NFL owners tell St. Louis to get its stadium plan finalized

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IRVING, TX (KTVI) – NFL owners have now put St. Louis's football future "on the clock".

Owners set new deadlines to decide relocation to the Los Angeles market at the NFL owners meeting outside of Dallas, TX, Wednesday.

Three teams, including the Rams, have two competing proposals to move.  A maximum of two teams will be approved.

Their current home cities, St. Louis, San Diego, and Oakland, now have a firm deadline to finalize stadium plans to keep their teams.

None of the owners looking to move said anything to reporters, Wednesday.  The Rams Stan Kroenke never got close enough to take a question.

San Diego Chargers owner, Dean Spanos remained silent.  Oakland Raiders owner, Mark Davis, shared a chuckle with Kroenke outside of the meeting but has repeatedly said he was committed to his partnership with Spanos.  He told FOX 2 he had nothing to say.

The rest of the ownership said plenty:

  • Teams wanting to move can apply for relocation starting January 4th
  • Cities want to keep them have until December 28 to finalize their proposals
  • Owners want to vote on relocation at their next meetings now set for Houston, January 12th and 13th

Owners acknowledged St. Louis was far ahead of Oakland and San Diego but also said the deal wasn’t done.

“When I spoke to the (MO Governor Jay Nixon) last January, I made it very clear that what the market is willing to do is an important factor for the ownership… providing a viable alternative and having certainty to that by the end of the calendar year,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

“You still wouldn’t call St. Louis viable at this point?” FOX 2’s Andy Banker asked New York Giants co-owner, John Mara.

“I’m not saying that.  I’m not saying that.  I think they’re making a really good effort; whether they can bring it across the finish line remains to be seen,” Mara said.

“The 24 vote rule is key,” said Indianapolis Colts owner, Jim Irsay.

The league requires approval from 24 of the 32 owners vote for a relocation bid to proceed.  “Right now if we were voting today, I don’t see anything getting 24 votes,” Irsay said.

“It is musical chairs, right now, but the music hasn’t stopped yet.  So that seat hasn’t been removed,” said Giants Co-owner, Steve Tisch, noting it was possible, but not likely, that a team other than the Rams could end up in St. Louis.

The St. Louis Stadium Task Force welcomed the deadline.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has yet to approve a stadium deal.

Board President Lewis Reed tells FOX 2 he’s willing to call a special meeting for a vote in December, if needed.

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