With all new owner talk lately, one sidebar has been whether or not the St. Louis Rams will remain in St. Louis. There's news, er, something like it, that the LA group developing the stadium led by Ed Roski is predicting that they'll have a team in the greater Los Angeles area by 2011. That's a much quicker date than I think even the most optimistic LA football enthusiast would have assumed. It also means, if it's a realistic goal, that the Rams won't be in the mix since they can't get out of their Dome lease at least until 2014.
The looming labor situation that could nix NFL football in 2011 also might have something to say about Roski's 2011 deadline. A move happening after the labor crisis is solved makes for a more realistic scenario, especially since a lockout would very likely change the financial picture for the small market teams who might have serious trouble absorbing the financial hit a missed season would entail, even with the guaranteed TV money coming in, not to mention how hard it would be to recapture the fanbase.
Regardless, let's me ask our LA fans what their reaction to a new team in the area would be, a team other than the Rams. Would you be more likely to start following the LA Jaguars than the St. Louis Rams?
And for our St. Louis area fans, what if the Rams did eventually move to LA? You have to think that a lockout would have serious implications for football in St. Louis since the Rams aren't likely to be competitive until 2011. Even a committed local owner like Khan, if approved by the league, would have a hard time keeping a money-bleeder in the area just to keep them close to his home. Would you follow the Rams to LA, as in still be a fan, find someone else to root for or just become more of a general football fan with no one team earning your allegiance?