By now we already know the NFL has nixed any team from moving to Los Angeles for the 2015 season. But nobody said anything about forbidding anyone from simply filing relocation papers – essentially declaring their intentions to eventually move to Los Angeles.
The window for that declaration began on January 1st and closes on February 15, and that brings up an interesting question about the St. Louis Rams and their owner, Stan Kroenke, who recently partnered with a California based land developer to build an 80,000-seat football stadium on the site of the old Hollywood Park race track in Inglewood.
Could Kroenke simply go rogue and force the NFL’s hand by filing relocation papers on or before next Sunday?
And in the process, taint the waters so permanently in St. Louis it would create such a negative public relations mess for the NFL, the league would simply allow him to move rather than make him play one more year in front of angry, jilted fans?
The short answer is there really isn’t anything stopping Kroenke from doing just that.
But it’s extremely doubtful.
The people I’ve talked to within NFL circles don’t believe it’s likely – or in his best interest – that Kroenke pulls an end around at this point. In fact, with the NFL openly supporting Kroenke’s moves thus far relative to the league’s Los Angeles specific relocation guidelines, and with a source confirming to me last week Kroenke has begun the process of building bridges with fellow owners to garner the necessary support for an eventual move, the Rams seem on such sufficiently solid ground it makes little sense for Kroenke to jeopardize his plans by going off grid.
The more likely scenario is Kroenke continues to work behind the scenes with his fellow owners, lets the political process play out in Inglewood – while simultaneously monitoring the the stadium efforts back home in St. Louis – and when he’s comfortable he has all his ducks in a row, acts accordingly.
No sense in ruffling NFL feathers – remember, he will need 24 votes from fellow owners to be approved for relocation – or poisoning the waters in St. Louis anymore than it’s already been poisoned.
No matter how badly Kroenke wants to be in Los Angeles – or how soon – and no matter how much sense his Inglewood stadium plan makes, he still has to work with the NFL and within their guidelines.