With NFL eying a January resolution on L.A., pressure mounting on St. Louis

As the St. Louis Rams plot their course to Los Angeles – and express a willingness to the NFL to bring on an equity partner among the Oakland Raiders and Chargers – efforts continue in Missouri to approve a stadium plan intended to keep the Rams in St. Louis.

While league sources expressed concerns with the term sheet St. Louis presented the NFL last month, there have been some improvements made recently that make the deal more attractive. According to sources, St. Louis is now offering the entire $158 million naming rights fee to the team – as opposed to financing $75 million to help pay part of the it’s $390 million portion of the $1 billion stadium.

However, it’s unclear at this point how the city proposes to fund the remaining amount.

And while that could be a positive development, the league is equally interested in St. Louis making the deal official.

Until that happens, the NFL literally has nothing to really consider as it relates to St. Louis.

“Until its certain, there’s no deal. So you really can’t consider it until its certain,” said Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, a member of the NFL’s six-member Los Angeles owners committee. “So it’s in their best interest to firm it up.”

The problem is, there is a timing issue to deal with. The stadium plan is being held up in the St. Louis Board of Aldermen’s Ways & Means committee, which has yet to schedule a vote on the city’s end of the financing package. If a vote doesn’t happen by Friday, the bill won’t be discussed and voted on by the entire board until January 8th as the Aldermen the board goes on winter break.

With the NFL eying another Los Angeles owners meeting in mid January and a possible vote soon after, McNair stressed St. Louis could hurt themselves by putting its vote off until January.

“Yeah, that’s not going to help them,” McNair said.

And McNair was adamant he wants Los Angeles relocation dealt with sooner rather than later. The league is mulling the Rams Inglewood stadium proposal and the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers Carson project.

“That’s what we’re moving towards,” McNair said. “We need to bring it to an end.We want to get something done in January. We need to move ahead. The clubs need to know what’s happening. They need to be able to make their plans.”