We now have terms for how a NFL franchise could land in Los Angeles, thanks to a Roger Goodell memo revealed by the LA Times’ Sam Farmer. The memo went out to all 32 teams, a handful of whom could be relocation candidates: Rams, Raiders, Chargers, Jaguars, Bills. Bullet points are fairly straightforward:
- The NFL and the owners as a collective decide which team(s) relocate. No team is going to unilaterally decide to move. This makes sense because the NFL holds the purse strings for up to $1 billion of the stadium project (based on where it’s located).
- While the league acknowledged the AEG’s Farmers Field and Ed Roski’s City of Industry concepts as potential stadium sites, Goodell left open the possibility of other sites. Recently, Dodger Stadium re-emerged as a potential site.
- The NFL prefers two teams in LA and will require a new stadium to have space to host a second team.
- Expansion to a 34-team league is not currently in the cards, which means that in all likelihood, the first team to be in LA will be a relocated franchise.
- Franchises interested in relocation will have from January 1 to February 15, 2013 to apply for relocation.
- A team like the Raiders would have to have to explain why it would make more sense to move to LA instead of sharing a stadium with the 49ers.
- All avenues to get a venue in a team’s existing marketed would have to be explored/exhausted.
- Arrangements would have to be made in advance for an interim venue while the new stadium is under construction.
- Any franchise relocation would require a 3/4 approval of the 32 owners.
It’s a fairly clearcut process, and for the teams that may be involved, as fair as it can get. The Rams could be considered in the lead due to the state of their negotiations with St. Louis. The Bills have a $200 million refurbishment deal on the table that the NFL would prefer over relocation. The Jags aren’t going anywhere for at least a year or two while new ownership is still in its honeymoon period. The Raiders are working with Oakland/Alameda County at the moment, whereas the Chargers have failed at every turn to get something done in San Diego. The approval process will extend well beyond the six-week period, but it’s somewhat poetic that the applications will occur at the same time as the playoffs: the futures of the applying franchises will be at stake.