NFC West: Bob McNair

Thoughts on the recent Orange County Register story mentioning the St. Louis Rams as a potential candidate for relocation to Los Angeles:

  • Having Los Angeles as a potential option gives the Rams leverage with St. Louis as they seek an improved stadium situation for the long term. In response to the Register's story, the Rams told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch they remain "focused on working on a lease" with St. Louis. The Rams have not said anything that would limit their options or diminish their leverage, however.
  • The leader of the Los Angeles group, Philip Anschutz, is reportedly "prepared" to acquire a majority ownership stake in a team for the purposes of bringing it to Southern California. I doubt the Rams' new majority owner, Stan Kroenke, would be looking to sell the team so shortly after buying out former majority owner Chip Rosenbloom. He could always try to move the team on his own if he could get a better stadium deal elsewhere.
  • The Register's story says the Los Angeles group has "spoken" with five current NFL teams, including the Rams. Anschutz's group likely initiated the discussions with Minnesota, San Diego, Oakland, Jacksonville and the Rams. There is nothing to suggest the Rams are pursuing a move. But Kroenke has no reason to discourage Los Angeles' interest, either.
  • The Rams' lease with the Edward Jones Dome gives them an out after the 2014 season. The Los Angeles group hopes to have its stadium ready for the 2016 season.
  • Kroenke should be fully versed on the situation in Los Angeles. As of March 2010, the NFL lists him as part of its eight-member Los Angeles Stadium Working Group. The others: Jeffrey Lurie (chairman), Pat Bowlen, Woody Johnson, Jerry Jones, Bob McNair, Steve Ross and Steve Tisch.

These sorts of stories aren't going away until the NFL has a team in Los Angeles. The Rams will remain a perceived candidate to move there until their own stadium situation firms up. For the time being, however, nothing appears to have changed.
News that the NFL's finance committee has backed St. Louis Rams minority owner Stan Kroenke stands as the latest positive indicator for Kroenke's bid to own the team outright.

The process is running its expected course and will almost certainly pass muster when owners vote at their summer meetings Wednesday.

The finance committee features a group of influential owners. Gaining their approval means Kroenke has made the right connections. The committee features chairman Tom Benson (New Orleans Saints) and members Bud Adams (Tennessee Titans), Arthur Blank (Atlanta Falcons), Joel Glazer (Tampa Bay Bucs), Jim Irsay (Indianapolis Colts), Robert Kraft (New England Patriots), Jeffrey Lurie (Philadelphia Eagles), Bob McNair (Houston Texans) and Wayne Weaver (Jacksonville Jaguars).

Kroenke and L.A. stadium group

April, 16, 2010
Stan Kroenke's participation on the Los Angeles Stadium Working Group is a juicy nugget begging for context.

It appears Kroenke, currently seeking to become the Rams' majority owner, began serving on the working group in time for the 2007 league meetings.

Kroenke already owns 40 percent of the team, which moved from Los Angeles for the 1995 season.

The Rams' pending ownership change has renewed questions about the Rams' long-term future in St. Louis. Rams fans in St. Louis have reason to perk up when they hear rumors linking Kroenke or the Rams to Los Angeles. It's important for fans in St. Louis to know what Kroenke thinks on the matter, particularly amid concerns that Kroenke hasn't said anything about keeping the team put.

It appears as though Kroenke replaced Seahawks owner Paul Allen on the working group between 2006 and 2007.

A Los Angeles Times story showed Allen joining an expanded working group in 2006.
The original committee included (Paul) Tagliabue, New England's Robert Kraft, Miami's Wayne Huizenga, Carolina's Jerry Richardson, Kansas City's Lamar Hunt and Pittsburgh's Dan Rooney. The new members of the committee are Steve Tisch of the New York Giants, Pat Bowlen of Denver, Jeff Lurie of Philadelphia, Jerry Jones of Dallas and Paul Allen of Seattle.

A 2007 NFL document on committee members showed Kroenke on the working group with Jones, Bowlen, Bob McNair, Tisch, Johnson and Lurie, the chairman.

I'll provide context as I figure out more. Committees and working groups meet periodically, but often nothing happens. As the Sports Business Journal noted from the NFL's spring meetings in 2008, "Lurie, chairman of the Los Angeles Stadium Working Group, said nothing is happening on the league’s seemingly endless quest, now on 13 years, to return football to Los Angeles. No Los Angeles newspaper even sent a reporter to the meeting here."