The St. Louis Rams and the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission have been busy all offseason submitting competing proposals to make the Edward Jones Dome a "first tier" facility to satisfy a specific clause in the stadium lease that would allow the Rams to potentially leave the city otherwise, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wants the Rams to know any relocation talk is subject to league approval. Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times recently reported on a memo from Goodell sent to all 32 NFL teams that reiterates the league's control over any potential relocation to Los Angeles.
The Rams are set to begin arbitration over the stadium renovation dispute with the CVC after the parties failed to reach an agreement on their own, and the team sounds committed to staying in St. Louis, but if the issue of relocation did advance there are many ways the league would oversee the process. Essentially, any team intending to relocate for the 2013 season would need to submit an formal application between Jan. 1 and Feb. 15 that year and prove they have exhausted all attempts to remain in their current location. They would also need a clear rationale for why their proposed location is a better option than other destinations in the team's current market.
Rams fans, it isn't time to panic. Ryan Van Bibber of Turf Show Times has some calming words for anyone worried about relocation:
Even with no solution via arbitration, the Rams and the CVC, city, county and state can take this thing all the way to the brink in March 2014. That's what happened in Minnesota, and going right up to the deadline seems to be the rule in anything involving politicians.
Don't panic. I know the mouthbreathers on talk radio don't want to believe it, but the Rams aren't looking for an easy out here. I'm worldly enough to acknowledge the possibility that anything could happen, but the team has made a commitment to sink its roots here, in the wake of Georgia Frontiere's disastrous period of ownership. That was made pretty clear record in my visit with the team in Joplin last week.
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