Keeping that in mind NFL owners will today again attempt to solve once and for all the hot and pressing topic of which one or two NFL franchises will be making the move to the Los Angeles. This time there is a bit more relevant information for league owners to chew on in that the Commissioner Roger Goodell has issued a 48-page report which, as reported, has declared the existing stadiums Oakland, St. Louis and San Diego “inadequate”.
Two days of meetings in Houston start today, now a full six weeks beyond when owners delayed a previous vote based on the reasoning they wanted additional information relevant to the Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers. At this point it is highly likely such a momentous move will involve one or two of the three teams vying to make the move to the LA market.
All three NFL organizations have plead their case to the NFL with each team recently submitting a proposed plan essentially extolling their respective rationales for such a move.
Goodell’s latest report- dispersed to all 32 teams- states in no uncertain terms that all three teams positioning for the right to move have current home town stadiums that are “inadequate and unsatisfactory,” The report goes on to include that that the proposals the Raiders, Rams and Chargers received, from their respective cities to remain put, lacked certainty. The report is relevant and is a requirement as part of this process wherein a team, or in this case teams, are seeking to move to a new place or market.
Stan Kroenke, current owner of the Rams and the league’s second wealthiest owner has put together a $1.8 billion stadium plan to be erected in the town of Inglewood, Calif., which happens to be the same piece of land that was once home to the former Hollywood Park racetrack. Carson California is the designated and most desirable place, deemed by the Raiders and Chargers, to build a new and shared NFL stadium. At the same time Kroenke has also proclaimed he is not opposed to sharing his Inglewood stadium, if built, with either the Chargers or Raiders.
There are 32 NFL team owners and in this case any plans must be approved by 24 of the league owners before any such move can take place.
It appears based on other NFL owner input that this whole process is not a walk in the park. According to Steve Tisch- co-owner of the Giants- “It’s a long, tedious process.” Not surprisingly he went on the record continuing to say that “There’s a lot of questions and there are not answers to every question yet. And there will be more questions when we meet in mid-January for sure.”
In addition to the move to LA, Kroenke has pitched another plan which keeps the Rams in the Midwest with an open-air, $1.1 billion stadium set along the picturesque Mississippi River north of the Gateway Arch. It would be a complete replacement for the current Edward Jones Dome which is one of the stadiums deemed inadequate by the Goodell 48-page report.
Funds and financing include numbers somewhere in the ballpark of $150 million from St. Louis city coffers, $250 million from Kroenke himeself, a minimum of $200 million from the NFL, and a proposed $160 million in fan seat licenses. Then theres the rest of the funds that would surely be necessary coming in the form of state provided tax credits or bonds. To add to the aforemention “complexities” of such a deal, Goodell has issued a counter offer to the Kroenke proposal clearly stating that NFL has an existing policy that restricts the league’s contribution to $100 million max. Who knows if that number could be altered or a policy change enacted to accommodate getting a good deal done for all parties involved.
In San Diego the Chargers have put forward a a $1.1 billion new stadium proposal to replace the faltering Qualcomm Stadium. That deal gets a bit murky due to the fact that there has been little success with that proposal to date. On top of the lack of progress with the city, if some deal were to get enough approval to move forward it would require a public vote that won't likely come to fruition until June of 2016. The fct is that the Chargers have moved on form those stalled negotiations with the city and have put the majority of their time and effort into a move to Carson California. The relationship with the city of San Diego has continued to sour as Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, a member of the relocation committee, simply canceled a meeting with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer this past December, and made his feeling known as he shared unfavorable remarks publically about the absence of city leadership.
Oakland continues to be underwater and carrying debt from an Oakland Stadium renovation some 20 years ago completed upon the Raiders return to Oakland from Los Angeles. It’s common knowledge for anyone following their ongoing attempts to once again leave Oakland that the City officials there have repeatedly stated they will not seek help from taxpayers with a new stadium. Although the city has asked the NFL for more time to put together a proposal in the form acceptable as a league-required response to the Raiders’ relocation plan. It seems as though City of Oakland has a bit of leverage since they are clearly aware the Raiders have debt to contend acting as a potential and considerable obstacle to moving. At the same time the City has been made aware, based on the recent Goodell report, that the existing stadium is not meeting NFL standards and therefore providing the Raiders with a small bit of leverage of their own.