UNDATED: In this rendering released by AEG the proposed football stadium to house a NFL team in Los Angeles California is seen. It was announced February 1 2011 that AEG has sold the naming rights for the proposed stadium to Farmers Insurance Group for $650,000 calling the stadium "Farmers Field." (Illustration by AEG via Getty Images)
What with all the sudden optimism the pursuit of NFL football in Los Angeles kind of fell off the radar. It may not be a central issue in the ongoing settlement talks, but the NFL in LA is important to the future of the league for one simple reason: revenue potential. The St. Louis Rams were mentioned as potentially becoming the LA Rams, again, this week by SI's Peter King.
San Diego is the most likely because of its trouble getting a new stadium built. But don't overlook St. Louis. The Rams' lease at the Edward Jones Dome expires after the 2014 season, and if the league doesn't address revenue inequity in a serious way in this round of bargaining, the Rams might be in the discussion. The Los Angeles team would almost surely bolt into the top quartile of teams in revenue, which would be a temptation for any lower-revenue owner.
You can't rule out the possibility for the Rams to return to LA, but at this point it's a leap. AEG approached teams about purchasing a share, something Stan Kroenke isn't willing to sell. It also seems highly unlikely that a successful real estate developer like Kroenke would have purchased an NFL team without an eye on owning his own facility. After all, that's where the money is and it adds significantly to a franchise's total valuation.
Bernie Miklasz at the PD debunked the AEG-Rams talk last week, but he did note that Kroenke would not be above using a vacancy in Los Angeles for his own benefits in getting a stadium built in the St. Louis area.