bill-swift - June 2, 2012
Before I go any further I have to say one thing first. I hate it when professional sports teams threaten to leave a city unless they get a new stadium, and even worse when they actually do. I know a number of people that claim they saw the moving vans when the Colts picked up stakes and left Baltimore in the middle of the night. A small part of me still mourns the day when the Houston Oilers, one of the original franchises in the American Football League, moved to--gasp, sniffle--Tennessee.
For a franchise to do that to their fans, well--it's just a horrible thing to do. That being said it is exactly what the Jacksonville Jaguars should have done when they had the chance.
The whole mess is a little crazy and just a bit ridiculous. Apparently the lease agreement that the Jaguars have with the city mandates that when a manager for the facility was hired recently that the Jaguars were supposed to recommend a list of candidates to the city. When they did that, the city countered by sending them a letter informing the team that their lease was being terminated claiming that the team was in default.
It seems that the city was working under the belief that it was supposed to review proposals with the team and not just the ones that the team recommended.
That's it folks. The city of Jacksonville was about to kick its pro football team to the curb over a silly little misunderstanding like that.
Over the last few days both sides have retracted their claws and all is well in Jacksonville now, but you have to believe that the business man in new team owner Shahid Khan was a little excited. He knows that the Jacksonville market is not the greatest, and he also knows that the city of Los Angeles would love to have a pro football team again. The proposal for the new stadium in L.A. is impressive to say the least, and would sure make for a better home than what they have now.
Should the city have stuck to its ill-advised guns, I'm sure that the folks in LA would have figured out where the team could play this year until the new stadium could be ready.
What could have been is what could have been. The idiotic crisis was averted and instead of sitting pretty in one of the top markets for football, the Jaguars will wonder each week whether their games will be blacked out locally.