NFL has yet to see a “compelling proposal” from Oakland, San Diego, or St. Louis
Within the next three weeks, the cities of Oakland, San Diego, and St. Louis must submit their last, best proposals for stadiums that will keep the Raiders, Chargers, and Rams, respectively, in town before the league’s owners attempt to figure out an L.A. solution.
As of now, none have put together proposals that the league would regard as being sufficient.
“There’s no compelling proposal from any city,” NFL executive V.P. Eric Grubman told Bernie Miklasz of 101 ESPN in St. Louis, via NFL.com. “San Diego’s proposal, outline, whatever you want to call it, it’s to be delivered next year. Oakland, who have really started very recently to try to put something together, they’re really just beginning to define it.”
But what about St. Louis, which seems to be the closest (relatively speaking) of the three cities to have a viable plan?
“St. Louis will fall short of having a compelling proposal that would attract the Rams,” Grubman said. “And to that end, and I don’t mean to oversimplify and I’m certainly not going to negotiate the individual points or attempt to negotiate, the stadium is going to cost more than is at the drawing board at the moment, the funding has declined, and new taxes are being proposed to the Rams. So if you already had an owner who was showing great reluctance to come off his position that he won in arbitration [regarding upgrades to the Edward Jones Dome], it sort of moved away if you will from Stan Kroenke. I don’t speak for him, but those are just the facts and the numbers.”
Grubman later said the owners could decide that the Rams have met the guidelines to relocate, but the Rams may fail to get 24 votes in support of a move to Los Angeles.
“What happens then?” Grubman said. “That’s a very interesting question.”
Later, Grubman rattled off (as speculation) some of the possibilities.
“He doesn’t have to do anything,” Grubman said of Kroenke. “He has a lease. That lease has rights. What he may choose to do in the future is the same as anybody who would in that situation. It depends on what his options are. . . . Does one team go to Los Angeles and there’s still room for a second? Do two teams go? Do no teams go? Do any other teams come up for sale? Do any other teams vacate markets that he may think are attractive? Are there markets that are currently not occupied by an NFL franchise that he might think are attractive?”
So the Rams could stay in St. Louis. Or they could look elsewhere. Or Kroenke could, in theory, defy the league and move to Inglewood, even if the league approves a stadium that would be shared by the Chargers and Raiders in Carson. (Grubman didn’t mention that possibility, but he didn’t have to. It’s been floating in the air for months.)
Kroenke also could, as Grubman hinted, sell the Rams and buy another team. Some within league circles have speculated that he’ll possibly do just that, selling the Rams and then hoping to buy the Broncos from the Bowlen family at some point in the future -- a possibility that makes more sense given Kroenke’s ownership of the Colorado Avalanche and the Denver Nuggets.