Roger Goodell says NFL stadium proposals are not viable in Oakland, St. Louis and San Diego
The current stadiums in Oakland, St. Louis and San Diego are “unsatisfactory and inadequate,” and the proposed solutions are not viable to keep the Raiders, Rams and Chargers in their home markets, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a report distributed Saturday to all 32 teams.
The contents of the 48-page report were disclosed to The Times by someone who has seen it but is not authorized to discuss it publicly.
The intent of the report is to establish facts about the home markets, as the league views them, heading into a special meeting in Houston on Tuesday and Wednesday to resolve the two-decade L.A. vacancy.
Goodell does not make any recommendations about which club or clubs should be approved to relocate, or which stadium project — Carson or Inglewood — should be approved.
At least 24 league owners must vote to approve a move. The commissioner does not have a vote, but his strongly worded report is intended to provide objective information that will assist each club in making its own judgment on the proposals.
In the report, Goodell said that each of the home markets had “ample opportunity but did not develop their proposals sufficiently to ensure the retention of its NFL team.”
The report says none of the three clubs has received a stadium proposal that is free of any contingencies and presents a viable long-term solution.
On Monday, the first day they were eligible, each of the three teams submitted relocation applications to the league.
Earlier this week at league headquarters in New York, the stadium, finance and L.A. committees discussed those applications and met with the backers of each project. The Chargers and Raiders have teamed to propose a stadium in Carson; the Rams want to build a stadium in Inglewood.
After the meeting, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who did not attend, sent a one-page letter to Goodell saying that he supports the Chargers and Rams sharing the Inglewood stadium. The letter didn’t mention the Raiders, a person familiar with the document said on the condition of not being identified.
Last month, Chargers owner Dean Spanos affirmed the “strong partnership” between his team and the Raiders in a letter to the league’s L.A. committee dismissing an offer to share the Inglewood venue with the Rams.
Goodell’s report says each of the teams has worked, without success, for many years to improve its stadium situation and identifies problems with each home market’s response to the situation.
Oakland, while expressing an interest in keeping the Raiders, has not made a formal stadium proposal.
San Diego’s concept of a $1.1-billion stadium on the Mission Valley site of the current Qualcomm Stadium is contingent on a public vote in June.
“We could have already gained voter approval of a stadium under the plan laid out this summer by the City and County,” Chris Melvin, the lead negotiator for the city and county of San Diego, said in a written statement. “But the Chargers stonewalled, rebuffed attempts to negotiate a term sheet, and refused to act.”
The report says that none of the three teams would be breaking its lease by moving from its current market, and that market research supports the conclusion that the L.A. area is capable of supporting two teams.
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