I have many complaints about the state of mainstream national sports media, including the popular ones of not covering NHL enough and reporting too many Tebow stories. But one complaint I have that most people don't seem to mention is that there is not much coverage at all of when teams are about to move unless there's a major event. Because of this, many people still think the Jaguars are a candidate to move to LA (hint: they're not). Considering the huge impacts these moves have the coverage is well short of what it should be.
No need to fear, for I am here to clear things up. Right now there are two major moving stories in the sports world: the NFL to LA and the NBA Kings to Seattle. I'll talk about both, the LA because it directly effects the NFL (and likely the AFC West), and the Kings because it may end up having an impact on Kansas City.
The Kings: Why They May Move
The Kings have been all over the country. They started out as the Rochester Royals in 1948, became the Cincinnati Royals in 1957, then moved to KC in 1972 while changing their name to the Kings (the Royals were already taken), then finally settling in Sacramento in 1985.
Although it looked like they were stable in California, the Maloof brothers managed to run them into the ground. They haven't made the playoffs since 2006-2007, and they have traded away many of Sacramento's good players for cash. Even the most fervent anti-Clark Hunt people can't argue that he's cheaper than the Maloof brothers.
In 2011 the Maloofs tried to move the team to Anaheim to try and grab a piece of the LA market. This was so close to happening that most people believed that the last Kings home game of the 2010-2011 season would be the last game they ever played in Sacramento. Their announcers even cried after the game. However, largely due to fan support, the NBA stopped the relocation.
The Maloofs then announced that the team would move if they didn't get a new arena deal by 2013. The city of Sacramento worked out a stadium deal that the Maloofs approved. So the Kings stayed in Sacramento and everybody lived happily ever after.
Except they didn't. The Maloofs backed out of the deal. And now they sold the team to a group from Seattle. At this point all that stands in the way of their sale is approval by the Board of Governors (i.e. the other NBA owners). Technically they have to vote both for the sale and the relocation, but the sale requires more votes than relocation, so the relocation vote is a formality if the sale goes through.
Right now Sacramento is trying to fund a stadium of their own and an ownership group to buy the team. Their hope is that the NBA will deny the sale to the Seattle group, which will force the Maloofs to sell to the Sacramento group (the Maloofs are broke, so they basically have to sell the team at this point). They have a very real shot, since the NBA will want to send a message to other cities that if you play ball with the NBA and build a new arena when they want, you can keep your team.
What The Kings Mean To KC
The NBA faces a challenge if they decide to force the Maloofs to sell the Kings to a Sacramento group. Namely, Seattle will still be a large, NBA-hungry market without a team but with an arena deal. What many people in Seattle hope will happen is that the NBA will expand and put a new team in Seattle (sort of like the NFL did with the Browns).
This, however, puts the NBA at 31 teams. The NBA has had an odd number of teams in the past, but an even number is even better. My hope is that in the expansion talk, people start throwing KC around and that we may also get an expansion team.
The biggest problem with KC getting an NBA team is that our arena makes too much money. There was a report a couple years ago (that I can no longer find) that said that the Sprint Center was among the top ticket selling arenas in the world (and I mean top 10 or 20). AEG (who owns Sprint Center) doesn't need an NBA or NHL team in the arena to make money.
While it probably won't happen that way, there's still a chance.
Who's Going To LA?
Now to the NFL, there are really only three teams that are realistically contenders to move to LA: The Rams, Chargers, and Raiders. Right now LA has the stadium ready to go, they just need a team to move there.
The Raiders are likely to move because they have one of the worst stadiums in the NFL. It's really as simple as that. They also have a large fanbase in LA, so it would be an easy move for them. Other than LA their two options would be the new stadium the 49ers are building in Santa Clara (which probably won't happen since they'd be left without much of the profits) or building a new stadium in Oakland (which the Mayor wants to do, but it's still a long way off). Overall, it seems like the Raiders would make the perfect choice for LA.
The Chargers are basically in the same situation as the Raiders. They're stadium sucks and they're looking for a new one. The Chargers, however, are in a year-to-year lease in Qualcomm, so they can leave whenever they want. They said they're staying in San Diego for the 2013 season, and considering how easy it would be for them to move to LA, it's interesting that they haven't given more serious consideration to moving. One would think that if they wanted to move to LA, they would have done so already.
The Rams situation is very complex. Basically, when the Edward Jones Dome was built, part of the lease stated that the stadium had to be in the top 25% of the stadiums of the NFL. I'm not quite sure how they're measuring that, but it clearly isn't.So now they're in the process of negotiating renovations.
The process goes something like this. The city got to propose a plan for upgrading the stadium. If the Rams accepted, the renovations would be done and the Rams would stay in St. Louis. They proposed a $48 million renovation plan. This plan was released, and it had to be one of the most embarrassing things I've ever seen. They used pictures of Arrowhead (with the Chiefs logo clearly shown in the background) as a picture of what they'd do to their stadium. Needless to say, the Rams rejected the offer.
Now The Rams had to come up with a renovation plan, with the same deal as above (but in reverse). They offered a $700 million plan, which the city, of course, rejected.
So they went to arbitration, and three weeks ago they came back and agreed with the Rams' $700 million plan. Nobody knows how it's going to be paid for. The Rams can't leave St. Louis until 2015, so they have at least two more seasons there, but if St. Louis can't come up with a way to pay for the renovations, the Rams will likely be long gone.
In short, I think the Raiders and Rams will both move to LA. LA is a huge market and can handle two teams. Both of these teams have a history in the city, with a fanbase already there. They both have stadium issues with no solution in sight. And the Chargers don't look like they're ready to move, so I don't see what would make them change their mind.