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NFL Merry-Go-Round: Relocation Roundelay


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The shortsightedness of TCF Stadium was a joke to begin with. The Gophers and Vikings should have gotten togther on a shared stadium from day one.

Except the off-campus Metrodome experience sucked for the Golden Gophers and the University doesn't like having to sell beer on campus.

Are the Gophers good enough to demand a stadium of their own, I mean when is the last time Minnesota has been relevant in the NCAA?

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is the flagship university of a major public university system AND compete in one of the premiere athletic conferences in the country. That alone merits an on campus stadium.

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The shortsightedness of TCF Stadium was a joke to begin with. The Gophers and Vikings should have gotten togther on a shared stadium from day one.

Except the off-campus Metrodome experience sucked for the Golden Gophers and the University doesn't like having to sell beer on campus.

Are the Gophers good enough to demand a stadium of their own, I mean when is the last time Minnesota has been relevant in the NCAA?

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is the flagship university of a major public university system AND compete in one of the premiere athletic conferences in the country. That alone merits an on campus stadium.

Once you are in a major conference it is very possible to become a major player. You never know. The Gophers could have three or four championships 25 years from now. A lot better chance than BYU. Look at Florida. Before Spurrier coached there they were always known as a doormat joke. A Kentucky of today. Now they are a very prestigious football school.

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Here's an interesting thought I had (although, I doubt it's unique). While I can't find a 100% source on this, I believe renovations are eligible for the NFL's newly re-enstated G-4 stadium fund.

Only projects of $400 million or more are eligible. A project can receive up to $200 million from the fund, and is only eligible for that amount if the team is also paying at least $200 million.

I know some of you doubt the Rams will chip in a dime. I really REALLY don't. They've hinted that they'd be willing to help out during this process. Will the CVC get the Rams to pay 52% or whatever? Surely not. But will the Rams make a substantial investment? I'm quite sure they will.

So let's say they come to an agreement on a stadium plan that's not TOO far down from what the Rams just proposed. That was estimated at $500-700 million. If Kroenke can be convinced to chip in $200 million, the NFL could match it, and nearly 2/3 of the funding is already secure. The CVC itself has said it has about $80 million available to spend before having to worry about getting new city funds. Suddenly, the city could be looking at needing to come up with just around $150 million. That's reasonable.

I think there are plenty of ways to get this deal done.

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The shortsightedness of TCF Stadium was a joke to begin with. The Gophers and Vikings should have gotten togther on a shared stadium from day one.

Except the off-campus Metrodome experience sucked for the Golden Gophers and the University doesn't like having to sell beer on campus.

Are the Gophers good enough to demand a stadium of their own, I mean when is the last time Minnesota has been relevant in the NCAA?

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is the flagship university of a major public university system AND compete in one of the premiere athletic conferences in the country. That alone merits an on campus stadium.

Once you are in a major conference it is very possible to become a major player. You never know. The Gophers could have three or four championships 25 years from now. A lot better chance than BYU. Look at Florida. Before Spurrier coached there they were always known as a doormat joke. A Kentucky of today. Now they are a very prestigious football school.

Florida was good for a bit in the 1980s. It just took rampant cheating to do so.

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I suspect this will go through December; if you were the Rams, why wouldn't you take it all the way through arbitration?

Well, if we're right that the Rams are bound to the arbiters decision (if the CVC accepts it), then the Rams may not like what they get.

I think we'll have a lengthy process that may well go right up to that point, but I'm not 100% convinced it will actually get to the point of a ruling. I have a feeling that a ruling won't serve anyone best.

I'm guessing the arbiter will come up with a proposal that does just enough to meet the first tier agreements, holds the CVC accountable for most if not all of the money, and simply triggers the lease to 2025. Maybe a $250 million renovation or something.

I'd much prefer the CVC and the Rams keep working on a solution where the stadium is pretty grand, it helps the city out long-term, the Rams get their great stadium, they help out with the cost, and the lease gets extended about 25 years rather than 10. I'm not sure the arbiter can really make those things happen, as he or she is really just supposed to enforce the contract. But the CVC and the Rams can be more flexible and creative, and I hope they will be.

So I expect it to take about as much time, but I'm just not sure they go all the way through with arbitration.

Now, I'm just throwing these ideas out there, but if the options are the CVC pays all of a $250 million tab that minimally meets the lease requirements, or the CVC pays about $250 million with contributions from the Rams and NFL for a much larger, grander renovation, it's pretty plain what would be better. And I would think Kroenke would agree that he'd rather chip in a little of his own money to aid a great stadium instead of sit idle as it becomes just a good enough stadium.

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They can take it all the way to the end of December and still strike a deal between themselves. The arbiter isn't going to interfere if they announce a deal at the 11th hour - its role is to facilitate just that.

Entering arbitration doesn't mean that the parties are bound to complete the process.

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They can take it all the way to the end of December and still strike a deal between themselves. The arbiter isn't going to interfere if they announce a deal at the 11th hour - its role is to facilitate just that.

Entering arbitration doesn't mean that the parties are bound to complete the process.

That I agree with, then. I suspect they'll use most all of the time that's allotted.

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The shortsightedness of TCF Stadium was a joke to begin with. The Gophers and Vikings should have gotten togther on a shared stadium from day one.

Except the off-campus Metrodome experience sucked for the Golden Gophers and the University doesn't like having to sell beer on campus.

Are the Gophers good enough to demand a stadium of their own, I mean when is the last time Minnesota has been relevant in the NCAA?

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is the flagship university of a major public university system AND compete in one of the premiere athletic conferences in the country. That alone merits an on campus stadium.

It's almost not a question of whether the Gophers are "good enough to demand a stadium of their own". It's that they are bad enough to demand a stadium of their own. When that Metrodome was built, they went to it because they thought it would help recruiting playing indoors (even though it's not often that cold when the season ends in November) and in an NFL stadium. Turns out that enhancing their status as second-fiddle to the more-beloved NFL did not work out. So to have any hope of being competitive in the B10, they needed to get back on campus and have an atmosphere that is not inferior to the other 10 (now 11) teams in the conference. FWIW, it's a great stadium. Totally appropriate to college football. I do question whether they'll ever be truly competitive...I could see them going the next 50 years with no B10 title game appearances...but playing off campus in the NFL's stadium was not going to get it done. Since I went away from MN to school (thankfully I have some teams that are competitive), I am OK with them stinking, but if I was a Gopher fan, I'd almost have been hoping for the Vikings to move. Minnesota was a premier college football program (5 or so National titles) until the Vikes came around.

I guess in the 1980s, we'd have laughed at the idea of Wisconsin going to 5 Rose Bowls in less than a 20-year period. So you never know...this is a great facility and maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it'll turn the gophers around.

The Vikings and Gophers have divergent needs. The Gophers need on-campus, smaller (so as not to have thousands of empty seats whenever non-Iowa/Wisconsin teams are in town), and "collegiate." The Vikes need more parking than campus has, and they need an NFL-esque ginormous monstrosity. So for each team, the respective new stadium makes sense.

That said, it would have been WAY smarter to get them together and, as much as I prefer college football, let most things defer to the Vikes. The U of M could have made a contribution (though probably small if not on campus), the public could have been way more sold on its contribution (since it's more efficient than two stadiums...and the flagship university makes it more defensible), most importantly, a lot of money would have been saved. In my ideal world, it would have been on campus but constructed more for the NFL. This would have hurt the college atmosphere some, but the U of M deserves that. They tore their old stadium down almost immediately upon construction of the Metrodome, shortsighted to say the least.

We act like we're "different" in Minnesota, but with XCel Center, Target Field and these two football stadiums, we shell out money for sports with the best of 'em.

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Do we have any lawyers or scholars that can translate this? http://media.signonsandiego.com/news/documents/2011/12/14/NFL_on_its_new_stadium_loan_program.pdf

I don't think the NFL funding program is as straightforward as I suggested. It's likely still beneficial, though.

IIRC the plain language translation is that in order to prise out public funding for projects, the more the team commits, the smaller the league loan is. In other words, the league discourages its teams to spend their own money on renovation.

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Do we have any lawyers or scholars that can translate this? http://media.signons...oan_program.pdf

I don't think the NFL funding program is as straightforward as I suggested. It's likely still beneficial, though.

Parts of the resolution:

VTS means "Visiting Team Share". The gate from the attendance is roughly split 60/40 (Note: visitor's monies pooled then equally redistributed). For the first 15 years of the facility's life, the home team repays their G-4 loan through the incremental (increased) VTS. This amount does include the ticket value of a suite/club seat, but not the "fee" attached to each ticket.

PSLs sold for construction must be earmarked for construction and that alone.

A team's debt/credit is not supposed to be more than certain percentage of the franchise's value (it used to be at 25%, so that a team valued at $600M was not to borrow more than $150M of secured debt).

If a team is sold to someone other than a member of the controlling owner's family, then the "old" owner must repay the outstanding balance. If the team relocates, then the relocating party/new owner must repay the outstanding balance.

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Seems like a pretty fair assessment.

The key provision to me, so far, is the CVC's initial contention that the Rams are responsible for 50% + of the total bill, because that's the average team contribution to a new stadium. They haven't provided anything in the original lease agreement stating thet the Rams are responsible for even 1% of the costs, though, and a reasonable interpretation of the publicly-provided portion is that the CVC is exclusively responsible for the funding (since they're the ones responsible for providing a "top tier" facility).

If the arbiter agrees with the CVC that the Rams are on the hook, I believe they'll stay in St. Louis. If the arbiter rules that the CVC is wholly responsible for paying for it, on the other hand, I don't see how St. Louis can possibly go through with it, and they're gone.

This is how the CVC came up with the 50% of the bill (from the CVC proposal):

"The Amended Lease provides that "It is also acknowledged and agreed that the determination of whether or not this First Tier standard has been met shall not include a comparison to an item in such stadia if such item is generally provided for in the stadia by NFL franchisees at the sole cost and expense of the NFL franchisee."

From the CVC's research, public entities have in recent years paid only about 50% of the costs of items which are listed in the first-tier requirements.

However, I think this provision will ultimately mean nothing because unless an arbiter sides with the CVC on a small-scale renovation and the CVC decides to do that, this really is a discussion about an essentially "new" stadium on the Edward Jones Dome site which would surely come with a 25-30 year lease extension. I personally don't think a small renovation is wise because then we get to do this all over again in 2025.

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I get that's that rationalization for trying to stick the Rams with part of the check, but the logic doesn't stand up to even glancing scrutiny.

"First Tier" doesn't include items that are generally paid for and used solely by an NFL team in other stadiums. Fine. But to jump from that to "well, NFL teams usually pay __% of construction costs for new stadiums, so the Rams have to pay for __% of this reno" is a non sequitur. The two dont have anything to do with one another.

Now, maybe there is justification in the lease for the Rams picking up even a dime of the reno costs. But if this is the best they can do, I doubt it.

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Knowing that $700 million is the tops, that all parties want to get this done, that the Rams are open to pitching in (likely if it means doing more than just the minimum), and that the NFL can help in at least some manner... I'm gonna keep with my optimistic mindset.

Now, whether I'm right about that, who knows. I am basically 100% certain that the goal is entirely to stay in St. Louis. The Rams are really trying to build goodwill in the region and are FINALLY starting to try and grow to the extended region. Their regional network (which is more or less just pre-season stuff due to the nature of NFL TV contracts), will now extend into 8 states... basically it's as wide as they're allowed. But that's a new thing for them.

Business is business, so the unfortunate possibility of a move is on the table. But where once you could argue they're just biding their time, I think we've now seen substantial amount to suggest they're really looking to stay.

But I'm with you guys. Just how much they're willing to concede to make that priority work likely won't be known until December.

By the way, another note in this whole thing. Some in St. Louis have begun noting that even if the first tier requirements aren't met and the lease goes year-to-year, that doesn't mean the Rams will leave. It could then set the stage for negotiating a plan for a new stadium.

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