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Timeline, progress among relocation topics at owners meetings

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Since it was first mentioned at the March owners meetings, it's appeared likely that the window to file for relocation will be moved up from early winter to late fall. Some have speculated that teams could file as early as October.

And while that still remains a possibility, Eric Grubman, the NFL executive running point on all things stadium and relocation, said that this week's owners meetings might focus more on compressing the timeline rather than expediting it.

"I don’t know if we’ll move the window up," Grubman said. "The window now is defined as Jan. 1 to Feb. 15. That’s for contemplation of a March meeting decision.

"I think, and we’ll talk to membership tomorrow, that we could compress that time frame. We don’t need six weeks for the filing and I think it’s also possible and probably preferred that if there is a good relocation proposal that membership wants to pursue that they would do that before the March meeting. Exactly when that is, I don’t know. We’re not quite far enough."

So either way, the timeline for filing for relocation will likely be at the heart of the discussions this week among the league's owners. That also doesn't mean it will be the only Los Angeles-related topic up for discussion among the owners.

According to Grubman, today's conversations will also include updates on what's going on in Los Angeles, St. Louis, Oakland and San Diego. The clubs currently in cities will offer updates on efforts being made there, and the league will also provide updates on some of the logistics of their plans.

"As far as L.A. goes, the clubs will talk a little bit about what’s going on in their home markets, the meetings we’ve had, the progress that’s been made or not made depending on their point of view and probably have them talk about how they are doing in ticket sales and marketing," Grubman said. "The staff will present the various work streams that we’ve got going on in the areas of security and the market assessments and so forth and so on."

Grubman and his team have spent plenty of time over the past few months visiting the current home markets in St. Louis, Oakland and San Diego and gathering information on what's happening there as well as the two proposed Los Angeles sites.

The recent gathering of representatives of those projects in New York City with the Committee on Los Angeles Opportunities offered a comprehensive update on what's happening in those cities. That update will also be passed along to the owners here this week.

"Not just New York, all along the way," Grubman said. "We’ve been to all the markets, we’ve talked to a lot of people. We have a pretty good sense for the challenges and the contingencies of the various project proposals in all the markets: Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego and St. Louis."

But even with all of that information being discussed, it's probably safe to assume that aside from the possible timeline tweaks, nothing too substantive will come from these meetings when it comes to Los Angeles or relocation.

"We try to give membership a sense of how we see it and what the risks are but we are not going to make any predictions or proclamations or probabilities," Grubman said.