In report, Roger Goodell calls plans to stop NFL teams from relocation 'inadequate'
In a report sent to all 32 NFL teams, commissioner Roger Goodell said stadium solutions in San Diego, Oakland and St. Louis were "unsatisfactory" and "inadequate" to keep the Chargers, Raiders and Rams in their home markets.
The Los Angeles Times obtained a copy of the 48-page report from someone who has seen it but is not authorized to discuss it publicly. ESPN.com confirmed Goodell's comments from a league source with direct knowledge of the report.
Goodell sent the report to teams Saturday in anticipation of a potential vote on the L.A. relocation issue during the NFL owners meetings in Houston on Tuesday and Wednesday. Owners would decide whether an NFL team or teams will move to Los Angeles for the first time in over 20 years.
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The Chargers, Raiders and Rams all filed relocation applications Monday, the first day teams were eligible.
According to the Times, the report was issued to establish facts about the home markets, as the league views them. Goodell does not make any recommendations about which club or clubs should be approved to relocate or which stadium project should be approved.
The Chargers and Raiders are partnering on a $1.7 billion facility in Carson, California, while Rams owner Stan Kroenke plans to build a $1.86 billion stadium in Inglewood, returning the franchise to the area where it spent 49 seasons from 1946 to 1994.
An alternative plan proposed by the Dallas Cowboys on Friday would see the Rams and Chargers both play in the Inglewood stadium, according to multiple media reports.
Also on Saturday, boisterous Los Angeles Rams fans gathered for a rally at the Coliseum, heralding their NFL franchise's possible return to Southern California.
The crowd raised banners, waved signs and chanted slogans while marching near the historic stadium. From long-faithful adults to 11-year-olds who have never seen the Rams in L.A., the fans brimmed with optimism about the NFL's impending decision. They were joined by former Rams kickers Mike Lansford and Luis Zendejas, who signed autographs and addressed the crowd.
The Raiders and Chargers also were represented at the rally by a few fans of each team and banners towed behind planes.
The NFL report's intent is to establish the viability, or lack thereof, of stadium proposals in the home markets of teams looking to move. By stating that all three stadium proposals do not provide viable, long-term solutions, Goodell's report clears the way for owners to vote for any proposal or team they decide worthy of the Los Angeles market.
Goodell stated that each home market had "ample opportunity but did not develop their proposals sufficiently to ensure the retention of its NFL team," the Times reported.
The St. Louis stadium task force disagreed.
"We have not seen the report, nor do we expect to, as that would be a matter between the league office and team owners," it said in a statement. "We do hope the NFL will communicate with all home markets as to their status prior to any decisions next week, particularly here in St. Louis where so many people have dedicated themselves over the past 14 months to producing a strong and certain stadium proposal for the NFL and our hometown Rams."
In Houston, owners will review the relocation guidelines and initially decide whether a team even qualifies for relocation. After that, owners will scrutinize the Carson and Inglewood projects and ultimately vote on which one they believe will have the best long-term success in Los Angeles.
The relocation of a franchise requires a yes vote by three-quarters of the NFL clubs (24 of 32). The league also could decide to delay its decision on relocation for a year.
ESPN staff writer Dan Graziano and The Associated Press contributed to this report.