It must stink to be a Rams fan, losing your football team like that to some city that, with the complicity of the NFL, lured your rooting interest away with the almighty dollar and without a care for your years of loyalty. I mean, really, St. Louis taking away Los Angeles’ team was just WRONG. We’ll miss you Flipper Anderson and Tommy Maddox!
— oops, sorry. We just had a glitch and that 1995 article auto-populated in my WordPress window. I’ll try to fix it later. I hope you get the idea though.
Anyway, with the NFL’s decision to move the Rams and, potentially, the Chargers to Los Angeles yesterday, there is one additional loser in all of this: the Oakland Athletics.
That’s because the Athletics’ stadium mates, the Raiders, were bidding to move back to L.A. themselves and lost out on that bid. Had they gone it would’ve made the redevelopment of the Oakland Coliseum site as a baseball-only site far more straightforward or, less likely, freed up possibilities with the city and with other sites given that they need not worry about what happen to the Raiders anymore. Now, at least for a while, the Athletics and the Raiders will continue to share the Coliseum in an arrangement that makes baseball harder in terms of both scheduling and in terms of wear and tear on an already disaster area of a stadium.
All is not lost, however. Just a lot more uncertain. That’s because, as part of the L.A. deal, the Raiders will receive a consolation prize in the form of loan money earmarked for a future stadium in Oakland. That could make it more likely that the Raiders build themselves a new stadium there. If they do — and if it interferes with the A’s playing in the Coliseum — the A’s are entitled two a two-year notice to get out of their current 10-year lease. If this has either bothered or encouraged the A’s, they’re playing it close to the vest. Owner Lew Wolff issued this statement last night:
This could also all result in the Raiders moving elsewhere, including possibly San Diego if the Chargers go up to L.A., which could leave the A’s in the Coliseum even longer. Ultimately, that would have the same effect that the Raiders moving to L.A. would, just delayed by a year or two or three.
So, there we are. The NFL’s decision, though essentially keeping the status quo for the A’s, did take away an immediate form of potential relief for them. For now, the overburdened Coliseum will continue to be overburdened.