Friday, July 21, 2006

Eleven Years Later

The L.A. Times notes that it was 11 years ago today that the Los Angeles Raiders officially hightailed it back to Oakland, leaving the nation's second-largest city without an NFL team:

July 21, 1995: At a National Football League meeting in Chicago, Raider owner Al Davis formally requested approval to move his team back to Oakland — which would leave Los Angeles without a home football team.

One owner told The Times' Bill Plaschke that approval was "a done deal."

The day before, the league's finance committee had decided not to recommend that the team pay a relocation fee because Oakland was not considered to be a "hot" expansion or relocation spot, according to Plaschke.

"Not only is the NFL going to allow the Raiders to leave Los Angeles without a fight, they are probably going to allow them to leave without a fee," he wrote.

Owners had told him they didn't have much choice about Davis' plan.

"While most of the owners are upset that Los Angeles will be left without an NFL team for at least one year, they will approve the Raiders move because they can't force them to stay," he wrote.

"At least one year," of course, has turned into 11. And the debate over how to bring an NFL team to Los Angeles -- or even if we need one -- goes on.

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