The Morning After STL

David Hunn: ‘Things Got Serious’ at NFL Owners Meetings

Brendan Marks, Thu, 08 Oct 2015 15:16:00 GMT

nfl relocation has been a major topic this week among league brass as the 32 owners met up in new york city to discuss the future of the nfl in los angeles and which teams may end up there.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter David Hunn has been covering developments at the NFL owners meetings, and he joined The Ryan Kelley Morning After on Thursday to discuss the latest surrounding the future of the NFL in St. Louis.

Check out Hunn’s story on the NFL owners meetings on STLToday.com

We typed up some notable excerpts from the interview, which you can listen to in full below:

Texans owner Bob McNair said the LA Committee has been anticipating a term sheet for the St. Louis stadium project. How serious do you think is warning is to St. Louis?

“In one sense it’s completely serious and dangerous. If they don’t give the term sheets to thh LA Committee soon, this will be over. Roger Goodell (said he was concerned). He said, ‘We need an actionable plan with firm financial committments.’ Then he added by the end of the year. The end of the year is only a couple months away. On the flip side…Dave Peacock…said they’re maybe a couple weeks away from giving it to them. So it is coming.”

On St. Louis Aldermen saying they’re going to hold this thing up on the part of the city?

“The board of aldermen is a large board with lots of different opinions. Antonio French has threatened to filibuster the bill…I’ve covered the board for several years. Filibustering that board is very difficult. It’s a big board. Unless Antonio French has help – which he might – it’s going to be pretty difficult to do. Also, Peacock’s not going to wait for the board to approve the bills before sending in the term sheets to the NFL. He just needs the bills done and written so the deal is finalized. Basically, the bills going to the board of aldermen represent the final deal for the city. At that moment, Peacock can probably send in the term sheets to the NFL.”

What’s the next step after that?

“There’s some other state tax credits…credits for polluted land they need to get. Peacock expects them to come in soon. This meeting in New York was interesting. In the past they were kind of bubbly affairs…That was not the tone of this meeting. The faces were long. Most of the owners didn’t want to talk to reporters at all. Even Stan Kroenke…he’s in all black, his face is long. He doesn’t smile to anybody. This time he was a ghost.”

What do you make of it?

“I think things got serious. They’re talking about relocation dollars. I could only imagine that’s a hard thing for Mr. Kroenke to see. It’s going to be a couple hundred million dollars. They’re talking about that. They’re talking about timeline. They’re talking about who’s going to go. Everything got very serious.”

On Kroenke’s cross-ownership deal being approved:

“They set up the rules, then they kind of see what fits into them. It’s 32 billionaires. I don’t think they see rules as hard and fast. Their belief is in this particular case, it’s not like Ann Walton cannot afford the team herself. You can’t transfer them to someone else who can’t actually make the payments. One of his proposals of the league was he would not make any financial commitment to either of those teams.”

You’re around the owners and other reporters at these meetings. What’s the sense surrounding the Chargers’ future?

“If you talk to other reporters…They all think San Diego is not happening. They think it’s a non-starter. What’s kind of interesting is the league staff is kind of playing up San Diego like they’re getting their act together. Maybe the league is trying to drum up some competition. I’m not sure. Things aren’t adding up.”

Did you get the sense the owners didn’t care about the St. Louis stadium naming rights being sold?

“Ha, no. They didn’t really (care). I think in their heads they realize that there’s stead progress. But they want to see certain things from St. Louis they haven’t seen yet. And they’re a little hung up on that, I think.”

Listen to the much more in-depth interview here:

David Hunn on The Morning After