The NFL’s return to the Los Angeles appears to be inevitable at this point but it is still not clear which teams will make the leap or when it will happen. However, based on what we know so far, it looks like the Raiders and the Chargers have a strong advantage over the Rams.
At this point, there are three teams jockeying for position to move to L.A.
Stan Kroenke, the owner of the St. Louis Rams, has proposed a $US1.86 billion, 80,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof on land in Inglewood. At the same time, the Chargers and Raiders have a joint-proposal for a $US1.7 billion open-air stadium in the L.A. suburb of Carson.
Publically, at least, Kroenke and the Rams have appeared to be the most aggressive in their hopes of moving as a proposed $US985 million riverfront stadium in St. Louis has not stalled the team’s efforts to move. Meanwhile, the Chargers and Raiders both seem to be open to staying in their respective cities if new stadiums can be built even if there is little hope of either happening in the near future.
But there are several factors working against the Rams’ hope of a move.
1. The NFL wants two teams in L.A., not just one.
All signs point towards the NFL wanting two teams in Los Angeles. At the recent owners’ meetings, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft explained why two teams makes more sense than one (via the Washington Post).
“I really believe within the next year we’ll have two teams in this market,” said Kraft. “I really think to support the financial commitment of doing the kind of stadium that’s necessary in L.A., you need the resources of two teams.”
Kraft conceded one team was possible, but nobody thinks three teams is a viable option. But if three teams apply for relocation, the NFL will have to say “no” to somebody, something Sam Farmer of the L.A. Times says would be the NFL’s “nightmare scenario.“
Q: What’s a nightmare scenario for the NFL?
A: It would be a major headache if all three teams apply for relocation, even though we appear to be headed that direction now. There aren’t going to be three teams moving to L.A., so if three teams were to apply, at least one of them would be sent back to a market it tried to leave. That’s not good. It would be much better for the NFL to have a predetermined outcome, as opposed to a wide-open horse race. The coming months will be about orchestrating the outcome so each of the three teams comes away with something positive — a tricky proposition.
2. The Raiders and Chargers have an advantage when it comes time for the owners to vote.
Relocating to Los Angeles would require the support of three-fourths of the owners (24 of 32). This is where the partnership between the Raiders and Chargers comes in handy.
While there are two proposals on the board and potentially three different votes, one for each team, the decision could come down to the vote on the Rams’ relocation.
While the Rams would need 23 other owners to support their move (in addition to their own YES vote) the Raiders and Chargers would only need seven other owners to vote against the Rams’ relocation (in addition to their own NO votes).
If the Raiders and Chargers can get the support to reject the Rams’ move, the rest of the owners will be left with just one proposal and risk of continuing to have no teams in the nation’s second-biggest television market.
3. It will be easier for the other owners to say “no” to the Rams.
If three teams do apply for relocation, the owners will have to reject one of the proposals, and at this point the Rams will be the obvious odd-man out.
If the ultimate goal is get teams in Los Angeles and get new stadiums for all three teams, the easiest way to do that is moving the Chargers and Raiders, who have little hope of getting new stadiums in their current cities, and keeping the Rams in St. Louis where there is a new stadium proposal.
The NFL also wants a team in St. Louis. In a recent interview with ESPN.com, Kraft said the NFL has “an obligation” to have a team in St. Louis if the city comes up with a good plan.
At the same time, the Chargers would be the most difficult team to reject because of their proximity to L.A. If the decision comes down to having two teams in southern California or three, the NFL would almost certainly prefer to avoid a result where the Chargers situation would just get worse with direct competition from two other teams.
4. The wacky three-teams-moving scenario may be the Rams’ best hope.
There is one scenario that may be the Rams’ best hope for landing in L.A., but it is one that requires all three teams to move. Slightly different versions have been floated by NFL insiders, but it ultimately comes down to this:
- The Rams would build the Inglewood stadium and move to Los Angeles.
- The Chargers would become the second tenant in the Rams’ stadium.
- The Raiders would move to St. Louis and play in the the new riverfront stadium.
This is the one scenario that could appease all three teams, but only if the Raiders are so desperate for a new stadium that they would be willing to go all the way to St. Louis to make it happen. It also fills the “obligation” Kraft referenced by keeping a team in St. Louis, even if it is not the Rams.
There is still time and plenty of manoeuvring to be done. But with the clock ticking the Raiders and the Chargers would seem to be the front-runners.
NOW WATCH: Someone figured out the purpose of the extra shoelace hole on your running shoes — and it will blow your mind
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.