NFL Owners meet again to decide on L.A. market

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Tuesday was another big step in the direction of the NFL returning, at least one franchise, to the L.A. market. Owners, or their team representatives, met in Chicago on Tuesday to further discuss this very topic. In fact, Ramblin’ Fan was a part of ESPN’s Outside the Lines on Monday evening to talk about the possibility of the Rams staying in St. Louis.

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The Rams were represented on Tuesday by owner, and St. Louis native, Stan Kroenke and chief operating officer Kevin Demoff. The two made their presentation for a potential $1.8 billion stadium in the city of Inglewood, CA. The St. Louis stadium task force, lead by Dave Peacock, was not present. They have already concluded their proposal for a $998 million stadium on the waterfront in St. Louis.

Earlier in the week, representatives from San Diego proposed their plans to the six-man committee on Los Angeles opportunities. The Oakland Raiders have not yet presented any plan. Both teams have expressed interest in moving to the Carson, CA area.

The lack of a clear and present plan from Oakland puts them squarely in last place for a potential move to L.A. While San Diego representatives have pulled themselves up by their boot straps after running into red tape with the city. Both Oakland and San Diego have done more in the last decade to keep their respective baseball teams, the Athletics and Padres, then their football teams.

Feb 22, 2015; Inglewood, CA, USA; General aerial view of Hollywood Park racetrack. The site is a proposed location for an 80,000-seat NFL stadium by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke (not pictured). Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Currently, it would appear that St. Louis is in the lead to move to L.A, but also has the most complete and comprehensive plan to stay in their current market. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has expressed his feelings on the topic in recent meetings. Kraft feels the league has an obligation to keep the team in the St. Louis market if they have the proper plans in place.

Forbes ranks the Rams as the least valuable franchise in the NFL ($932 million). The Chargers rank at 26th ($995 million), while the Raiders came in at 28th ($970 million). It’s obvious a move to L.A. would benefit any of these three teams from a financial basis. Add on the potential of landing higher value free agents, better coaching prospects and new TV/media deals it’s easy to see why any team would find the market enticing.

The meeting agenda on Tuesday included time set aside to discuss all proposals brought forth up to t ahis point. The discussion would take place without the Oakland, San Diego and St. Louis representatives in the room. Teams are also expected to get a better idea on relocation fees and other financial details.

No major sports franchise has ever simultaneously moved three teams into one market area. It’s unrealistic to think the NFL would buck this trend, but seeing two franchises move is not out of the question. Geographically, San Diego and Oakland make the most sense. Historically, and financially, St. Louis holds the edge, but they have also put in the best effort to keep their team. As the meetings continue to pile up we can expect these negotiations to continue well into the regular season.