Are the Raiders down to their final few weeks in their outdated Oakland home?
NFL owners are expected to vote on relocation by a team or teams to Los Angeles when they convene for a special meeting in Houston on Jan. 12-13. The city of Oakland has made no viable stadium proposal, and the league seems resigned that none is forthcoming.
After making a presentation to the league Wednesday in a Dallas suburb, Raiders owner Mark Davis expects to know soon which of three teams hoping to relocate — the Raiders, San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Rams — will call southern California home in 2016. Though Rams owner Stan Kroenke is open to sharing his propsed Inglewood facility with another team, Davis believes the best chance of gaining approval is via his current partnership with the Chargers in a Carson-based stadium.
“I think it’s important since we have the ability to put a team there — or teams — we ought to do it,” said the influential Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones.
“I think there will be a vote,” Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said.
New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch has a “strong hope” that the meeting will include a “definitive” vote.
The comments came at the end of an all-day gathering of the league’s 32 owners dominated by discussion of the L.A. situation.
Owners set a Dec. 28 deadline for the three home markets hoping to retain their teams — Oakland, San Diego and St. Louis — to submit their final offers.
At the same time, some owners welcomed last week’s offer by Rams owner Stan Kroenke to share his proposed stadium in Inglewood with a second team. “That’s a positive thing,” Irsay said of Kroenke’s offer.
Irsay said there was a “strong feeling” among owners for two teams to relocate to L.A.
But NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted there might not be a vote in early January. “It’s not a requirement that we vote at that meeting,” Goodell said. “There are still a lot of unknowns.”
The Raiders, Rams and Chargers are interested in moving to LA, which has not had an NFL franchise since the Rams and Raiders left after the 1994 season. But the 32 owners, 24 of whom are required to OK a franchise relocation, are seeking more information from the cities hoping to retain their franchises.
Goodell consistently has advised against establishing a timeline on the issue. “I am in favor of making sure this is done the right way,” he said. “The ownership has expressed their desire to get this done in a reasonable amount of time.”
In St. Louis, a governor-appointed stadium task force is developing plans for a $1 billion stadium along the Mississippi River as part of the effort to either keep the Rams or even lure another team.