FRIDAY, 10:47am: At a press conference today, commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters that Kroenke informed the league of his Los Angeles land purchase, and that he’s not aware of any plans for stadium developments on that land (Twitter link via Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com). Goodell also cautioned against “overreacting” to the news (Twitter link via Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com).
THURSDAY, 8:13pm: Rams owner Stan Kroenke is said to have bought a 60-acre lot in Inglewood, California that could potentially be a used for an NFL stadium, sources tell Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. The timing of this development is especially curious since the Rams have been unable to secure a new stadium in St. Louis and can move after the 2014 season per the terms of their lease agreement.
So far, the Rams have declined comment when asked about whether they’ve secured the piece of land in question. Farmer rightfully notes that 60 acres of land alone wouldn’t be enough to accommodate a stadium and the necessary parking, but an adjacent 238-acre lot could conceivably become available for purchase and tied into a project.
Los Angeles has been without an NFL franchise since the Rams and Raiders left after the 1994 season. The L.A. market has been used as leverage many times to get stadium deals done in other cities, but this is the first time an NFL owner has bought a piece of land in the L.A. area capable of accommodating a stadium. Relocation would be a very complicated process and would require the support of three-quarters of NFL owners, but the temptation to bring an NFL franchise to the nation’s second-largest media market has been strong ever since it was left without professional football nearly 20 years ago.