The Rams and Chargers and Raiders will give updates to the NFL’s Committee on Los Angeles Opportunities about their local stadium situations and their stadium projects in Inglewood and Carson this afternoon in New York.
While part of the updates will involve what’s going on in St. Louis and San Diego and Oakland, make no mistake, this is about selling Inglewood or Carson as the site the NFL should chose for its triumphant return to Los Angeles.
And with the league closing in on a decision about who will relocate to Los Angeles by the end of 2015 – and at what site – the Rams and Chargers and Raiders will undoubtedly be selling their L.A. dreams today.
For the Rams, that means pushing owner Stan Kroenke’s Inglewood stadium site.
For the Raiders and Chargers, it’s extolling the virtues of the joint stadium they are proposing in Carson should new homes not emerge in Oakland and Dan Diego.
And what does that mean, exactly?
The Rams strategy appears to be selling their site and their long history in Los Angeles as insuring a successful return to Los Angeles, while also being willing participants in helping the Chargers and Raiders secure financially beneficial new stadiums and futures.
With a ready made fan base in L.A., the financial mite of a multi-billionaire owner, and an extravagant stadium on a site Los Angeles fans are familiar with, the Rams will push their plan as the best bet for the NFL’s re-entry into the second-biggest market in the country after a 20-year absence.
The thinking is clear: The NFL has one shot to get it right in L.A. and that’s the Rams in Inglewood. And with room to add another team, either the Chargers or Raiders can be brought on. Once that mission is completed, attention will turn to insuring the third team’s objectives are met.
As for the Chargers and Raiders sales pitch, longtime NFL executive Carmen Policy will lead the presentation. He gave me a preview of his update – which you can read here – and the basis is that Carson offers a solution to two California teams stadium situations. And they will do it as partners in a two-teamed owned stadium
As Policy told me:
“The NFL has been saying since I’ve been involved with NFL committees involved in L.A., whenever the NFL returns to L.A. it will do so with plans to bring two teams. There position is, eventually there will be two teams in L.A. Everything we have studied, everything we have looked at, says if you are going to bring two teams to L.A. the wise, most prudent, most strategic thinking to do is to bring them to L.A. at the same time. Part of that is marketing, but more importantly, we have found that the concept of owner-team, tenant-team doesn’t work. All it does is breed complexity, conflict and sometimes even contempt. One team will always be viewed as the home team. The other team is viewed as the team paying rent. So from the outset, you do it correctly so you aren’t building a stadium that the owner designs and oh, by the way, I’ll make accommodations for the second team and their idea of accommodations is putting in extra locker rooms.
“Look at the 49ers, that’s their stadium. They designed it. Everything about that stadium speaks to the 49ers and their ownership. They did design it in a way that you could say it accommodates a second team. But that second team wouldn’t just be a secondary tenant, they’d feel it all the way through and you couldn’t help but operate it in a fashion that reflects that.
“Here we are with a chance to take two California teams, in the two worst stadium situations in the NFL – they’re in trouble – and you can cure that with one move and build a spectacular building that each of those teams own. And it’s in the perfect available spot in L.A.
“If you just follow the logic, it pushes you to a logical conclusion. And we believe that is Carson.”
Making that case continues today in New York. Down the road, all 32 owners will gather for a special meeting in Chicago August 11 to hear the latest updates to that point.
And at some point after that, the NFL will get down to the business of deciding what team or teams will relocate to Los Angeles, and where they will play.