Team franchise owners love to move if they don’t get what they want from the city’s taxpayers. That’s why the San Diego Chargers moved two hours north to Los Angeles two years ago because the citizens of the southern Californian city refused to pay for a new lavish stadium.
The St. Louis Rams moved nearly 2,000 miles west to play at the LA Memorial Coliseum because owner Stan Kroenke owns a huge 10,000-acre plot of land in Inglewood where he’s building a state-of-the-art stadium for both his team and the LA Chargers.
But that stadium is officially 3 billion dollars over budget. And now they’re somehow blaming the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders and its LA fans for their woes.
The Oakland Raiders are moving to Las Vegas in time for September 2020 and it’s currently going off without a hitch. If you’ve found yourself in Las Vegas over the last year then you could probably see the gigantic structure from your airplane window seat or if you’re casually walking the strip.
The stadium totaling 2 billion dollars is not just on track; it’s ahead of schedule.
Meanwhile, about 300 miles west in Inglewood, if you’re traveling on the 405, you can find a shell of a stadium with far less progress than what’s currently happening in Vegas. It won’t be ready for the 2020-21 season, but hopefully will be ready by the 2021-22 season – and they started building a year before the Raiders did in Vegas.
The alleged “revolutionary” stadium was set to cost 2 billion dollars initially but now it’s spiked to 5 billion, which would be the most ever spent to build a football stadium.
But that’s not even the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers biggest problem. They are fed up with how many Raiders fans reside in Los Angeles that eat into the fandom of both franchises. Residents in LA should be either Rams or Chargers fans, right?
Currently, the Rams play in the 95,000-seat LA Memorial Coliseum where they can barely get to half-full attendance most weeks, while the Chargers play about 16 miles south of downtown in Carson in what is essentially a soccer stadium with only a 25,000-seat capacity.
The kicker too is that when either of these two teams play on their respective home fields, most of the fans in attendance are there for the away team.
According to ESPN, “The Rams’ owner is a shrewd real estate mogul who has found changing the Los Angeles sports landscape more challenging and expensive than he’d imagined. Both L.A. teams suffered losses the previous weekend. The Rams drew an announced crowd of 75,695 to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but it was half-empty at kickoff and contained so many San Francisco 49ers fans that the Rams’ offense was forced to use a silent snap count. The Chargers, on national television against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the 25,300-seat Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, 16 miles south of downtown L.A., felt as if they were playing on the road — again. Steelers fans either outnumbered Chargers fans or came close, as did Denver Broncos fans at the prior home game, as did Houston Texans fans at the home game before that, as did Indianapolis Colts fans in the season opener.”
So you may ask yourself what does this have to do with the stadium being 3 billion dollars over budget? It’s because they simply can’t sell season tickets in their current respective stadiums so how will they in Inglewood? The reason? Los Angeles-based Raiders fans.
About one-third of the season tickets and box suites sold so far for next season’s Las Vegas Raiders stadium are Los Angeles based fans. Selling these tickets/suites helps out with the construction costs.
But Rams owner Kroenke and Chargers owner Dean Spanos are blaming Raiders fans for not becoming fans of their respective franchises instead.
Los Angeles has been Raiders territory since they moved there in the early 1980’s and even when they went back to Oakland in the mid-1990’s, the fandom remained because the Raiders are the only NFL franchise that has brought the city a Super Bowl even though the Rams came close last year.
But it’s silly to think that billionaires are mad they moved to a territory with the wide-eyed hope and expectations that they would steal fans. They left their fans behind in St. Louis and San Diego so these owners are reaping what they sow.