The Washington Post

NFL’s potential return to Los Angeles is subject of renewed focus

Could the Rams be headed back to Los Angeles? (Photo by David Welker/Getty Images)

NEW YORK—There has been renewed attention in recent days on the NFL’s potential return to the long-vacant Los Angeles market after the Los Angeles Times reported that St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke had purchased 60 acres of land between the Forum and Hollywood Park.

That prompted speculation that Kroenke could be making preparations to have a stadium built at that site in preparation for a possible relocation of the Rams to Los Angeles. The market has been without a team since the Rams and Raiders left town following the 1994 season, and some owners and others within the league have been increasingly anxious in recent years to find a way to put a franchise — or perhaps two franchises — in Los Angeles again. The Rams’ lease reportedly enables them to leave St. Louis following the 2014 season.

But NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell cautioned Friday, during his annual Super Bowl week news conference, against overreaction to Kroenke’s land purchase.

“Stan is a very large developer on a global basis,” Goodell said. “He has land throughout the country and throughout the world. He has kept us informed of it. We’re aware of it. There are no plans to my knowledge of a stadium development. Anything that would require any kind of stadium development requires multiple votes of the membership.”

A franchise relocation must be approved by at least 24 of the 32 owners of the NFL teams. Goodell said the NFL remains committed to helping the Rams stay put and thrive in St. Louis.

“I think instead of overreacting, we should make sure we do what’s necessary to continue to support the team locally, which the fans have done in St. Louis, and make sure we can do whatever we can to make sure that team is successful in the St. Louis market,” Goodell said Friday.


Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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