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NFL Merry-Go-Round: Relocation Roundelay

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I know. And that's why I always say I wouldn't rule anything out. I just mean if they stick to what they've said, it bodes well. I don't necessarily know if they'll stick to what they said, but I also don't believe Kroenke and the Rams already have a foot out the door. I still believe they'd rather stay in St. Louis pending a good situation.

And now I think they'll get a good situation.

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By the way, lest anyone fall into the trap that Florio did in his write-up today, the truth is that Dave Peacock doesn't just get 60 days to make something work. Dave Peacock has been involved in this process for a year already.

It's so stupid that the elections had this big of an impact on things, but they did, and that's likely the reason they're just making the formal announcement. It doesn't mean they're just getting started on things.

http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/print-edition/2013/12/27/dave-peacock-the-go-to-dealmaker.html

To be clear, I don't necessarily believe the Rams and public officials have had a great deal of progressive talks to this point, but I think there's likely been plenty going on with the public officials themselves trying to determine what they can present to the Rams. I don't think that's just going to happen in the next 60 days, I think it's been happening for a while. And that would jive with the reports that a stadium proposal for the North Riverfront was being finalized even before today's announcement.

Here's the Florio piece I mentioned, by the way. He and Jason La Canfora sure do seem excited about the possibility of the Los Angeles Rams.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/11/05/st-louis-to-try-to-keep-rams-but-it-could-be-too-late/

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I know. And that's why I always say I wouldn't rule anything out. I just mean if they stick to what they've said, it bodes well. I don't necessarily know if they'll stick to what they said, but I also don't believe Kroenke and the Rams already have a foot out the door. I still believe they'd rather stay in St. Louis pending a good situation.

And now I think they'll get a good situation.

Unless this entails brainwashing the Best Fans in Baseball to become football fans (a situation I have mixed feelings about) there is no good situation available in St. Louis. And there's no real negative PR risk, absent the New Madrid fault having "the Big One" and the Rams now needing to stay to help with the healing.

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Mark Davis, San Antonio group meet

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis met with a delegation of officials from San Antonio on Friday to talk about a potential move for his franchise.

Former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros and other city officials traveled to the Bay Area for the meeting, which comes about four months after Davis and other team officials had met with the group in San Antonio.

"We're going to present San Antonio's strengths and assets in the most persuasive way possible," Cisneros told the San Antonio Express-News before the meeting. "We have a very, very good opportunity to set it forth in a way the Raiders can digest."

Team officials declined to comment on the meeting.

The Raiders are in the final year of their lease at O.co Coliseum and are seeking a long-term deal. Davis has said his first choice is to remain in Oakland but he has been unable to reach a deal for a new stadium with local officials. The Raiders also could move back to Los Angeles, their home from 1982 to '94.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11838270/oakland-raiders-meet-san-antonio-officials-discuss-potential-move

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Mark Davis, San Antonio group meet

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis met with a delegation of officials from San Antonio on Friday to talk about a potential move for his franchise.

Former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros and other city officials traveled to the Bay Area for the meeting, which comes about four months after Davis and other team officials had met with the group in San Antonio.

"We're going to present San Antonio's strengths and assets in the most persuasive way possible," Cisneros told the San Antonio Express-News before the meeting. "We have a very, very good opportunity to set it forth in a way the Raiders can digest."

Team officials declined to comment on the meeting.

The Raiders are in the final year of their lease at O.co Coliseum and are seeking a long-term deal. Davis has said his first choice is to remain in Oakland but he has been unable to reach a deal for a new stadium with local officials. The Raiders also could move back to Los Angeles, their home from 1982 to '94.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11838270/oakland-raiders-meet-san-antonio-officials-discuss-potential-move

NOT LISTENING ((I'm trying to ignore this so the likelihood of it happening increases even though I feel this is maybe a 10% chance of happening)).

I think the only reason this is picking up steam is because, with the current state of the Raiders franchise, they would be second fiddle to a secondary team like the Rams, especially if they move to the Inglewood location and pick up the inner-city fanbase. By moving to Texas, they'd still have a lot of football money coming in and a city that would be a lot more down for renovating the Alamodome (since it would definitely bring back the Final Four and put us into consideration for the National Championship or even the Super Bowl).

Again, <10% chance here. I DO like the name though.

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The Mayor of Inglewood reportedly met with Stan Kroenke this past week. (In his celebratory re-election speech on Tuesday night, he said he was "meeting with the Rams owner tomorrow." That may not be an exact quote, but it's the exact gist of the quote.)

Assuming that's true, there's a number of potential angles to it. In no particular order...

1. He was meeting with Kroenke about the Rams for the first time and accidentally let it slip.

2. He was meeting with Kroenke about the Rams, as he has in the past despite what the Rams have said publicly, and accidentally let it slip.

3. Either 1 or 2, but it wasn't an accident at all, and Kroenke was happy to have him leak it.

4. He met with Kroenke, one of the (if not THE) wealthiest land owners and developers in Inglewood and it had nothing to do with the Rams.

Or something else even.

It feels naive to try and believe it had nothing to do with the Rams, but I wouldn't rule it out either. Most likely it did have to do with the Rams, but I don't assume that means anything is imminent.

I never actually believed the Rams that they haven't met with LA. When I kept noting that the Rams said they haven't met with LA, my only point was that they were trying to calm fans down, not incite them to action. But I think most likely they've had those conversations. Would be shocking if they haven't.

I think the next BIG report in this story will be when the Missouri plan is announced in a couple of months. But the meeting with Kroenke and Inglewood seems relevant if nothing else.

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The Mayor of Inglewood

I'm sorry, I just think this is some aspiring rapper's nickname and not an actual elected public official.

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Missed this one. Looks like LaCanfora is doing weekly L.A. updates now:

http://mweb.cbssports.com/nfl/writer/jason-la-canfora/24792276/nfl-team-could-end-up-in-la-by-next-season-rams-frontrunners

He talked with the man, the myth, the mayor of Inglewood, but the only new info was that Mr. Butts (two rapper names!) talked to "three NFL owners." Wonder which three? :)

And then there's the NFL's continued pining for Chavez...

While the Hollywood Park parcel is not the most preferred NFL site -- Chavez Ravine around Dodgers Stadium, for one, has continued to pique interest...

I continue to be convinced the NFL won't "settle" in L.A. Your opinion of what settling is may vary.

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I've been getting a kick out of La Canfora. Hey, maybe he's right and move will happen every bit as soon as the league will allow it, but it's almost getting uncomfortable seeing him try to convince everyone the Raiders and the Rams would have moved to LA yesterday if they could have.

It all feels very calculated to me.

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I don't know anything for sure of course, but what I'm suggesting it may be is calculated by Stan. And all I can say about to what end is to the end that he gets a deal he likes.

I don't think La Canfora has any idea he's getting used (if he is), but I think he might be.

What Stan ultimately hopes it will lead to remains the key unknown.

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That would be awfully Machiavellian on his part. Stan won't talk to the public, the fans, or the elected officials, but he'll talk to an out-of-town reporter to plant seeds in the public consciousness?

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I'm confused - is your conspiracy theory that his staff is secretly working without his knowledge to undermine the process? He's being betrayed by some rebel faction within the organization? Or is the conspiracy theory that he's pulling their strings so he can what, keep his own hands clean from even second-hand dirt?

And how does any of that comport with your previous theory that Stan is a St. Louis guy who really wants to keep the team in his hometown? :P

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Um. I'm suggesting he's authorizing certain leaks to gain leverage. Not sure which category that fits into. I'm not suggesting anything too out of the ordinary in a negotiation. Authorized leaks are a pretty common leverage play, I think. But Stan does seem more calculated than others.

And I think that still would fit into the possibility of Stan's primary goal being to stay in STL with the best possible deal. In theory, the point of the leaks is to continue to apply pressure on STL/MO to put forth a good deal.

Apparently it's floating out there that the Rams were shown initial concepts by the Peacock/Blitz task force and like them, but I don't have a credible source for that. It was supposedly said by Frank Cusumano, a local sports anchor and radio host, but I don't have any link to the original quote, nor do I necessarily believe he's that plugged in. But he could be.

But it's also being reported that Kroenke is trying to buy the rest of the Hollywood Park land.

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I think Kroenke's hedging all his bets more than anything. I'm of the opinion he's looking to get the best deal, regardless of whether it comes from St. Louis or LA...nothing more, nothing less.

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I don't necessarily disagree with that. But I do think best deal is pretty relative.

Public money is essentially not an option in LA. So you're looking at the land purchase (if he buys this extra parcel, we're looking at hundreds of millions of dollars). You've got the stadium at over a billion. You've got the relocation fees that will come in somewhere between 500 million and a billion probably. But you also have a larger market for surrounding developments to be successful. A larger market for promotional income. A larger market for prestige. The likelihood of hosting many Super Bowls (I don't know how much money that makes a stadium owner, but it's more prestige at least). None of that extra income will be instantaneously huge, though, so it's a long-term play. Another positive for LA that is also likely more of a long-term play under an owner with Kroenke's track record would be the increased value of the franchise. Probably 50-100% higher than the franchise in St. Louis depending on the St. Louis stadium set up and team performance.

In St. Louis, you'll have public money (or, if you don't then I don't think this discussion goes on much longer). I'm going to guess anywhere from 25-50% will be covered by the public. Hopefully on the lower end, probably in the middle. The NFL can help out with a couple hundred million in G4 program loans if you stay. You have no relocation fees. You'll probably/possibly get a Super Bowl, but not multiples like LA would. Your franchise value will still increase substantially by owning a brand new stadium (as opposed to leasing an out of date one), and can go up even more if your football team improves. You're still an NFL team, so you're still going to do very well on profits, just not as well as LA. You keep your many business relationships in Missouri—where your business is based and your primary residence is—on good terms. You do a positive thing for an area close to home that you're fond of and have fought for before.

These are kind of all the non-specific factors he's facing. I think the decision will come down to the more detailed specifics and how he prioritizes these factors. My gut still thinks they stay, but I can't claim to be able to read Kroenke at all. Few if any can.

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Joe Buck critical of Rams owner Stan Kroenke over L.A. rumors

"I’ve heard from people in the league that I respect, who have power within the league, that it's just a matter of time. That Stan Kroenke's plan is to go to [Los Angeles]," Buck told Kilcoyne. "I'm really disappointed in Stan Kroenke. I don't know how you're an NFL owner in a city like this with the kind of sports fans we have here and you're as invisible as this man has been. I think any smart person steps back and says 'well he's keeping his options open.' Otherwise at some point you step out front, hoping you're going to get support from fans here and say 'we're going to do our darndest to keep the Rams in St. Louis.' That's never been said, he's never seen, he's not around town. I think clearly his objective as a shrewd business man is to cash in in LA, whatever that's going to cost him. A lot has to happen for a franchise to move. It would be crushing to me if we lost an NFL franchise for a second time. This city's too good for that. It's not a reflection on the city or the fans. In this case I think it's a reflection of the ownership that really is not invested in keeping the team here."

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/yahoo-sports-minute/joe-buck-critical-of-rams-owner-stan-kroenke-over-l-a--rumors-040419728.html;_ylt=A0SO8wS_QW1U7a0A40ZXNyoA

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I don't know how you're an NFL owner in a city like this with the kind of sports fans we have here and you're as invisible as this man has been.

BFIBs ain't BFIFs, Joe. Let St. Louis be happy with their superior support of a superior sport and let Organized Brain Damage leave.

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