HOUSTON, TX_ Will there be an NFL team -- or two -- returning to the Los Angeles area next season? The answer may be coming very soon.
The race for Los Angeles is on for the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams, and NFL owners are expected to vote either Tuesday or Wednesday at the special league meeting in Houston to relocate possibly one or two of those franchises.
All three teams submitted applications to the NFL on January 4 to move their franchises to the Los Angeles area beginning with the 2016 season.
A team needs 24 votes -- a three-quarters majority -- from league owners for approval, but according to CNNMoney and other media reports, no proposal has the required votes to pass going into this meeting. This likely means some type of compromise would need to be made at the gathering in Houston.
The relocation frenzy started when Rams owner Stan Kroenke announced plans in January 2015 to build a new stadium in Inglewood at the site of Hollywood Park, the former thoroughbred race course. His plan is the most expensive one at $1.9 billion, which includes the option of housing a second team and being part of an entertainment, retail and residential complex. Kroenke is willing to propose an equity ownership in the stadium in which the other team would be treated as an equal partner, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said December 2 at the league meeting in Dallas.
Since Kroenke's initial move, the Chargers -- teaming up with the Raiders -- have a proposal for a stadium in Carson, about 20 miles south of downtown L.A. That plan is estimated at $1.7 billion.
"We've made this clear for several years now -- we believe the stadiums in Los Angeles as well as other markets that are large markets should be capable of hosting two teams," Goodell said. "That's a very important imperative for us."
The applications were reviewed last week by league staff and will be presented for consideration at the meeting in Houston. Three league committees met in New York last week, after which a formal recommendation was to be presented to the rest of the owners, according to CNNMoney.
The six owners who make up the Committee on L.A. Opportunities, which will make the recommendation, are Art Rooney II (Pittsburgh Steelers, committee chairman); Jerry Richardson (Carolina Panthers); Robert Kraft (New England Patriots); Robert McNair (Houston Texans); John Mara (New York Giants); and Clark Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs).
While the league would not comment to CNN on the price of a relocation fee, several media reports, including NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, say it would cost a team $550 million to relocate. Peter King from Sports Illustrated recently put that number in perspective, writing that Arthur Blank paid $545 million when he purchased the Atlanta Falcons in 2002.
Los Angeles hasn't had an NFL team since 1995, when the Raiders went back to Oakland and the Rams moved to St. Louis. The Chargers were in Los Angeles in the early 1960s as a charter member of the American Football League, which later merged with the NFL.