We've mentioned the Jacksonville Jaguars as prime targets to move to Los Angeles in the past. Jacksonville is a tiny market in a state where the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers already have large followings. The team has struggled to sell out many of its games over the years. And the question is frequently asked, "why play in Jacksonville, Florida when you can play in major market Los Angeles and dramatically increase your franchise value."
The Philadelphia Daily News is reporting that Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver is negotiating to sell the team to billionaire Dean Metropoulos, the former Chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Foods. Metropoulos could then move the team to Los Angeles. Theoretically, the "LA Jaguars" could play at the Coliseum or Rose Bowl until Ed Roski's new stadium is built in the City of Industry.
However, Weaver today denied the reports and claims his team is not for sale.
"I'm not selling the Jaguars," Weaver said. "The team is not moving to LA. I don't know how I can say it any more clearly than that. At some point, maybe I will sell the team. But not now."
Obviously, it's hard to know what is really going on. And now that LA has a viable stadium plan with Roski, it's normal to expect multiple teams to be rumored to move here. Many will also try to use LA as leverage to get better stadium situations at home. But the Jaguars are not in a great situation in Jacksonville, and despite Wayne Weaver's denial, he did not rule out selling the team either.