What happens if St. Louis presents a stadium plan to Stan Kroenke and Rams?

Amid all the jubilation Tuesday in Inglewood after the city council approved a plan to build a football stadium on the site of the old Hollywood Park race track, it was easy to overlook the fact that adopting the plan doesn’t necessarily mean the NFL will end up in Inglewood.

It’s one of two stadium plans in play in the Los Angeles, with the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers recently announcing a plan to build a new home they’ll share in Carson.

It’s well known the Inglewood stadium is the brainchild of St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, presumably to be the new home for his Rams, who are free to leave St. Louis at the end of the 2015 season.

Unless, of course, St. Louis and Missouri leaders come up a plan to finance a new stadium for the Rams.

Which raises an interesting question.

What happens if Missouri approves a stadium before Kroenke files for relocation after next season?

NFL Vice President Eric Grubman, the league’s point man tasked with getting the NFL back to Los Angeles – told me that would present a difficult situation, but that he’s confident the NFL could navigate to a solution that it could be proud of, one that would uphold the values and principals of the NFL and be good for fans.

It leads you to wonder if a deal is being developed in which the Rams are allowed to move to Los Angeles and another team – say the Raiders – are directed to St. Louis?

That’s one of the scenarios my esteemed colleague in St. Louis, Bernie Miklasz, forwarded a few days ago.

It’s absolutely possible, but the word I get within the NFL is that St. Louis is being told to focus all its efforts on the Rams rather than look too far ahead.

For the moment, anyway, the league does not seem inclined to speculate about any sort of back filling, or directing another team to St. Louis should the Rams leave.

Kroenke’s involvement in Inglewood – he owns 60 acres of land on the site the stadium will be erected – and his flexibility to move at the end of next season suggests it’s only a matter of time before the Rams are back in Los Angeles, the region they once called home for 48 years.

And that may very well happen.

But it might not be a bad thing to pump the brakes on things a bit, because there is still a lot that has to break L.A.’s way for the Rams to return.

Missouri leaders are working feverishly to fund and build a new stadium to keep the Rams in St. Louis, and I can assure you the NFL is pushing the process a long.

The morning after Inglewood approved Kroenke’s Hollywood Park plan, Grubman – the man in charge with getting pro football back to Los Angeles while also retaining current teams in their current cities – was on a plane to St. Louis for a previously planned visit.

It’s one of many trips Grubman has made to St. Louis, where he is working closely with the two-man stadium task force of Dave Peacock and Bob Blitz to get a proposal on the table.

The question is, will a new stadium in St. Louis be home to the Rams or someone else?


Rams’ Inglewood stadium plan could get a major push tonight

St. Louis Rams’ owner Stan Kroenke’s hopes to build a privately-financed 80,000-seat football stadium on the old Hollywood Park race track site in Inglewood could get a major push tonight.

The proposal will be examined this evening by the Inglewood City Council, at which time the council has three options: Put the proposal on the June 2 general election ballot, reconvene in 10 days to either adopt it outright or put it on the June 2 ballot, or adopt it outright and bypass a vote.


Although Inglewood Mayor James Butts initially said the council would likely carry the proposal over to its March 3 meeting, that plan might change after the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers announced last week a partnership to build a shared stadium in Carson. With time of the essence now that a competing stadium proposal is on the table, Inglewood may look to expedite the process.


Kroenke’s stadium would be an addition to a large-scale plan to redevelop the 290-acre site that includes offices, restaurants, hotels and residential units. That project was approved in 2009 and has already begun construction. 


Kroenke has been mum throughout the process, leaving some to wonder if he truly has his heart set on moving the Rams back to Los Angeles or if this is simply a ploy to motivate Missouri leaders to help build him a new stadium in St. Louis.


It could also be he is waiting until the Inglewood project is approved before making any official statements,


Depending on what happens tonight, approval could come much sooner than originally thought.

NFL Insider: “I would bet against San Diego and Oakland.”

Bleacher Report and NFL insider Jason Cole was on 980 The Beast this morning talking about the prospects of the NFL returning to Los Angeles.

In a nutshell, Cole cast serious doubts on the prospects of San Diego and Oakland coming up with viable stadium plans to appease the Chargers and Raiders, who announced a partnership last week to build a stadium in Carson.

The Carson plan is contingent on their current cities dropping the ball on new stadium deals, and Cole thinks it’s unlikely either San Diego or Oakland has the wherewithal to put together viable plans.

If so, the Chargers and Raiders become very likely candidates to wind up in Los Angeles. Provided, of course, the Carson proposal ascends from plan to reality over the next year or so.

Of course, the St. Louis Rams are also in the picture, with Rams owner Stan Kroenke recently announcing a partnership with a California land developer to build an 80,000-seat stadium in Inglewood.

Talk about a log jam.

It’s highly unlikely all three teams end up in the Los Angeles area, and with the NFL coordinating the process and setting strict guidelines relative to Los Angeles relocation, this will come down to far more than a team or teams simply wanting to move here.

If Cole is correct about San Diego and Oakland’s inability to build new stadiums, it would appease one of the NFL’s key relocation guidelines in which teams show they’ve run out of viable options in their current cities.

On the other hand, while St. Louis appears better positioned to present the Rams with a new stadium plan, there is growing opposition in Missouri to Governor Jay Nixon’s push to seek state-wide public assistance to get it done.

“Obviously, nobody wants to see the NFL leave one of our major cities,” Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City told local reporters. “Don’t misunderstand that. I don’t think it’s ever a good thing when you lose a major sports franchise. The question is, what does it cost to the state to keep them versus what it would cost the state to lose them?”

In fact, Silvey recently introduced legislation to require a General Assembly vote or a vote of the people to extend existing bonds or issue new bonds – including ones for the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority. This followed Office of Administration director Doug Nelson telling lawmakers that Nixon could extend bonds without a legislative or public vote.

If Silvey’s bill goes through, that throws a serious monkey wrench in St. Louis’ stadium hopes. That could mean the Rams proving justification for relocation as well.

That doesn’t mean three teams moving to Los Angeles, necessarily, but the NFL might find itself in a serious pickle if St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland don’t come up with stadium plans to keep their teams.

And fast.



So long, Rams, Raiders, Chargers. Hello L.A. Dons, Diablos, Conquistadors

Sorry, the Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Raiders just don’t do it for me.

The Los Angeles Conquistadors, Los Angeles Dons and Los Angeles Diablos, on the other hand?

I’d sign up for that in a heartbeat.

It’s time for Los Angeles to create it’s own NFL history.

That means new team names. New logos. New color schemes.

Brand new everything.

The NFL seems intent on returning to Los Angeles, probably in time for the 2016 season.

The Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers or St. Louis Rams are the most likely to relocate.

Maybe even two of them.

After not having the NFL for 20 long years, all of a sudden three teams are beating down our doors to move here.

Rams owner Stan Kroenke recently partnered with a land developer to build an 80,000-seat stadium on the site of the old Hollywood Park race track.

The Chargers and Raiders, each embroiled in long-time fights to build new stadiums in San Diego and Oakland, responded by joining forces to build their own stadium in Carson.

It sets up a fascinating race in which three teams will simultaneously try to secure new homes in their current cities or set up Los Angeles as a landing spot.

When the dust settles, someone will be calling Los Angeles home.

Finally, it looks like the second-biggest market in the country will get professional football back.

It’s about time.

But if we’re going to re-open our hearts and wallets to the NFL again in the form of PSL’s and season tickets and merchandise, and if our Hollywood star power and extensive array of business leaders are being asked to fork over millions upon millions of dollars in naming rights and cooperate sponsorships and signage and advertising and luxury suites, it’s only right we get something in return.

Goodbye, Raiders, Rams and Chargers.

Hello Conquistadors, Dons and Diablos.

New era. New teams. New history.

I don’t want anyone’s retreads.

I don’t need to be constantly reminded about the two teams that broke L.A.’s hearts 20 years ago, only to come crawling back asking for forgiveness after they couldn’t hack it elsewhere.

I want something new. I want something we can all get behind. I want a team or teams all of Los Angeles can rally around.

Why shove someone else’s history and color schemes and heartbreak and anger and angry karma on us?

When we can simply re-boot and re-brand with a new team we can all call our own?

Without the baggage. Without the reminders.

Don’t get me wrong, no matter who end up in Los Angeles it’s almost guaranteed they’ll be welcomed with open arms.

More than 17 million people reside in the greater Los Angeles area, and we’re the home to an incredible amount of financial might and resourcefulness.

There will be more than enough support financially and in ticket sales.

But something will be missing.

It’s the sense and belief the team or teams truly belong to us.

I’ll always associate the Chargers with San Diego.

Every time I see the silver and black of the Raiders, I will think about their long history in the Bay Area.

And even though the Rams played early 50 years in Los Angeles, I’ll never get over them jilting us 20 years ago for St. Louis and winning a Super Bowl as Missouri residents rather than California.

Sure, I’ll support them if they return as is.

But it will never feel quite right.

We deserve a new team with a fresh, sleek look and name that embodies the history and culture of Los Angeles.

We deserve a new franchise all of us can open our arms to, not just some of us.