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Relocation fee could be in the range of $500 million to $600 million

393630 07: ***EXCLUSIVE*** Actor Robert Blake’s bodyguard, Earle Caldwell with the help of two gardeners pack up a U-Haul truck full of trash in front of Blake’s home August 23, 2001 in Studio City, CA. (Photo by Jason Kirk/Peter Brandt/Getty Images)

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As the NFL moves closer to allowing one or more teams to move to Los Angeles, the fee to be charged to the team(s) who squat on L.A. is getting closer to being determined.

Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal reports that the league’s owners “have coalesced around charging a relocation fee” in the range of $500 million to $600 million. However, Kaplan adds that the amount “is not set in stone and could change.”

The league’s relocation policy lists various factors for determining the amount of the relocation fee, including the differences in the revenue streams in the old market and the new market, along with the differences in expenses. There’s also a clause in the relocation policy that pulls the process squarely within the “we-do-what-we-want/make-it-up-as-we-go” approach: “In addition, in certain circumstances, the League’s collective interests may depend upon the maintenance of quality franchises in specific geographic areas. If a team proposes to relocate into, or to relocate from, such an area, in evaluating the proposed relocation, the Commissioner will and the membership may take into account, in determining the appropriate transfer fee (if any), the League’s interest in encouraging the proposed relocation, discouraging the proposed relocation, or permitting the relocation on terms that would permit the League to restore a meaningful presence in the area being vacated by the relocating club.” (Emphasis added.)

In other words, the owners could fashion a fee that would be lower for a team like the Chargers and higher for a team like the Rams, if the league decides that it wants to discourage Stan Kroenke from leaving St. Louis.

Ultimately, it’s another factor in a broader tug-of-war between Kroenke and Chargers owner Dean Spanos. While the fee likely won’t determine which team goes to L.A., the amount of it will be influenced greatly by the intense back-room politicking that eventually could become for Commissioner Roger Goodell the equivalent of something the dog left in the living room.