No surprise, the NFL is lukewarm on St. Louis stadium deal

National Football League Executive Vice President Eric Grubman went on St. Louis radio today to talk about the Rams potential relocation to Los Angeles and, more specifically. his perspective of the St. Louis stadium offer to keep them in Missouri.

To the surprise of no one who has been paying attention, Grubman made it clear the plan has issues.

By no means is this new news. I’ve been writing for more than a month now the NFL has serious misgivings about St. Louis dipping into revenue streams the league considers team property to pay for part of its end of construction cost.

And as Grubman pointed out, while the cost of the stadium has gone up recently the deal has actually worsened from a league perspective.

By NFL math – and this jives with NFL sources I’ve talked to – when Personal Seat Licence fees are included the St. Louis plan is essentially a $310 million public and $690 million private/team split on the. Depending on who you talk to, the team portion might actually be $700 million.

And that is nowhere near the near 50/50 split the Vikings agreed to with Minnesota and Minneapolis leaders for their new stadium.

The Vikings new stadium is considered a litmus test as that is the most recent public/private NFL stadium deal.

Grubman made it clear this doesn’t mean the Rams are a shoe-in to relocate to Los Angeles. That decision is currently in the hands of NFL owners, who could vote in January between the Rams Inglewood stadium plan and the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers Carson plan. The winning bid requires 24 votes.

But he also made it clear the Rams losing out on Los Angeles doesn’t necessarily mean they will sign on to the St. Louis stadium plan.

While NFL owners can block Rams owner Stan Kroenke from moving to L.A. they can’t force him to sign off on a stadium deal he isn’t satisfied.

Again, that is consistent with NFL sources who have told me if Kroenke is denied L.A., he might just return to the Edward Jones Dome on one-year leases and contemplate a different move.

Among the cities sources have told me the Rams might consider in that scenario are Toronto, London and perhaps San Diego and the Bay Area, depending what happens with the Chargers and Raiders.

Again, this doesn’t mean it’s a shoe-in the Rams get the nod to Los Angeles.

But it’s pretty clear St. Louis faces an uphill climb convincing them to sign on to their current plan.