The drama surrounding potential NFL relocation has been somewhat quiet in recent weeks. With two stadium plans—Inglewood and Carson—seen as viable options by the league, the next step in that process will be the leaders of each plan to address the NFL in the future. At that point, the league will give its final determination. Recent reports suggest this won’t be taken up until at some point following the 2015 season.
As the NFL prepares for relocation in time for the 2016 season, players on all sides are doing their best to paint a specific picture.
Dave Peacock, the co-leader of the St. Louis stadium task force, isn’t any different. Peacock suggested this past week that there is a possibility that current Rams owner Stan Kroenke could sell the team to a group that is interested in keeping it in St. Louis. Under this theory, the owner would buy another team—potentially the Oakland Raiders—and move that franchise to Southern California.
“It’s possible we have different ownership of the (Rams) because I think (Kroenke) is really committed to Los Angeles,” Peacock said, via St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I’m not against Stan going to Los Angeles, I just don’t want our team there. This is why we’re spending most of our time with the league—we think this is an NFL issue.”
As you likely already know, Kroenke has teamed up with a developer in Inglewood to build a state-of-the-art stadium in Southern California. Once the NFL opens up the window to file for relocation, Kroenke will be first on the seen. The Inglewood plan has already passed a major political hurdle when the city council voted in support of the stadium plan earlier this year. Groundbreaking is slated for some time in December, which is about a month before the NFL will open up the window for relocation.
In addition to the Inglewood plan, the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers have committed to a joint stadium plan in Carson, Ca.—a plan that has also passed the political hurdle we mentioned above in Inglewood.
While the NFL views both plans as viable, there is still going to be a lot of back channel work between players on all sides. St. Louis, Oakland and San Diego are currently working with their current teams to get something done—a process that has lasted between one decade and three decades depending on the situation.
If the NFL is dead set against the Rams moving to Los Angeles, it could very well attempt to force Kroenke to remain in St. Louis. That could set into motion a long-term legal battle between the owner and the League. After all, it was previously reported that Kroenke could very well pay the fines associated to relocation without receiving league approval.
Peacock’s theory could act as somewhat of a compromise between Kroenke and the NFL. The league would be able to keep the Rams in St. Louis, while Kroenke would ultimately realize his dream of relocating to Southern California.
However, there are a tremendous amount of logistical issues here. This plan would require Mark Davis opening up the Raiders for sale, which is something that hasn’t even been mentioned as a possibility. If not the Raiders, the Rams owner would then have to bring another team into the conversation—an implausible scenario.
As Bernie Miklasz of the Post-Dispatch indicated, Peacock might just be looking to keep all options open right now. It appears to be full-steam ahead regarding a potential Rams relocation to Southern California, so why not look at every potential scenario between now and January?
Photo: USA Today Sports