Reuters reported yesterday that the Los Angeles City Council approved a plan that would put a $1.2 billion football stadium in downtown L.A. called by 2016. Called "Farmer's Field", the stadium will be adjacent to the Staples Center, potentially threatening L.A. Live's status as one of our most underrated places to waste time.
Hundreds of football fans in the yellow-and-blue jerseys of the Rams football team, ushers from sports arena Staples Center toting "Farmers Field" T-shirts, and even carpenters' union members turned up at Friday's vote, jamming the meeting room and spilling out into the hallways outside. NBA Hall of Famer and local celebrity Kareem Abdul-Jabbar arrived to raucous applause.
Awesome, go team. Except there is no team. Mike Florio said it would have been the Chargers if the move happened in 2013, but it won't, and Mike Florio says a lot of shit. Albert Breer says maybe the Raiders—but also that "the California government won't be overly enthusiastic to help a stadium plan if it's simply robbing Peter to pay Paul." Jaguars' and Vikings' ownership have both pledged to keep their teams where they are (condolences to fans of both those teams, it looks like you're stuck.) 2016 is still a ways off, but we're left, in all likelihood, with the Bills and the Rams, two teams that have struggled with attendance and performance. It'll be up to the city of St. Louis to decide whether to extend the Rams' lease; it may only be the discretion of the new owners of the Bills that determines whether that team stays in Buffalo. Ralph Wilson has said "the team will not be moved while he's still living." Ralph Wilson will also turn 94 in October. Breer's rundown of the contestants says, "Down the line, could a new deep-pocketed owner swoop in, and whisk the [Bills] away? It's not impossible," but his analysis isn't sold on any franchise yet.
If it does end up being the Bills that move to Los Angeles, its fans can, like Sonics fans that root for the Thunder, take comfort in the natural kinship between the old fan base and the new. Buffalo and Los Angeles! Like two peas in a pod.