Latest On NFL’s Potential Return To LA

A return to Los Angeles in 2016 is looking likelier than ever for the NFL. In a 48-page report distributed Saturday to the league’s 32 teams, commissioner Roger Goodell criticizes the respective stadium proposals in St. Louis, Oakland and San Diego, referring to them as “unsatisfactory and inadequate,” according to the LA Times’ Sam Farmer and Nathan Fenno. Further, in the opinion of Goodell, each market had “ample opportunity but did not develop their proposals sufficiently to ensure the retention of its NFL team.” The Rams, Raiders and Chargers agree, having applied for LA relocation earlier this week.

Last month, the city of St. Louis approved financing on a plan to construct a $1.1 billion riverfront stadium. That proposal Los Angeles (vertical)includes $300MM from the league, whose policy is to spend a maximum of $200MM on stadiums. Goodell subsequently called the notion of using $300MM of the league’s money “fundamentally inconsistent with the NFL’s program of stadium financing.” The Rams, for their part, said in their application to move that no NFL team would accept the St. Louis deal, Farmer and Fenno write.

Oakland has not made a formal stadium proposal, on the other hand, while San Diego – like St. Louis – has proposed a $1.1 billion stadium. At $200MM in funding from the NFL, the potential San Diego stadium doesn’t exceed the league’s maximum. The problem is that a public vote to OK $350MM of city funding isn’t scheduled until June. That clearly won’t work, as league owners will gather next week in Houston – Jan. 12-13 – to vote on possible relocation.

The Raiders and Chargers have a proposal to share a stadium in Carson, and the Rams want their own facility in Inglewood. In order for any of the teams to move, they’ll need 24 approval votes from league ownership. Goodell’s report indicates LA is capable of supporting two teams, which ostensibly helps both the Chargers and Raiders. However, the Cowboys have proposed a measure for ownership vote that would see the Chargers head to Inglewood with the Rams instead of Carson with the Raiders, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports (Twitter link). La Canfora adds (on Twitter) that many owners would prefer to see the Rams and Chargers as the two LA-bound teams. However, as Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal points out (via Twitter), Chargers owner Dean Spanos rejected the idea of partnering with Rams owner Stan Kroenke in a letter to the LA committee last month. At least for now, Spanos seems committed to teaming with the Raiders’ Mark Davis.

For any potential LA scenario to come to fruition, all three clubs must sign final economic term sheets for relocation by Monday, per La Canfora (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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Member
6 months 17 days ago

Goodell’s comments are settings things up for the NFL to ignore their own bylaws and move whatever teams they want to profit the NFL the most, regardless of how good the home city’s proposals are.

Member
6 months 17 days ago

Honestly how can Goodell do anything to worsen the situation for any team wanting to relocate? Every city involved has had more than enough time to come up with a plan to keep their team. St Louis wants to use public funding but won’t vote till middle of the year… It’s not like these teams just woke up today and decided to do this. I don’t like the idea of teams moving around but Oakland and San Diego need new stadiums. The Rams just seem to want to move to further other business ventures of the… Read more »

Member
6 months 17 days ago

St. Louis has already approved funding.

Member
6 months 17 days ago

They can take the Jaguars

Member
6 months 17 days ago

TJECK it’s San Diego that’s public vote is scheduled for the middle of the year. STL has already done a public vote. It passed. Goodell is in Kroenkes pocket on all of this.

Member
6 months 17 days ago

Kind of a joke when you think about it. Two franchises that left L.A. voluntarily fighting over a chance to return. Just throwing teams around like its nothing. Cities getting teams taken away and in some cases getting another team shortly after. If the cities can sustain an nfl team then maybe it’s time for expansion. Just can’t stand seeing franchises moved around like chess pieces

Member
6 months 17 days ago

STL is within 100m of getting their stadium and its criticized? WTH, move em all to LA so you can then vote again in 10 years for one or two of them to move elsewhere.

Member
6 months 17 days ago

Rather difficult to negotiate with an owner who won’t even talk to anyone. It’s all about the money. They will move whomever makes the NFL the most money.

Member
6 months 17 days ago

The Rams are a trash franchise with little to no cache. Let them rot in St. Louis.

Send the Raiders to LA – they have a historic past as a franchise, and in LA. The 30 for 30 on the LA Raiders sealed the deal for me that they should be in So Cal.