NFL bigwigs, obviously coersion isn't a big issue to you. Mr. (Lame Duck) Tagliabue, why do you have this massive hard-on regarding a team in Los Angeles?
If I'm not wrong, the PEOPLE of New Orleans want the Saints to stay in NO. Also if memory serves me correctly, Los Angeles not only lost one but BOTH of their franchises in the same year due to LA's inability to work with the Rams, coupled with Al Davis' final understanding of why the Rams moved from the Coliseum in the first place (stadium capacity vs. blackout rules). Back in 1995, Tagliabue felt that the Rams organization did not display "good faith" in negoiating with the city of LA. Tagliabue made a strong concerted effort not to move the Rams from LA (and actually had the support of most of the NFL owners at the time). But did the NFL come in and help pay for a new stadium for the Rams, so they could stay in LA? No. So after some threats and no promises, the Rams club was allowed to move.
While the NFL didn't exactly help St. Louis get the team they wanted (they wanted an expansion team that was instead won by Jacksonville) and tried to stop the Rams at every turn, we forward to today to see the NFL is sure making sure that the city of New Orleans DOESN'T get what they already have, and that a city that gave two craps about either of their old teams gets what it doesn't even want to pay for. But that's okay. The NFL is ready to give them money hand-over-fist for this to happen:
"Parks and other defenders of the financing arrangement said the tax dollars would be spent in the surrounding area only because of the stadium construction, and emphasized that no general fund money from the city (of LA) or county would help pay for the stadium. The projected $800-million stadium construction cost would be borne by the NFL."
Not only that, but the NFL is trying to coerce the people of Louisiana by stating effectively, we'll help pay for repairs to the Superdome to the tune of $20 mil if you reduce your "exit fee" rule by "$15 or 20 million". Or to rephrase, "We'll pay you $20 million so we can turn (you) around and buy Benson a golden(-plated) boot to shove up your..."
And it's ironic that the Rams threat to sue back in the early '90s has made it impossible to stop an owner from moving a team today. It's strange how these things come around. First in Baltimore we had Irsay rip a team from a city, only to find Baltimore on the receiving end of a similar collusion. Now we have LA courting Benson who will likely try to use threat of a lawsuit as leverage to move the Saints (only this time against Louisiana), much like Frontiere threatened the NFL when they attempted to block her from moving the team from LA.
It's no secret that Tagliabue has wanted a team in LA forever. What really puzzles me is why he just didn't decide to expand there instead of Houston. He's had opportunities to get a team there. But the real question is: does LA even care? Some (myself included) think the answer is no. But who am I kidding? This isn't about a city of fans. It's about a city of MONEY.
And there is one other option.