The ultimate reality show is in the process of launching a spin-off that could be nearly as compelling.
The NFL’s effort to return to Los Angeles quickly is careening toward a potentially ugly fight in January, as competing factions not only solidify but begin to engage in conduct that will make it even harder to persuade 24 owners to get behind any one proposal.
The latest example of dysfunction comes from the phantom $100 million from the NFL that the St. Louis Board of Alderman included in the stadium financing package that was approved on Friday. So how did that extra $100 million commitment — which the NFL has disavowed in writing — get into the package?
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the extra contribution was suggested to the St. Louis stadium task force by one of the six members of the league’s Committee on Los Angeles Opportunities. The source says that a second L.A. committee member echoed the commitment.
While unable to bind the league, the committee members indicated that the extra $100 million would come from the redistribution of relocation fees paid by the team(s) that move to L.A.
It’s unknown which committee members were involved in making the promise/suggestion/whatever to St. Louis regarding the extra $100 million. If neither Panthers owner Jerry Richardson nor Texans owner Bob McNair (who both are on the record as favoring a new St. Louis stadium for the Rams) were involved in the communications, it means that more than two of the six committee members currently believe that the Rams shouldn’t move to L.A. — and that the Chargers should.
Regardless of which members of the committee made the $100 million non-commitment, the committee is giving Rams owner Stan Kroenke plenty of ammunition for pushing back against the final recommendation of the committee — either in the meeting room or, eventually, in a courtroom.
Whether a courtroom can be avoided will depend in large on whether Commissioner Roger Goodell ultimately can broker a deal that leaves the Rams, Chargers, and Raiders happy. As of now, it’s becoming more and more clear that it will be difficult for Goodell to forge a final consensus that keeps the full scope of folks responsible for employing and paying him happy.