NFL VP meets with Rams fans, insists their opinions count, but only if backed by public cash

The official NFL relocation guidelines are a weird bundle of contradictions: They exist only so that the league and its owners can threaten to move teams from city to city in search of a better deal, but they also have to give lip service to the notion that the NFL cares, really cares about keeping teams in their current homes. Unless there’s, you know, a better deal.

So you get NFL VP Eric Grubman, whose main job is to fly around the country and threaten cities that their teams will be gone if they don’t cough up the dough, going on a listening tour of St. Louis, San Diego, and Oakland to hear fans’ concerns. And sure enough, somebody asked him about the seeming contradiction:

Grubman bristled slightly when it was suggested that what took place Tuesday was a dog-and-pony show that won’t have any weight on NFL team owners when it’s time to vote on relocation to Los Angeles.

“I can’t guarantee [skeptics] what weight it’s going to have,” Grubman said. “But I can guarantee people that I’m not coming to a dog-and-pony show.”

What else might carry more weight? Why, I’m glad you asked:

Grubman says the NFL needs to see three things when it comes to the stadium plan in St. Louis.

“The first is there has to be a specific plan,” he said. “The second is it has to be actionable. And the third is it has to be attractive to a team.”

Eric Grubman cares about your feelings, NFL fans. He really cares. Just not as much as he does about money, because that’s his job, after all.


5 comments on “NFL VP meets with Rams fans, insists their opinions count, but only if backed by public cash

  1. Couldn’t read the linked article (paywall?), but did see this one from the LA times. http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-rams-townhall-20151027-story.html

    Not much of substance, but I did like this line:

    “For most of the three hours, the NFL executives listened to the comments and questions but only occasionally answered them.”

    No surprise. Although how could you have a THREE hour dog and pony show and not answer anything. Sounds like torture. But I imagine the NFL muckety mucks are trained to handle it.

  2. It’s no paywalled for me.

    I can only assume Grubman spent a lot of the time surreptitiously playing Angry Birds on his phone.

  3. Has a team ever had a free (or nearly so) stadium offered them and then still moved? Because I could totally see Kroenke doing that. Not sure I have ever seen an owner more dismissive of the city where his team plays. Most owners at least try to pretend they give a crap about the city but Kroenke is like the hot stuck up chick at the dance who belittles every guy trying to talk to her only to have them continue to chase after her. St. Louis officials can’t get dumped on by Kroenke enough.

  4. Let me just put down the 100 year-old cognac for a moment and talk turkey. We’re NOT in the business of moving teams, despite what passes for information around here. People here talk about Kroenke like he’s some sort of Al Davis character who’ll do as he pleases… ha! Sorry, but we have RULES, like any good mafia.

    One of our rules which we established when we learned the hard way back in the 90’s that moving teams around like pawns on a chessboard is bad for business was, nobody moves without certain conditions being met. So giving a city a chance to cough up the public stadium cash we crave is just good business.

    And if they do, Stan will have two choices – stay and take the gravy, or sell out. Because we won’t vote for a move if the PSC is there in the right amount. Stan’s made all the right moves to leverage the gravy ladle, but he’s a big boy and he knows how the game is played. He knows that if you fuck your partners in crime, you yourself might get fucked. That is all.

  5. Kroenke’s not going anywhere, he’s getting $400 million in public funding to stay in St. Louis. He did sucker Inglewood out of $100s of millions for his condo, apartment, business park development and got the approval to build a Walmart. LA got played.