With the NFL likely to fill the 20-year-old L.A. vacancy next month, it makes sense to identify each of the potential permutations.
Although some would say I rarely do anything that makes much sense, I’ve decided to accept the challenge. (Whether the analysis makes sense is a different issue.)
Here are the options, in no particular order:
1. Rams only in Inglewood: This would relegate the Chargers to San Diego and the Raiders to Oakland, giving Rams owner Stan Kroenke what he wants at a time when the powers-that-be in St. Louis are making progress on a new stadium. Working against this outcome is the fact that the league is upset with San Diego’s proposed contributions to a new stadium, and a sense that Chargers owner Dean Spanos has earned -- via 15 years of patience -- the ability to move. Also, Kroenke has rubbed some owners (including key L.A. committee member Jerry Richardson) the wrong way by not showing proper respect for the league’s relocation protocol. Favoring the Rams staying put is that some owners fear failing to finish the job with public officials in Missouri will make public officials in future stadium negotiations less likely to do the dance.
2. Chargers and Raiders in Carson: This is the deal that former 49ers and Browns executive Carmen Policy has been pushing, with the recent promise that Disney CEO Bob Iger will assist the project -- and possibly buy a piece of one of the teams. Believed to be a major boost when Iger’s involvement was announced, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that multiple owners pushed back against the presumption that Iger will move the needle on an L.A. stadium and otherwise ensure success of the teams that will share it. This option would keep the Rams in St. Louis, and that would require a leap of faith that funding and litigation issues arising from a proposed new stadium there would break the league’s way.
3. Chargers only in Carson: This would require a funding mechanism that makes up for the revenue not realized by the Raiders also playing 10 games per year in what would be a shared stadium. Earlier this year, however, the thinking was that, if a simple 17-vote majority were sufficient to approve franchise relocation, this would be the winning option.
4. Chargers and Rams in Inglewood: Sure, the Chargers reportedly aren’t interested in partnering up with the Rams. But attitudes may change -- quickly -- once the owners start figuring out what it will take to get 24 votes behind a final proposal. As to the Raiders, who necessarily would be jilted by the Chargers if the Chargers would jump in bed with the Rams, a large chunk of the relocation fee could be used to bridge the current funding gap in Oakland, allowing owner Mark Davis to get a stadium built in Oakland.
It’s also possible that Davis and the Raiders could move to San Diego, if the loss of the Chargers provides the impetus necessary to get the public officials there to get serious about building a stadium.
5. Raiders and Rams in Inglewood: Almost laughable on the surface, what makes this one viable is the possibility that the relocation fee would be used to fund a stadium for the Chargers in San Diego. As one source explained it to PFT, most owners would feel better about giving a large chunk of money to Dean Spanos than to Mark Davis. (Per the source: “There’s little sentiment to do anything for Mark Davis.”) Although this would bring two teams to L.A. with the Chargers not far down the road, it would give Spanos his stadium without requiring the team to abandon the place it has called home for 54 years.
6. Raiders only in Carson: That’s not happening. If anyone moves to L.A., the shift will include either the Chargers or the Rams.
7. Raiders and Chargers in Carson, and Rams in Inglewood: That’s not happening, either. The NFL doesn’t want three teams in L.A., and it definitely doesn’t want two stadiums in one city.
The only other potential option for this list would be the “do nothing” option. It’s possible, but unlikely.
Instead, chances are one of the first five options listed above will be adopted by January 13.