Now that the Rams are moving to Los Angeles – while the Chargers and Raiders remain in limbo – one must wonder: Was this the NFL’s plan all along? Was the league that much more enamored with Stan Kroenke’s Inglewood vision than with the Chargers/Raiders’ proposed Carson project?
In a word, maybe.
“Look, I think – to use a California phrase – the tectonic plates have been shifting on this for quite some time,” former Raiders executive and current TOPS analyst Amy Trask said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I do think that there was a strong movement over the final period of time toward Inglewood and shifting away from Carson.”
“Well,” Trask began, “Carson is a location that certainly worked or works – whether we want to use current or now past tense – for the Chargers because it is closer to San Diego and arguably addresses the entire Orange County market, perhaps the North San Diego County market – although I am screamed at by Charger fans when I suggested that if you live in North County San Diego, Carson is not a horrible drive. But I think that Carson did work as a location for the Chargers, but if you’re looking at Los Angeles as a whole, as an urban center, I think Inglewood is much, much more optimal for a stadium. It is centrally located. Inglewood is circled by every major highway in the city.”
The Chargers will have the option to join the Rams in Los Angeles. If they pass, the Raiders will then have the option to make the move.
Doug Gottlieb feels that Los Angeles is much more of a Raider town than a Charger town. Trask agrees.
“Anecdotal evidence, as we all know, is not evidence at all,” Trask said. “I will tell you that my impression was always the same as yours, which this is and was a Raiders hotbed. But anecdotally, I will tell you I see so much Rams stuff around town – and that preceded yesterday’s announcement. So in that regard, there does seem to be a quiet, softer passion for the Rams here than I might have realized.
“As to what’s next for the Raiders, the Raiders have to make a fundamental decision,” Trask continued. “Do they a) try to accomplish something in the current market, defining the current market as Oakland and, let’s say, the 100-mile radius around it, or do they b) look for a market outside of Northern California? And at this point, I certainly don’t know what they’re going to do.”
Gottlieb feels the Raiders should consider moving to Las Vegas – and Trask, in fact, was contacted by the powers that be in Las Vegas during, and since, her time in Oakland about moving the team there. She, like Gottlieb, thinks moving the Raiders to Vegas makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons, but the NFL might have concerns about gambling, among other things.
“I think the Raiders are ideally suited for Las Vegas,” Trask said. “I just don’t know that the National Football League will allow it.”