NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent out a memo to all 32 teams outlining the process for relocating to Los Angeles, in a memo obtained by the LA Times. Goodell makes it quite clear that moving back to Southland is the league's decision, and teams cannot take any kind of unilateral action to bolt for Southern California. Nevertheless, Goodell's memo makes it pretty clear that the league has designs on L.A. again, whether that happens in 2013 or ten years later.
The details and discussion of the Rams' situation after the jump.
The reasons for Goodell's memo are unclear, but a handful of stadium issues in the league's current markets against the backdrop of a pair of viable projects in L.A. no doubt figured heavily into his reasoning. In fact, Goodell mentions the two stadium proposals, AEG's and Ed Roski's, in the memo.
"Although substantial uncertainties remain," Goodell wrote in the two-page document obtained by The Times, "stadium development in Los Angeles has advanced to the point where the prospects for a new facility are better than they have been in many years."
Goodell also notes that the league is doing its due diligence on other possible stadium sites, which Farmer speculates could be Carson and Hollywood Park. I'd be interested to know if Chavez Ravine is a possibility now too.
NFL owners would have to approve, by three-quarters majority, the details of any relocation, including fees, stadium site and the gory details therein.
Any team looking to move in 2013 would have to submit its application no later than the first month and a half of 2013. That application would have to include details such as a temporary playing location and a plan for economic viability of a new stadium, including naming rights. Teams applying for L.A. would also have to justify the move as to why that particular location is better than anything in the current market or elsewhere in L.A.
Goodell's memo uses the 2013 season as the first possible one that a team could move to L.A. The reality is that it might take longer than that.
And what about the Rams? They're currently in arbitration with the CVC to reconcile the team's $700 million Dome plan with the CVC's $124 million vision. Whatever plan the arbitrators arrive at, the CVC has time after that to make a decision whether to accept it. That would put the Rams right up against Goodell's deadline, and about 12 months sooner than the team's lease would lapse on the Dome without a "first tier" resolution.
Even with no solution via arbitration, the Rams and the CVC, city, county and state can take this thing all the way to the brink in March 2014. That's what happened in Minnesota, and going right up to the deadline seems to be the rule in anything involving politicians.
The Chargers and the Raiders are in better positions to bolt before the Rams do.
Don't panic. I know the mouthbreathers on talk radio don't want to believe it, but the Rams aren't looking for an easy out here. I'm worldly enough to acknowledge the possibility that anything could happen, but the team has made a commitment to sink its roots here, in the wake of Georgia Frontiere's disastrous period of ownership. That was made pretty clear record in my visit with the team in Joplin last week.
Going beyond the community service angle, Stan Kroenke made some big moves in the last six months, most notably hiring a bona fide head coach and doubling down on a commitment to building a winning team. And why not? WInning teams make more money, and they can make money in St. Louis just as well as they can in LA or NYC or anywhere in between. Getting a renovated Dome would allow the team to make even more money. Wait and see what happens on that front before you start burning the Hollywood in effigy.