It’s the same old story: NFL owners chase profits and shiny new stadiums in new places, and loyal fans are left with bitterness and resentment.
Last season saw the Rams relocate from St. Louis to Los Angeles. This season, the San Diego Chargers are now the L.A. Chargers and will play their home games at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., until the new stadium they will share with the Rams in Inglewood is completed for the 2020 season. Also in 2020, the Oakland Raiders are moving into a brand-new stadium in Las Vegas. The Raiders will remain in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum for the 2017 and 2018 seasons — an awkward situation for all involved — with the team’s 2019 home still to be determined. It’s a big blow to the Raiders’ faithful, who just enjoyed the team’s first winning season since 2002.
The NFL preseason begins on a Thursday night as the Dallas Cowboys face the Arizona Cardinals in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, Aug. 3 at 8pm ET on NBC. Previously, the game was held on Sunday, the day following the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony. Moving the game to Thursday will put more focus on the ceremony, and it should help avoid situations like last year, when the game was canceled due to poor field conditions. Entering the Hall of Fame Aug. 5 at 7pm ET on ESPN and NFL Network are Morten Andersen, Terrell Davis, Kenny Easley, Jason Taylor, LaDainian Tomlinson, Kurt Warner, and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
HBO’s Hard Knocks training camp reality series is back on Aug. 8 for a five-episode 12th season, this time following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs finished 9-7 and were out of the playoffs in 2016, but won six of their last eight games and saw quarterback Jameis Winston continue to rise.
The NFL games that count start on Sept. 7 with the Kansas City Chiefs at the Super Bowl LI champion New England Patriots in the regular-season opener on NBC.
NFL Preseason TV Highlights
Aug. 3 Hall of Fame Game: Dallas vs. Arizona, 8pm ET, NBC
Aug. 17 Tampa Bay at Jacksonville, 8pm ET, ESPN
Aug. 21 N.Y. Giants at Cleveland, 8pm ET, ESPN
Aug. 25 Kansas City at Seattle, 8pm ET, CBS
Aug. 26 L.A. Chargers at L.A. Rams, 8pm ET, CBS
Aug. 27 Chicago at Tennessee, 1pm ET, FOX; Cincinnati at Washington, 4:30pm ET, FOX; San Francisco at Minnesota, 8pm ET, NBC