on his own. Dean Spanos has the economic gravitas and wherewithal. So we all know the mathematical permutations. We can all sit and do the probabilities. I don’t now right now which team or teams will end up here. But I really do believe we will know that by the latest in early 2016.”
It’ll be interesting to see whether the dominoes fall naturally or if there is litigation involved.
“It’s hard for me to imagine that it would come to litigation,” Trask said. “I have been told by many insiders that that may be somewhat naive on my part or somewhat silly on my part, and eyebrows have been raised because they do know I was with an organization that engaged in litigation with the league for a number of years. But it’s really hard for me to fathom based upon my years in the league – and I was a part of the league for almost 30 years – it’s just hard for me to imagine that litigation will ensue. But you know what? Things that are hard for me to imagine happen all the time.”