Here’s your sports factlet of the day:
More than half of the NFL’s 32 teams have used moving to L.A. as leverage since the Raiders and Rams pulled up stakes, playing their last games here on Christmas Eve 1994.
It’s like Lucy and the football. Los Angeles is Charlie Brown, and we keep thinking that this time she won’t pull it away. But she always does. And why not?
The tactic works. Since the last pro game here, 27 NFL stadiums have been built or undergone at least $400 million in renovations. “There’s no question that’s part of the game,” said R.D. Hubbard, who in the mid-1990s fronted an effort to build an NFL stadium at Hollywood Park.
“You always want one guy on the outside and you use him,” [said former Fox Sports President Ed Goren]. “It’s just good business.”
It’s happening again, of course, with the recently floated suggestion that the St. Louis Rams might move to a new stadium at Hollywood Park. For the properly pessimistic take on all this, I recommend reading Michael Hiltzik here. I find it comforting that no matter how skeptical I am about the NFL and Los Angeles, there’s always at least one person who’s even more cynical on the subject than me.