The St. Louis Rams the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission board have agreed to enter binding arbitration over competing proposals to make the Edward Jones Dome a "first tier" facility to satisfy a specific clause in the stadium lease that would otherwise allow the team to leave the city a few years down the line, and that process may determine the Rams' future in St. Louis. There is a strong tide suggesting the NFL will soon return to the city of Los Angeles -- the Rams, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers are the most likely franchises to relocate -- and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports decided to handicap the field with some help from his L.A. and league sources.
Here is what La Canfora offered up in his latest column on relocation to Los Angeles:
Several sources, if they had to handicap the field -- and it remains murky due to pending results of an arbitration issue on the Rams' lease and a possible San Diego vote on a stadium referendum in 2013 -- leaned to the Rams as being the team they would pick if they had to.
...Owner Stan Kroenke has ties to L.A., the team still has an office in the area, and Kroenke has been noncommittal at best about any long-term future in Missouri...
"If the arbitrator comes back and says 500, 600 or 700 million, then, yes, they're the prime candidate if they aren't already," one league source said. "But if he comes back and says 250 million, then St. Louis stays. They could go from being the frontrunner to being out of the running."
In the conclusion to his longer analysis in the article, La Canfora predicts that "it will be the Rams in time for the 2014 season" but admits the landscape could still change. Back at the end of June, Ryan Van Bibber of Turf Show Times has some calming words for anyone worried about relocation.
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