Oakland Raiders: AEGs Potential Impact on the Raiders in Oakland
Stuart Kovacs – Jun 20, 2012
The Anschutz Entertainment Group has won the rights to operate the O.co Coliseum over the next five years, according to the Contra Costa Times.
The acquisition comes after weeks of negotiations and brings in several million dollars in net worth to the home of the Oakland Raiders.
AEG itself is projected to make at least $3 million over the five year period for operating the stadium. What is more critical however, is the fact that the company is looking to expand its West Coast market share.
This approval leads to a fierce debate regarding what the future of the Raiders might be. There are provisions in the contract which will prevent AEG from moving the team within a fifty mile radius of Oakland.
However, because of antitrust laws, nothing can prevent the company from moving to team to a city outside that 50 mile radius, such as Los Angeles.
When speaking of Los Angeles, the first thing that comes to the mind of many Oakland Raider fans, (including this writer) is “Been there. Done that.”
The team called Los Angeles its home between the years of 1982 and 1994. During those thirteen years, the Raiders were 36 games over .500, making the playoffs in seven of those years and winning Super Bowl XVIII.
During that time period, the team was a consistent winner and a champion, yet the organization was unable to sell as many tickets as the Raiders did in Oakland over the past few years; a time in which the Raiders haven’t even been competing for playoff spots.
The Oakland Raiders could however, once again be calling Los Angeles their home. It all depends on the plans of Philip Anschutz.
Anschutz, who heads AEG, has already put his imprint on the world of sports. The group has ownership in many professional clubs as well as various sports venues.
The teams in which the group has primary ownership in include the Los Angeles Kings, the Los Angeles Galaxy, and the Houston Dynamo, to name a few. The group also has partial ownership in the Los Angeles Lakers.
With an MLS cup and now Stanley Cup under his belt, it is no secret that Anschultz’s next plan of action is to own an NFL team in the city of Los Angeles. Assuming control of O.co Coliseum is the first step of many in making the Raiders that team.
Speaking for the majority of Raider Nation, there are many issues with this.
To begin with, moving the Raiders from Oakland to Los Angeles for a second time would be absolutely devastating to the loyal fans in Oakland.
This team and organization started out in Oakland. It has gone through its majority of ups and downs in this city. To remove them from the city again takes a little away from the name and tradition of the Raiders.
Secondly, a critical question that must be answered remains: Does the city of Los Angeles deserve a football team, especially one with the tradition of the Raiders?
The fact is, Los Angeles has had an opportunity of hosting an NFL team twice already. In addition to the thirteen years the Raiders were there, the Rams, who are now in St. Louis, called Los Angeles their home between 1946 and 1994.
If you include the Chargers first ever season in the AFL, that makes three chances the city of Los Angeles has had to support a professional football team, and three times they've failed to do so.
Both the Rams and the Raiders would bolt for smaller and less popular cities after their tenures in Los Angeles left a lot to be desired.
The problem is, Los Angeles cares more about its Lakers and Dodgers as well as UCLA basketball, USC football, and even Kings’ hockey. They haven’t earned the right to have an NFL team, nevermind stealing a franchise from a city that has proven to always stand behind their team during both the good times and bad.
That is exactly what AEG intends to do: Steal the Raiders from Oakland and move them to Los Angeles.
The final problem lies with the group and its leader, Philip Anschutz. There are a lot of attributes about this gentleman that makes a potential move for the Raiders even worse.
First of all, he is a Denver, Colorado businessman who has made around $7 billion in oil, rail transportation, and telecommunications. Do Raider fans really want a mogul from the home of the Broncos’ being the man who has the control of the Raiders' fate?
Of course not. A person from the Denver area will clearly not be the best thing for the future of the Silver and Black.
With Al Davis no longer in the equation, Anschutz’s next move will clearly be an attempt to purchase the team and eventually moving the team from Oakland to Los Angeles.
This has been Anschutz's mode of operation: Control the stadium, then purchase the team.
This is how he went about acquiring ownership in the Kings and Lakers. He built and operated The Staples Center, then proceeded to increase his ownership of the teams that play there.
There is nothing to suggest that he won't do exactly the same with the Raiders.
Loyal members of the Raider Nation have to be aware of this Anschutz person and what his likely plans are. A move to the city of Los Angeles, especially led by a guy from Denver, is not what the Raiders need while they begin a new era with Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen leading the way.
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