Chat with Arash Markazi
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPNLosAngeles.com writer Arash Markazi stops by to chat. There is never a shortage of questions when it comes to the ongoing saga of the NFL and Los Angeles and that's what Markazi's new blog NFL@L.A. is all about.
Football fans in L.A. aren't alone in their uncertainty about the league's return. The league too has plenty of questions about the city after being away for 16 years. With so many teams rumored to be coming to L.A. and so many proposals being floated, Markazi's blog is the place to get all of the latest information.
Markazi joined ESPNLosAngeles.com as a columnist and writer after five years with Sports Illustrated. Markazi has also written for Slam, King, Vibe and Playboy and is on the board of directors for the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation.
Send your questions now and join Markazi Friday at 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET!
Arash Markazi (4:01 PM)
Welcome to this week's NFL@LA chat, there's a lot going on today with news about both proposals in downtown Los Angeles and Industry so let's get to the questions.
LA at one point had 2 football teams. They lost them both. What will make this time around different?
Arash Markazi (4:02 PM)
The Raiders and Rams were playing in outdated stadiums, with the Raiders sharing the Coliseum with USC and the Rams sharing Anaheim Stadium with the Angels. In a perfect world, the Raiders and Rams would have had their own state-of-the-art facilities. In a reasonable world the facilities they were in would have been drastically renovated to include luxury suites and club seats to bring in additional revenue streams needed to compete in the NFL. They got neither and moved. The fan support was there for both teams when they were competitive, so that's not the problem.
Scooter, minny [via mobile]
What teams do u see moving to L.A., raiders and jags?
Arash Markazi (4:03 PM)
Neither. I think it will be Chargers with possibly the Vikings or Rams in the mix as well, depending on what happens with their stadium situation.
Give some odds, Arash. Downtown vs. the Industry project?
Arash Markazi (4:09 PM)
Good question. I think the odds of the downtown project are better than the Industry project. I keep going back to the fact that the Industry site has been shovel-ready and had an exemption for two years now and hasn't had any takers. Maybe that changes next year, but the site and the proposal haven't changed.
What percentage do you give that no teams re-locate to L.A.? Don't give 0 or 0.1%...that's too easy!
Arash Markazi (4:11 PM)
I think there's certainly a chance. I think there's a 95% chance we won't see a team in LA before 2013 but a 75% chance we will see one after February 2013. I think the league knows the time is right to come back and they'll make it work by then.
Ted Mosley (Rancho Penasquitos)
You think the Chargers have any shot of a new stadium near Petco?
Arash Markazi (4:13 PM)
They're trying really hard to sell this retractable roof stadium/convention expansion similar to what AEG is doing in downtown Los Angeles. I don't see it happening. They want the public to fund at least 60% of it and the convention center wants nothing to do with the site which is six blocks away from the current convention center.
Just wanted to thank you for doing your research when it comes to the Jaguars and their lease and ownership situation.
Arash Markazi (4:15 PM)
No problem. That's one of the biggest misconceptions in this ongoing story, that the Jaguars are one of the teams that might move to Los Angeles. Jaguars owners Wayne Weaver has no plans to sell the team, doesn't want to move the team and the Jaguars' stadium lease agreement runs through 2029 and is nearly impossible to break.
what do you think is the future for LA NFL
Arash Markazi (4:17 PM)
I think Los Angeles will have an NFL team by 2013 and a new stadium by 2016 or 2017. If they don't I really don't know when or how the NFL will come back to LA once AEG and Roski give up their plans for a privately financed stadium. This is the league's best chance to return to LA. It's taken close to 20 years but it seems the time is right.
People in Buffalo are very concerned that when Ralph Wilson passes away, the team will be put up to the highest bidder and that the Bills will end up in LA. Is that likely?
Arash Markazi (4:19 PM)
Steve, yes, that is what will likely happen. Bills owner Ralph Wilson, who is turning 93 this month, has no plans to sell the team but he also has no known succession plan but has previously stated he plans to have the team auctioned to the highest bidder when he dies.
Seth (Hartford, CT)
If a team was to move to LA, Are there any potential team names that have local support? I really dislike when a team moves to a new city but keeps its old name (Raiders and Rams would be obvious exceptions if they return to LA).
Arash Markazi (4:21 PM)
Seth, if the Raiders and Rams were to move back they would keep the name. If the Chargers moved to LA they would likely keep the name as well because the franchise began as the Los Angeles Chargers playing at the Coliseum and they still want to attract San Diego fans, living two hours south. With any other team, I would suspect they would change the name. No names have been talked about it although there are no shortage of suggestions from fans.
Why isn't the Bucs being considered a possible team to relocate? I know they have a recent stadium, but how can they go on without selling out any games? Aren't ticket sales the main factor?
Arash Markazi (4:36 PM)
Yeah, but stadiums are really the biggest reason teams are considering a move and Tampa Bay's stadium is one of the newest and is in the Super Bowl rotation. The Bucs are going through a bad run on and off the field, no doubt, but it hasn't gotten to the point where they or the league would consider relocation.
Manuel (Los angeles)
with todays news about farmers field, do you think the nfl is just holding ed roski as leverage against philip anschutz and aeg, for a better deal?
Arash Markazi (4:39 PM)
It's all a negotiation. Jan Perry and Bernard Parks Jr. told me their meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell went well and that it was the first of maybe 10-20 meetings they plan on having. The league is not going to back one project over another until they have to and they are about two years away from having to make that decision. Believe me, Industry has just as many if not more financing questions than downtown does. No proposal is perfect at the current time.
FYI, twitter rumor yesterday was, Jim Kelly is putting investors together to buy the Bills before next season.
Arash Markazi (4:39 PM)
That would be nice. I don't think anyone wants the Bills to move away from Buffalo, including the league, which loves the Canadian connection with Toronto without actually having to put a team there.
ryan (loma linda)
Why not the Raiders? With Al Davis's health issues wouldn't a move to LA make sense?
Arash Markazi (4:41 PM)
Well, Raiders owner Al Davis, who is 82, has no plans to sell the team and has said full control of the team will be assumed by his wife, Carol, and his son, Mark, when he dies. It is believed that they would want to keep the team in Oakland and don't want to sell their shares of the team.
Arash, let's say the Vikings move from MIN to LA...how do you see re-alignment shaping up?
Arash Markazi (4:42 PM)
If the Vikings move to LA and the Rams stay in St. Louis I think the league would have to seriously consider switching the teams and have the Vikings move to the NFC West and the Rams move to the NFC North even though that would kill rivalries. It would at least make more geographic sense.
Arash Markazi (4:46 PM)
OK, well that's all the time we have this week. I'll see you guys next week. Have a great weekend.