We’re nearing the end of Escape To L.A. race that the St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers, and Oakland Raiders have been running for what seems like forever now. Given that neither team has gotten an attractive offer to stay in their current cities, the Chargers and Raiders appear to be most likely to earn the NFL’s blessing to move, but Rams owner Stan Kroenke and his allies are reportedly trying to swing an 11th-hour deal that would get him to Los Angeles.
According to the O.C. Register, Kroenke’s supporters are currently trying to convince Chargers owner Dean Spanos to join him in a new stadium in Inglewood, Calif. From the Register:
On the eve of league meetings in suburban Dallas on Wednesday, allies of Rams owner Stan Kroenke have begun lobbying for a deal in which the Chargers would join the Rams in playing at a $1.86 billion stadium in Inglewood.
League owners expect Kroenke and his allies to begin pitching at the Four Seasons resort a proposal in which a second team relocating to Inglewood would be an equal partner with the Rams.
There are a few things to unpack here, but the first is how painfully obvious it’s become that Kroenke wants nothing to do with St. Louis. The reason he’s less likely to get his move to L.A. approved is because he’s the only owner whose city has gone out of its way to build him a new stadium. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has already thrown hundreds of millions of public dollars on the table, and yet Kroenke only recently met with Nixon’s stadium renovation task force, and not before being urged to by Roger Goodell. Teaming up with Spanos is Kroenke’s last best shot, not just because the league seems hell-bent on having two teams in L.A., but because Kroenke and Spanos could then cobble together the necessary votes from the other owners to block the Raiders’ attempt to move.
The bigger issue here is that Spanos has already entered a partnership with Raiders owner Mark Davis to build a $1.75 billion stadium in Carson, Calif. The city of Oakland has thus far refused to fork over any public money for a new stadium, and Davis would be stuck in the lurch if his deal with Spanos falls apart. If Spanos were to suddenly back out of that deal, Davis would be totally screwed and possibly up for bringing down a shitstorm of lawsuits on Spanos, Kroenke, and the NFL. Unless, of course, the NFL decides to give Davis a shitload of money for a new stadium in order to keep him pacified.