New twist

A source has confirmed the L.A. relocation story has a new twist that could have fans up in arms. Last week Chargers Update published a story and now it appears new information has been released, or more likely, some will not like that is has been released.

Chargers Update reluctantly printed late last week that the vote to explore expansion into Los Angeles -- was approved by a 30-1-1 vote. The "official" version said Al Davis and the Raiders voted "no" (Surprise! Surprise!) and the Colts abstained.

However, at the time, Chargers Update was told that the Chargers and Vikings -- the other two teams being targeted if L.A. is to get one franchise in relocation -- also abstained from the vote. How then, could the vote be 30-1-1? From what we were told at the time, neither the Vikings nor the Chargers cast a vote -- the Colts made a point to abstain. Considering the overwhelming support of other owners, those two votes were assumed as "yes" votes, instead of "no" votes or abstentions.

The abstentions of the Vikings, Colts and Chargers can mean only one thing -- much like the Twins and Expos voting for MLB contraction. One of those three franchises will end up in Los Angeles.

The Chargers have the earliest "out" clause on their stadium deal. Add to that the certain boon in the worth of the franchise should the Chargers move and the news is hard to ignore, and does not paint a pretty picture.

The Chargers recently got an extension on their negotiating window and are still looking to close a deal with the City of San Diego. Or are they?

The Vikings' situation with the league continues to remain in flux. After meeting with Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Red McCombs opted not to meet with the owners in Philly. Vikings Update has been told that the official Vikings votes on matters of precedence at the league meetings were handled by Marsha McCombs -- Red's daughter.

And while his lease at the RCA Dome runs through the 2013 season, there is a conditional escape clause after the 2006 campaign. Yep, just about the time a stadium in Carson would be ready for full residency by an NFL franchise.

The cost of abandoning the RCA Dome would be roughly $77 million if the Colts pulled up stakes in 2006. A lot of money, for sure, but veritable chump change if a Los Angeles franchise is really worth something approximating $1 billion. And consider this: Once a stadium is constructed in Los Angeles, someone will foot the $77 million bill for getting a team out of its lease.

Irsay, whose stadium revenues are among the lowest in the league, is more concerned about the size of the Indianapolis market, and its ability to support him for the long haul. Well, the Indianapolis market isn't going to grow much, is it?

But in Los Angeles, the Colts would have the second-largest population base in the country, and endless potential to market their product.

The same holds true for any team moving to LA. Capitalizing on the number 2 market in the nation is a priority for the league and the team moving there has the chance to immediately multiply its market value.

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