St. Louis submitted its formal Rams stadium proposal to the NFL yesterday, the state-appointed stadium task force sending over a 400-page document outlining what’s currently on the table. That includes:
- $400 million in city and state cash and tax credits (plus another $77 million in future operating and maintenance costs)
- $250 million from Rams owner Stan Kroenke (who could pay much of that off with naming rights fees)
- $300 million from the NFL’s G-4 stadium funding program (which the league insists is capped at $200 million)
- the remaining $50 million or so from PSL sales (which could also help pay off Kroenke’s share)
It’s not a proposal that the league is particularly happy with thanks to that extra G-4 money, but it’s still an impressive haul, especially compared to the alternatives:
- Oakland, as noted yesterday, isn’t submitting a formal stadium funding plan at all, something that led Raiders owner Mark Davis to whine yesterday that “They just don’t want to play with us. I don’t know why. I don’t understand it.” (“Play with us” here is NFL-ese for “give us lots of money.”)
- San Diego is expected to submit its stadium financing proposal today, and it’s likely to be the same plan that led to negotiations with the Chargers completely breaking down a couple of months ago.
It’s increasingly clear that the NFL’s Los Angeles move threat shakedown plan really isn’t going as the league hoped: Once Kroenke announced plans to move the Rams to Inglewood and the Chargers and Raiders owners immediately countered with their own hastily assembled counterplan to move to Carson, the NFL responded by giving everyone until the end of 2015 to throw money at keeping their teams, hoping that this would help determine a winner. Instead, the league has three different stadium plans that it’s not really happy with, and nothing close to the kind of consensus among owners needed to pick a winner. There’s still a chance of some kind of horse-trading taking place to allow a January vote — I dunno, Kroenke gets to move the Rams to L.A. but has to take the Chargers as a tenant and the Raiders get the St. Louis offer, while relocation fee money is shuffled around to make everyone happy — but I wouldn’t bet on it, which means this whole mess could easily drag on for another season.
This is good news, mind you, for people who don’t want to see the NFL use the L.A. situation to shake down taxpayers for huge amounts of money, though St. Louis still seems likely to end up paying a huge tab for either the Rams or a replacement team eventually. (Blame St. Louis’s idiot negotiators in the ’90s, though their current idiot negotiators certainly deserve a share of the blame.) It’s probably going to mean more painful months ahead for Rams, Chargers, and Raiders fans, though, so if you’re one of those, you might want to pick another team to chain your heart to for a while. I hear Leicester City is fun.