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  1. #1
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    Goodell sends message about NFL team in LA

    BY BRYAN BURWELL
    Sunday, July 1, 2012

    St. Louis, consider this as your wake-up call. While it might have appeared that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell simply sent a private memo to the NFL's 32 franchise owners Friday, in reality he broadcast a clarion call to every nervous American city that has an NFL franchise playing in an outdated stadium, haggling over a bad lease or fretting over sagging local attendance.

    Los Angeles is officially in play as a fabulous alternative to every disgruntled pro football owner.

    According to the confidential memo, while he outlined procedures for franchise relocation to Los Angeles, Goodell also for the first time pronounced the nation's second-largest television market back in play for professional football as soon as the 2013 season.

    "Although substantial uncertainties remain, stadium development in Los Angeles has advanced to the point where the prospects for a new facility are better than they have been in many years," Goodell wrote in the two-page document obtained by The Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press.

    If we've learned anything from how Goodell conducts business, it's this: Every public or private utterance is a calculated chess move meant to deliver maximum clout. All you have to do is see if you can foretell what's coming next.

    So, what does this private utterance by Goodell mean to St. Louis and Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who are about to embark on the final stages of the protracted talks on the possible renovation of the Edward Jones Dome?

    For one thing, it means that the commissioner has not so subtly informed negotiators with the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Bureau that the negotiating terrain has changed just a little bit. After years of considering LA an empty threat because of stadium issues, the Rams landlords now have something to worry about.

    This is the doomsday scenario I have been worrying about for years. Get the deal done before Los Angeles becomes a legitimate alternative, not a hollow threat for Kroenke. Without a concrete stadium plan in LA, even if there was no deal after the conclusion of the long arbitration process by the end of the year, Kroenke's best available option would have been to go to yearly lease agreements rather than breaking the lease after the 2014 season, because he didn't legitimately have anywhere to relocate his franchise.

    All that changed Friday with Goodell's memo. It was a warning to cities such as St. Louis, San Diego, Jacksonville, Oakland and Buffalo that the clock is ticking on negotiations with their prospective teams. In Goodell's long-term vision for the future, he wants not one, but two teams playing in that new state-of-the-art stadium in LA. He has mentioned the possibility of a Hall of Fame, expanded NFL Network studios and youth football facilities accompanying the new stadium complex.

    But something else in the memo bears notice for anxious or calculating owners such as Kroenke, too. Moving to Los Angeles isn't going to be your independent call. It's going to be the league's.

    Unlike the wild and contentious days of franchise free agency several decades ago when teams hopscotched around the nation without the commissioner's consent, Goodell very specifically this time wrote that no single team has any "presumptive right" to play in Los Angeles.

    There will be a league vote on every potential move, and it will take the majority vote of 24 owners to get it done. And in case an owner wants to revive the contentious spirit of the late Al Davis, the commissioner is prepared for the fight. We've seen how well Goodell fights to protect the league, something he proudly calls "protecting the shield." He has taken on players, coaches and owners over the past 24 months on issues ranging from collective bargaining to player fines and suspensions to rogue owners overspendingin non-capped years, and in each case the commish won unanimous decisions.

    Goodell's memo was crafted to make sure everyone understands there will be no chaotic land rush to LA, too. It will be on his terms, as a part of his overall vision for what's best for the collective.

    And maybe that remains as the one thin silver lining for St. Louis.

    In the past, Goodell has said that he wants to keep a franchise here. He also seems to be willing to flex his political muscles to keep his established franchises where they are, like showing up in Minneapolis with his sleeves rolled up to convince lawmakers of the importance of legislation to pay for the Vikings new stadium.

    And who knows, maybe his vision for Los Angeles is expansion, not relocation. Whatever his vision is, part of it is guarding against owners striking out on their own. He doesn't want an owner making a move to the market before the new stadium solution is completed, playing in the LA Coliseum, the Rose Bowl or Dodger Stadium for a few years, then claiming squatter's rights once the new stadium issues are resolved.

    Goodell will allow teams to apply for relocation as early as January 2013. But if no application is submitted by then, Goodell wrote, "We will consider when and under what circumstances clubs may apply for consent to relocate in a future season."

    In the Rams' case, even if Kroenke chooses to break his lease with the CVC, he must evaluate all stadium opportunities in its existing market and consult with league staff on those.

    I keep being told by people that everyone on the city's side of the table wants to keep the Rams and understands the value in regarding pro and amateur sports as a viable industry. I keep hearing that they understand how to get this deal done. Well,I hope those smart people are the ones who are truly running things and not an agenda-driven politician whose go-to move is sticking his wet finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing before deciding how to proceed.

    I keep being told that intelligent people with vision are running the show.

    Now is the time to show it.


  2. #2
    RAMFANRAIDERHATER's Avatar
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    There is nothing really new here, at least from what we know locally. LA is going to get a team or two, and very shortly. All signs point to St Louis and either the Chargers or the Raiders (ugh) based on current situations with each team. Minnesota seemed to have solved their issues, now it's up to St Louis, San Diego, Oakland and Jacksonville to do the same or they will be calling LA their home. It sucks that the fans of each of these teams have to worry about the possibility of their team moving, but it's a business and there's too much money waiting to be made in LA for a couple of teams to pass up. Goodell has made it clear he wants the NFL in LA. Getting it to pass amongst the 32 owners will not be an issue when the time comes.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

  3. #3
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    Re: Goodell sends message about NFL team in LA

    I keep hearing two things about this money to be made in LA. One is: It's the largest (2nd?) market and will make any team a lot of money. Second is: If there's so much money in LA why did two teams leave? So which is it?

    Also, the article mentions expansion. Wouldn't that be a better option for the NFL? More teams equal more money? You don't lose a market (or two) and you still get a team (or two) in LA.

  4. #4
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    Re: Goodell sends message about NFL team in LA

    Quote Originally Posted by DE_Ramfan View Post
    I keep hearing two things about this money to be made in LA. One is: It's the largest (2nd?) market and will make any team a lot of money. Second is: If there's so much money in LA why did two teams leave? So which is it?

    Also, the article mentions expansion. Wouldn't that be a better option for the NFL? More teams equal more money? You don't lose a market (or two) and you still get a team (or two) in LA.
    Shortly after the last expansion, there was a lot of concern that the sport had become watered down as a result. I wonder if there is enough talent coming out of college to support two more teams, which was also a concern after the last expansion.


    gap

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    Re: Goodell sends message about NFL team in LA

    Quote Originally Posted by DE_Ramfan View Post
    I keep hearing two things about this money to be made in LA. One is: It's the largest (2nd?) market and will make any team a lot of money. Second is: If there's so much money in LA why did two teams leave? So which is it?
    It's a good question. Even if you argue that Georgia's decision was petty and not a good business decision, the Raiders not only left an L.A. market that was now devoid of competition from the Rams but moved into the backyard of a very successful 1990s San Francisco team.

    Quote Originally Posted by DE_Ramfan View Post
    Also, the article mentions expansion. Wouldn't that be a better option for the NFL? More teams equal more money? You don't lose a market (or two) and you still get a team (or two) in LA.
    The fans probably wouldn't be thrilled because it would spread talent that much thinner, but it would make a lot of sense for the league. Even if a city like Jacksonville or St. Louis isn't as profitable as LA, who says the NFL has to lose one to gain the other?

  6. #6
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    Re: Goodell sends message about NFL team in LA

    The NFL wants to be in LA. Great scoop, Bryan. In other breaking news, we landed a man on the moon.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  7. #7
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    In other breaking news...
    I turned 64 today.

    My wife still needs me, and she still feeds me.

    Many thanks to John, Paul, George and Ringo.

    And yes, I did have wine with dinner. ;-)
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

  8. #8
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    Re: Goodell sends message about NFL team in LA

    Did anyone else hear that the sun set today?

  9. #9
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    Re: Goodell sends message about NFL team in LA

    Quote Originally Posted by vegasram View Post
    in other breaking news...
    I turned 64 today.

    My wife still needs me, and she still feeds me.

    Many thanks to john, paul, george and ringo.

    And yes, i did have wine with dinner. ;-)

    happy birthday!
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

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    Re: Goodell sends message about NFL team in LA

    Quote Originally Posted by VegasRam View Post
    In other breaking news...
    I turned 64 today.

    My wife still needs me, and she still feeds me.

    Many thanks to John, Paul, George and Ringo.

    And yes, I did have wine with dinner. ;-)
    Happy birthday, Sin City.

    I feel bad that I didn't get you anything.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Goodell sends message about NFL team in LA

    Me too.
    (and you should).
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

  12. #12
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    Re: Goodell sends message about NFL team in LA

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    The NFL wants to be in LA. Great scoop, Bryan. In other breaking news, we landed a man on the moon.
    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Two
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



  13. #13
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    Re: Goodell sends message about NFL team in LA

    Quote Originally Posted by DE_Ramfan View Post
    I keep hearing two things about this money to be made in LA. One is: It's the largest (2nd?) market and will make any team a lot of money. Second is: If there's so much money in LA why did two teams leave? So which is it?
    It was different times back then. The two teams left because both owners were "mom and pop store" style owners. Their teams were their only source for revenue and they had to try to extort the city for any any additional money they could. The city of Los Angeles, the nation's second largest, did not budge, so they had to go where they could get something.

    Move the clock forward 17 years; Both owners now dead and one replaced by a billionaire, the Downtown area of LA has vastly improved, the crooked LA Coliseum Commission exposed and no longer a barrier, two investors with viable plans for stadiums that can make money, another Super Bowl Weather" friendly location, the apparent financial inability of St. Louis to step-up and and an existing 4 billion dollar TV contract all make this an interesting turn of events.

    One other item to note, the NFL also just passed resolution that teams can now set their own bar for blackout rules, finally acknowledging in my opinion, that most revenue money comes from television rights and merchandising and maybe not so much in ticket sales. This would support why the Browns were allowed to leave Cleveland back when they were selling out all of their games so they could get a new stadium in Baltimore.

    So I don't think "the money" per-say is what the normal fan sees. I think the money the NFL sees is buried deeper...
    "The disappointment of losing is huge!"

    Jack Youngblood

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    Re: Goodell sends message about NFL team in LA

    Quote Originally Posted by DE_Ramfan View Post
    I keep hearing two things about this money to be made in LA. One is: It's the largest (2nd?) market and will make any team a lot of money. Second is: If there's so much money in LA why did two teams leave? So which is it?

    Also, the article mentions expansion. Wouldn't that be a better option for the NFL? More teams equal more money? You don't lose a market (or two) and you still get a team (or two) in LA.
    From Forbes

    Kroenke bought control of the Rams in 2010 at a $750 million valuation. In a new stadium in Los Angeles the team would easily be worth over $1 billion primarily due to more premium seating and sponsorship revenue.

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