A source with knowledge of the situation expects that there will be a solution to the Los Angeles relocation dilemma in early January, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Of course, we learned several days ago that NFL owners would convene in Houston on January 12th and 13th and may vote on relocation at that time. Florio’s latest report indicates that the vote will, in fact, take place.
There had been rumblings that this process could be dragged out until 2017, but league owners and league officials understand the importance of resolving the matter as soon as possible. Keeping three teams in limbo for an extended period of time could degrade the markets in those three cities, which could make it difficult for the clubs that do not relocate to thrive in the future, and per Florio, “the league seems to understand that fans of every team in every city are growing fatigued by the process.” Ultimately, Florio writes that Roger Goodell or Panthers owner Jerry Richardson–the de facto Los Angeles committee chairman–could force the hands of the other owners in January by refusing to terminate the meetings until 24 votes are cast in favor of one outcome or another.
Although it has appeared for the past several months that the Carson project–the proposal that would see the Raiders and Chargers share a venue just outside of LA–enjoys the majority of ownership support, that proposal did take something of a hit recently. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (article via Conor Orr of NFL.com), a 200-acre piece of land that had been viewed as parking and additional development space for the Carson project is no longer available. That tract of land, the Links at Victoria Golf Course, was part of the league’s vision to turn its future Los Angeles outpost as a grandiose centerpiece, and its loss could theoretically be a blow to the Oakland/San Diego relocation efforts. Carson advocate Carmen Policy, however, does not think so. According to Policy:
“We have our core piece of land, we don’t need anything else. Obviously, if the league gives its approval, we’ll be looking at other developments and expansion ideas in the entire area.”