NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expressed in a memo that the league as a whole, not individual teams, will make decisions on franchise relocation.
St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke must have paid particular notice to the announcement given that last year he purchased 6o acres of land in Inglewood, California, and plans to construct an 80,000-seat football stadium nearby Hollywood Park and the Los Angeles Forum.
Goodell noted in his memo that a committee of owners including Clark Hunt of Kansas City, Robert Kraft of New England, John Mara of the New York Giants, Bob McNair of Houston, Jerry Richardson of Carolina, and Art Rooney of Pittsburgh have been assigned to evaluate Los Angeles opportunities.
According to The Los Angeles Times, they obtained the memo from a person not authorized to speak on behalf of the NFL. It stated that the committee will,
evaluate the various stadium options available in Los Angeles, oversee the application of the relocation guidelines in the event that one or more clubs seek to move to Los Angeles, ensure proper coordination with other standing committees… and confirm that all steps taken in Los Angeles are consistent with the Constitution and Bylaws and NFL policies.
Art Rooney told the Times in January that the committee could prevent a team from relocating “if it didn’t go through the process.”
Teams in the past were successful in relocating their franchises,however, since the Rams left Los Angeles after the 1994 season, the league toughened its relocation rules. In a highly publicized case that reasserted the league’s power over individual teams, the NFL won a court case against the late Raiders owner Al Davis in which he argued that he owned the rights to the Los Angeles market.
“There’s a relocation policy that is very clear,” Roger Goodell said in his state-of-the-NFL news conference at the Super Bowl. “We have shared it with our ownership over the last several years. We have emphasized the point, in each of those meetings, that there will be at least one vote, if not multiple votes, if there is any relocation. We would have potentially the relocation itself, potential stadium funding, potential Super Bowls.”