(FootballStL) – A report by Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times said the NFL has told any team that wants to move to Los Angeles that league relocation guidelines will be enforced.
Farmer said the LA Times obtained a league memo that says the NFL is forming a special committee to make sure that components such as stadium sites, financing, and the support of enough owners are in place before the Rams, or any other team, moves to LA. The memo also said the committee’s job is to enforce NFL relocation rules.
In order to move, a team must exhaust all options to stay in its current market. 24 of the NFL’s 32 owners must vote in favor of relocation.
The report does not really change the dynamics for the Rams or St. Louis. While the NFL said any team that moves must follow league rules, the league also stated those rules are subjective, meaning the NFL may adjust their rules to make it easier to move.
Hopefully for St. Louis, the NFL will strictly enforce its existing relocation rules and declare that Rams owner Stan Kroenke must take St. Louis stadium proposal seriously before submitting a relocation application. However, the NFL powers that be could also say that the arbitration process between the Rams and the city over the Edward Jones Dome was a good faith attempt by Kroenke to resolve the stadium situation.
St. Louis’ best hope for keeping the Rams may be the San Diego Chargers, who have said a team in Los Angeles would hurt their business because they believe 20-30 percent of their fans come from Orange County and other parts of the LA market.
Some reports indicate Chargers owner Dean Spanos believes he has enough votes from other owners to block a Rams move. Other reports have said the Chargers may threaten legal action to keep another team out of Southern California. Unlike the Rams, the Chargers have been trying to build a new stadium for over a decade and can argue that the Rams have not exhausted every option to stay in St. Louis.