With Los Angeles emerging as a likely landing spot for one or two of the St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders and each team trying to motivate their local markets to help build them new stadiums, the rumor mill just keeps churning.
In fact, you can almost expect a new batch of stories coming out on a weekly basis until someone – or some two – finally takes the plunge and officially declares their intention to move to Los Angeles.
Like the report that surfaced yesterday via Andy Strickland of CBS Sports radio 920 AM in St. Louis that the Chargers have a deal in place with Goldman Sachs to build a stadium in San Diego.
The story was immediately shot down by the Chargers through ESPN, and after personally reaching out to a Chargers official who backed up the denial, my instincts tell me there is nothing to see here.
That doesn’t mean the Chargers won’t eventually end up in Los Angeles – they are mired in a long-time stadium fight in San Diego that is growing more than a little bit acrimonious – just that the deal reported by Strickland doesn’t quite add up.
Strickland cited a Rams official as the source of his story – not someone affiliated with the Chargers or Goldman Sachs – and the manner in which the Chargers immediately refuted the claim was a little too adamant and a little too quick for something that actually has legs.
So color me extremely skeptical on this one.
But like I said, until one or two of the Rams, Raiders or Chargers officially takes the plunge, you can expect this sort of stuff on a weekly basis.
With the NFL holding off any move to Los Angeles until at least 2016 – and the Rams, Chargers and Raiders riding simultaneous tracks trying to build new stadiums locally while also monitoring the Los Angeles market, there is a ton of jockeying and politicking going on.
Sorting through reality from smoke will be quite the challenge.
What we know officially right now is Rams owner Stan Kroenke has partnered with a land developer to build a privately funded football stadium on the sight of the old Hollywood Park race track in Inglewood, presumably to be the new home for his Rams.
Meanwhile, back in St. Louis local leaders are scrambling to get approval on a stadium plan they believe is attractive enough to keep the Rams. But there are numerous hurdles involved with getting the plan approved, not the least of which are the hard feelings resulting from Kroenke casting an such an adoring eye on Los Angeles.
In Oakland, city leaders have asked for individual stadium proposals from the Raiders and Oakland A’s as part of a development project on the 128-ace sight of the O.co Coliseum, the stadium the two teams share. However, there is room for just one stadium in the project and with neither team willing to share a stadium with the other, it looks like one of them will get squeezed out.
Back in San Diego, Mayor Kevin Faulconer is promising to get a ballot measure for a new stadium before voters in 2016. But the Chargers haven’t exactly embraced most of the mayor’s ideas.
As for the Rams, it’s hard to believe Kroenke went this far and this publicly with the Hollywood Park deal without an absolute conviction to move the Rams there, but then, until he officially declares his intentions everything right now needs to be taken in the context of three teams trying to work the best deal possible for themselves.