NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL will hold public hearings later this month in Oakland, St. Louis and San Diego as the league looks into potentially relocating a franchise or two to Los Angeles.
The St. Louis hearing will take place on Oct. 27, followed the next day by a hearing in San Diego, and on Oct. 29 in Oakland.
Members of Commissioner Roger Goodell’s executive staff will attend to listen to comments by and answer questions from the public. The league said in its announcement Monday that it wants to “provide an opportunity for fans and others in the community to ask questions and express their views directly to the NFL before any decisions are made about potential relocation of a club or clubs from a current market.”
Public pre-registration for the hearings begins Tuesday, with entry tickets reserved first for season-ticket holders of each of those teams.
The Rams, who left Los Angeles in 1995, hope to build a state-of-the-art stadium in Inglewood, California. The Chargers and Raiders are combining on a planned project for Carson, California. The Raiders also left LA in 1995.
No decisions on an actual move to Los Angeles can come before early 2016. However, at the owners’ December meetings in Dallas, it’s highly possible the NFL will open the window for relocation applications, letting any of the three teams formally apply.
Goodell expects owners will vote on franchise relocation, but when is another matter.
“When you start out with nothing and you are trying to find a solution, you try to find all the pathways that can lead to success,” Eric Grubman, the NFL’s point man for relocation to LA, said earlier this month. “If you find one, people aren’t necessarily optimistic it’s going to be successful because there’s a failure rate. If you find 100, then people are very optimistic.
When we attacked it, we had to find more than one thing that can work.
“So what happens when you find more than one thing that can work and it’s in the NFL and it involves multiple owners and multiple cities? Then suddenly the picture becomes very murky because not everyone can get exactly what they want. And that’s the scenario that’s most likely to play out.”
Grubman admitted for a team or two to call LA home next season, the latest it could get approval would probably be March or April.