Goodell On LA, Rams, London, Vegas, Saints

As is customary, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell took questions from the media today during his Super Bowl press conference, and while a number of queries were unsurprisingly related to the DeflateGate controversy, Goodell also touched on some other noteworthy topics. Let’s take a look the highlights, via a transcript provided by the Seattle Times:

On the possibility of relocating a team to Los Angeles:

The ownership takes very seriously the obligation for us to vote on any serious matter, including relocation of a franchise. There’s a relocation policy that is very clear…[T]here have been no determinations of us going to Los Angeles, any particular team going to Los Angeles or going to any particular stadium. We have several alternatives that we’re evaluating from a site standpoint.

There are teams that are interested, but are trying to work their issues out locally. As a league, we haven’t gotten to that stage yet, and it will all be subject to our relocation policy. There are requirements in that policy, as you know, particularly as it relates to cooperation and working to make sure they solve the issues in their local market. I’m confident that all of that will be covered within the relocation policy and with our membership approval.”

On the Rams staying in St. Louis:

“…[W]e want all of our franchises to stay in the current markets. That’s a shared responsibility. That’s something that we all have to work together on. The league has programs, including stadium funding programs that we make available. We will work and have worked with communities, including St. Louis. We also will make sure that we’re engaging the business community and the public sector in a way that can help us lead to solutions that work in those communities…

(Rams owner) Stan (Kroenke) has been working on the stadium issue in St. Louis, as you know, for several years. They had a very formal process as part of their lease. They went through that entire process. It did not result in a solution that works for either St. Louis or the team. I don’t think the stadium is a surprise to anybody in any market that is having these issues. There has been quite a bit of discussion about it, and the St. Louis representatives seem determined to build a stadium.”

On placing a team in London:

“I would tell you that London has done not only everything that we expected, but more than we expected. They’re responding to the game better than we ever dreamed, with more enthusiasm, more passion…We want to continue to respond to that fan interest and if we do, we don’t know where it will go, but I think there is great potential in London for the NFL.”

On the viability of housing a team in Las Vegas:

“…I haven’t had any dialogue with officials in Las Vegas about how that could happen successfully for Las Vegas and for the NFL. A stadium would be a big component to that. I’m not sure that exists right now. I do understand the passion of the fans in Las Vegas and their interest in football.”

On the Saints ownership situation:

“I spoke to Tom Benson just the other day. He was going to the office as usual. He was in complete control and energetic, excited about getting to the office, asking about league issues. As you know, he’s been one of our more active owners in the league on various committees. They obviously have a dispute going on, which is always unfortunate. In this case it deals with succession as opposed to current management. Tom Benson is a man of great integrity and a man that is enthusiastic about the NFL, the Saints and New Orleans and somebody that has demonstrated to me he’s got complete control over what he’s doing to make sure that organization goes in the right direction.”

On the Bills’ need for a new stadium:

“I do believe that a stadium long term is going to be needed in that marketplace. I’m from western New York. I love Ralph Wilson Stadium, but it’s got to compete against a lot of these new stadiums that have a lot of very important features that that stadium doesn’t have. So they are going through that process. We will certainly work with them, cooperate with them, and if we can be helpful, we will.”

On the Chargers’ need for a new stadium:

“They do need a new stadium for the Chargers to be successful there long term. It’s one of the oldest stadiums in the league, if not the oldest stadium in the league…I’m glad to hear (the mayor of San Diego) has got a task force going. But they have been working at this for 12 years, and it’s something that we need to see tangible results sooner rather than later.”

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