The possible relocation of the St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers, and/or Oakland Raiders to Los Angeles was a hot topic at the meeting of NFL team owners in New York this week—they were supposed to start forming a consensus about which team or teams will bring pro football back to LA after two decades, but now that the fall summit's over, the only sure thing seems to be that no one know what the final outcome will be. The NFL vice president told the Daily News that the owners are "on track to vote in January" on the matter as planned, but it looks like thoughts about which team(s) should be rewarded with a move are split, and now the concern seems to be that a vote might be so divided that it wouldn't really decide anything at all.
"There was always going to be a vote," an anonymous high-ranking NFL official said. "The issue is whether it's a contest or a coronation." The winning relocation plan will need to secure the votes of 24 of the 32 team owners, but owners see both plans—to move the Rams into a new Inglewood stadium or to have the Raiders and Chargers relocate to a new dual stadium in Carson—as very solid, and that's giving rise to doubts that a clear winner will emerge once the votes are cast.
If there is a tie, the challenge will be figuring out how to move forward, whether that means sending the matter to the NFL's Los Angeles committee, or having its commissioner "use his power and influence to sway a preferred outcome." It might even come down to the owners of the three teams themselves to figure it out: "I think it's going to lead to that point where you might huddle people and say, 'Hey, let's take a break and let these two teams get together and talk about this or that,'" said Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay. The January vote might just be a starting point, not the final decision that so many LA football fans have been waiting for. With big concerns like that, other issues surrounding team relocation—like the fact that the NFL still doesn't have a temporary venue for the new team or teams to use while their new home is built—seem pretty minor.
· Bonsignore: NFL owners at stalemate on Los Angeles [DN]
· See the Chargers and Raiders Pitch to the NFL to Build a Ridiculous Stadium in Carson [Curbed LA]
· Inglewood NFL Stadium Reveals Plans For Enormous, See-Through, Billboard Roof [Curbed LA]
· Here's What the NFL is Talking About As It Tries to Bring a Team Back to Los Angeles [Curbed LA]