Sources have confirmed St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke purchased a pretty big chunk of land in Los Angeles, and the move has everyone wondering the same thing.
"So are the Rams leaving St. Louis?" (Via KMOV)
The Los Angeles Times first broke the story Thursday, reporting Kroenke bought a 60-acre piece of land that was formerly owned by Walmart.
And the news was confirmed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Friday, according to ESPN. But Goodell added he and Kroenke didn't discuss any plans to make the location the home of a future football stadium.
"Our policy is they do have to keep us informed of any developments or anything that is going on in the Los Angeles market. ... Anything that would require any kind of stadium development requires multiple votes of the membership." (Via ESPN)
Naturally, the purchase suggests the Rams could be headed west. But the team has to clear a few hurdles before it can start packing its bags.
As CBS points out, the Rams would have to get the blessing of at least 24 NFL owners to make the move. And the league has some pretty strict guidelines that teams have to meet before relocation can even be put up to a vote.
But an escape clause in the Rams' lease with the Edward Jones Dome could put some pressure on St. Louis to work harder to keep the team.
"Kroenke and the Rams have been involved in intense stadium negotiations. If the Edward Jones Dome isn't upgraded to a top-tier stadium by the end of next season, the Rams could leave." (Via KSDK)
Fox Sports notes the Rams and local officials have been negotiating improvements since 2012 but haven't made much headway.
As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch points out, city leaders rejected the $700 million in upgrades the Rams requested. But the owners of the Edward Jones Dome say they haven't given up hope just yet because the team hasn't said much about their plans for the lease.
The Rams, of course, used to call LA home until they moved to St. Louis after the 1994 season. Los Angeles hasn't had a professional football team in 20 years.