All along, it’s been assumed that if AEG in Los Angeles – desperately trying to entice a team to L.A. – succeeded, it’d come at the expense of the Chargers.
But in this Orange County Register report, AEG president Tim Leiweke says the group actually has been in talks with five teams in order to convince them to move to downtown Los Angeles. AEG is short for Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns or controls sports and entertainment properties around the world.
Those teams include the Chargers, the Jaguars, the Raiders, the Vikings and the Rams.
Most of those potential franchise moves wouldn’t be a huge surprise (especially San Diego and Minnesota, which most likely will keep the Vikings in a Minneapolis suburb but has talked to AEG within the past week – Jacksonville, meanwhile, seems to have stymied much of that relocation talk), but a potential move by the St. Louis franchise is something that hasn’t been discussed much lately (if at all).
More from the Register:
“St. Louis, Jacksonville, not extensively, certainly Oakland, San Diego, Minnesota are still in the mix," Leiweke said listing the teams AEG has met with before adding: "We're not packing any (moving) vans right now."
Leiweke also said AEG is prepared to pay the cost of for an NFL franchise to get out of a current lease so as to relocate to Los Angeles.
"Just as an example, if it's San Diego, they would have to pay $24 million under their agreement to get out of the lease," Leiweke said. "We would pay that."
AEG has been aggressive in trying to track down a team, and eventually, it probably will succeed. A couple weeks ago, I spoke with long-time Chargers beat writer Jerry Magee (now retired from the San Diego Union Tribune), and he said fans in San Diego were worried about the team moving a few hours up the coast.
I can’t say I blame them. They’re right to be worried. Because AEG means business. And eventually, the group will find somebody willing to relocate.
UPDATE (3:21 p.m. ET): If you have an opinion (or a guess) about which of those five squads could end up in L.A., take the CBSSports.com poll on our Facebook page.
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