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NFL Rivals May Team Up To Share Stadium

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And two NFL rivals say they want to team up here in Southern California. The San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders - Oakland's in Northern California - have proposed a new stadium they would share near Los Angeles beginning as soon as fall 2016. It follows another plan recently announced that would take the St. Louis Rams back to the LA market.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

So after two decades without pro football in LA, now we have three teams - three teams, Renee - interested in playing for you.

MONTAGNE: (Laughter).

INSKEEP: But nobody's packing the pads and cleats into the moving trucks just yet.

VICTOR MATHESON: There's no reason to believe that LA is going to wind up with any teams out of these three when all is said and done.

INSKEEP: That's Victor Matheson, sports economist at Holy Cross University, who says this is not about making more money, what these smaller market teams want is a new stadium. They don't care where.

MATHESON: The NFL has so much in revenue sharing that it turns out you can make just about as much in a small market like Oakland or St. Louis or San Diego, as you can in gigantic Los Angeles.

MONTAGNE: Teams have used the idea of a new stadium in Los Angeles as a bargaining chip before saying to their home cities, give us that dream stadium or we're gone. But the NFL is not likely to let three teams end up in LA.

MATHESON: Which means if one side gets to LA first, that eliminates LA as a credible threat for the other side.

MONTAGNE: Matheson says either way, it's unlikely that LA's football fans will be cheering on a home team anytime soon.

MATHESON: I'd say the chances of there being a team playing in LA in 2016 is less than 50-50.

INSKEEP: But even at those odds, it's a scary scenario for football fanatics in San Diego, Oakland and St. Louis who don't know what will happen next. Stay tuned for the fantastic finish. It's NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.