No announcement yet.

Mark Cuban for next LA team?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Mark Cuban for next LA team?

    Michael David Smith /
    Posted: 2 hours ago

    As he concludes his tenure as commissioner of the National Football League, Paul Tagliabue has one final item on his agenda: Bringing professional football back to the nation's second-largest television market.

    Tagliabue met last week with the mayors of Los Angeles and Anaheim to try to get closer to a deal that would return a team to the area that lost both the Raiders and the Rams after the 1994 season.

    But for the NFL to succeed in its efforts to return to Los Angeles, the league must do more than simply allow the owner of an existing club to move his franchise or allow the highest bidder to purchase the rights to a Los Angeles-based expansion team. Tagliabue needs to spend his remaining weeks as commissioner identifying the right owner to run the team, someone with a proven track record of attracting fans and building a championship contender, because Los Angeles fans aren't going to spend their autumn Sundays sitting in traffic to go out and see a boring team struggle through a 4-12 season.

    Fickle L.A. fans would flock to Mark Cuban. (J. Pat Carter / Associated Press)

    Fortunately for the NFL, there is a perfect owner available, a man who has the money needed to buy an NFL team, the demonstrated ability to build a winner and the marketing savvy needed to reach the diverse fan base of Southern California. And the owner shouldn't be hard for Tagliabue to find, as he's gotten more television face time than President Bush in the last couple of weeks.

    The right man for the job is Mark Cuban, who bought the Dallas Mavericks six years ago and has made it clear ever since that he is more interested in winning an NBA championship than in making money. He's done plenty of the latter, and his Mavs got within two wins of doing the former.

    At first blush, Cuban might seem like the wrong fit for the NFL, which has built itself into the country's most successful sports league in large part because its owners cooperate on all the major issues, from the television contract to the salary cap. The word "maverick" with a lower-case "m" describes Cuban well, and he wouldn't go along with everything the other NFL owners want to do.

    Most NFL owners happily embrace Tagliabue's vision for the league, but Cuban is known as a frequent thorn in the side of NBA Commissioner David Stern. Most NFL owners are reserved men who wear business suits to games and sit in luxury boxes, but Cuban is a brash man who prefers T-shirts and sits behind the bench. Most NFL owners are reclusive types who rarely mix with the average fan, but Cuban posts his e-mail address on the Internet and replies to fans' messages.

    Those are exactly the traits that the NFL needs in an owner for the Los Angeles franchise. In Los Angeles, where people go to the games not just to watch but to be watched, fans will want to feel like they're getting a unique product, something that doesn't exist anywhere else in the country. Cuban's charisma provides part of that feel. In addition, Cuban would fit right in, thanks to his Hollywood connection as a producer of 20 movies.

    Cuban wouldn't be the first person to acquire teams in both the NBA and the NFL. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is the owner of both the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle Seahawks. But Allen is a hands-off owner, content to put someone else in charge of the daily operations. The Los Angeles NFL franchise should have someone more hands-on at the helm, and no owner in sports is more hands-on than Cuban.

    But the biggest reason the NFL needs Cuban is that the league's current revenue stream, although enormously profitable, is just about maxed out. With multibillion-dollar deals with FOX, CBS, NBC, ESPN and DirecTV, the NFL has already grown as popular as any sports league could hope to be on broadcast, cable and satellite television. To continue to grow, the league will need to find new ways to reach fans through high-definition television and the Internet. No one is better suited to lead the league in that direction than Cuban, who made his fortune (Forbes estimates his net worth at $1.8 billion) by developing a means for college basketball fans to hear their favorite teams' radio broadcasts over the Internet. Cuban is now at the forefront of the development of high-definition TV as the owner of HDNet, a high-def channel, and Landmark Theatres, a movie chain where he's installing digital projectors.

    The closest thing the NFL has ever had to Mark Cuban is Raiders owner Al Davis. Comparing Cuban to Davis would surely make most NFL owners cringe — Davis, after all, has been one of the primary obstacles to putting a team in Los Angeles, first moving his Raiders from Oakland to Los Angeles and back, and then claiming Los Angeles was still his territory and threatening to sue the league to keep other teams out. But Davis's style has helped the NFL more than it has hurt it.

    Davis has embroiled the NFL in some messy lawsuits, but he has also been a forward thinker, hiring a Latino head coach (Tom Flores), a black head coach (Art Shell) and a female chief executive (Amy Trask) at a time when most NFL owners had only white males in high-ranking positions within their organizations. Davis's ability to see the league's blind spots on diversity was an important part of its growth in the 20th century, and Cuban's ability to see the league's blind spots on technology could help the league continue to grow in the 21st century.

    Reached via e-mail, Cuban said he's not interested in owning an NFL team. But he's a smart businessman, and Tagliabue is a persuasive person. If the commissioner called Cuban, reminded him that NFL teams are guaranteed more money from the television contract than they're permitted to pay out in player salaries and urged him to think about the local revenue possibilities in a market with more than 5.5 million television households, Cuban would have to listen.

    If Tagliabue wants his legacy to include a successful move back to Los Angeles, he should make that call.

    Get NFL news, scores, stats, standings & more for your favorite teams and players -- plus watch highlights and live games! All on

    Would this mean the likelihood of the team being an expansion team would be higher?
    Go Huskers.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Nick7
    Would this mean the likelihood of the team being an expansion team would be higher?
    No because everything is perfectly balanced as is. In order for an expansion team to come several other teams have to be created at once. So 8 new cities would have teams. That is IMPOSSIBLE. So it will be a current team relocating and my bet is on an AFC East team. Then the Ravens would move to the AFC East and then another team .. maybe the Colts will move to the AFC North. That way it makes more sense.
    The Browns are gone; I'm not a fan of the Impostors

    The real Browns are in Baltimore, see?


    • #3
      This would be great, I'd love for Mark to own another franchise, he's done so much for the Dallas Mavericks!!!


      • #4
        i don't want mark cuban anywere near my city of LA .. hes a complete jack ass. i hate this guy!!!!!!!