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NFL to do market research in San Diego, Oakland, St. Louis

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We noted a week ago that the NFL had sent out surveys to 185,000 fans in St. Louis.

As it turns out, that’s just the tip of their market research iceberg.

NFL senior vice president Eric Grubman told Sports Illustrated‘s Peter King that the league is commissioning detailed market studies in San Diego and Oakland as well, as they prepare the game of musical chairs involving the Los Angeles market.

The studies are important as they give the league a chance to take the temperature of the locals on a number of topics — primarily how much money they’re willing to fork over in exchange for football. There’s obviously more to it than that — such as the viability of PSLs, ticket price points, luxury suite demand — but giving the tree a shake and seeing how much money falls out seems the central issue.

The studies should be wrapped up in May, giving the league plenty of information as they try to gerrymander someone or several someones into L.A. while still proclaiming the viability of current markets.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said at the Super Bowl that the goal was to keep all 32 teams in their current spots, but it’s more clear than ever someone’s finally grabbing the brass ring that is L.A.

Asked how many teams would be playing there by 2020, Grubman made the league’s intentions clear.

“I don’t know the number,” Grubman said. “But the least probable of those numbers is zero. I would say we’ve gone above the 50 percent probability that we’ll have at least one team there. . . .

“You have to have some stomach to let the thing play out. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Right now, I don’t think anyone does. I do know this: Los Angeles has real momentum for the first time in 20 years.”

And with the league checking out the other markets, it seems the primary goal is to see who the better bridesmaid will be for anyone who isn’t able to get to L.A.