In an interesting development, the NFL has just announced that it will be running several hearings towards the end of the month. These hearings will be taking place in three different cities across the United States: St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland. These public hearings are designed to allow fans to have the chance to let their voices be heard in regard to the future of their franchises, namely the Rams, Chargers and Raiders. This sort of event provides the perfect occasion for fans to ask questions and have a direct influence over what happens to their teams. The main subject of discussion for these hearings will be the potential relocations of the franchises to Los Angeles.
Various key NFL executives will be in attendance, including Executive Vice President of the NFL, Eric Grubman. Grubman has been tasked with managing any potential relocation plans for the aforementioned franchises, so he’ll be leading the three meetings. Fans will undoubtedly appreciate the chance to speak to high-level NFL decision-makers and hopefully the meetings will prove to be profitable for everyone concerned. These sorts of hearings are certainly a positive form of fan-engagement on behalf of the NFL. Fans all across the nation care deeply about their teams and want to know that their opinions matter. Any questions or queries fans might have will be answered by the NFL staff on hand, and some interesting discussions will surely be had.
The hearings will even be livestreamed on the official NFL website for those fans who are unable to attend, and they’ll each take place between 7 and 10pm local time. Entry is completely free and any member of the public can register for an entry pass. Demand is expected to be high, so fans are encouraged to go through a pre-registration process online as soon as possible. In order to ensure that the biggest fans are given priority for these meetings, season ticket members for each team concerned will be allocated entry passes ahead of other applicants. After these fans have been given their passes, the remaining entries will be allocated out via a first-come, first-served system.
These hearings are a mandatory part of any potential franchise relocation and help to give fans the reassurance of knowing they can have their say before any big decisions are made. During each hearing, individuals in attendance are each granted three minutes of time to pose any questions or share any comments with the executives. Anyone who is unable to get an entry pass for the hearings can still let their opinions be known; questions and comments can be submitted on a written basis in advance of the meeting dates. A selection of relevant comments and queries will be addressed by the executives, so every fan has the chance to let their voice be heard.
Let’s take a quick look at the details for each meeting. The St. Louis hearing will be the first of the three to occur. It will take place on the 27th of October at the Peabody Opera House. The San Diego hearing will then occur on the 28th of October and will be held at the Spreckels Theater. Finally, the Oakland hearing shall be held on the 29th of October at the Paramount Theater. Each of these hearings has its own email address for submitting written comments, details of which can be found via the official NFL website. Fans shouldn’t be expecting to hear any official decisions regarding the future of their teams for quite a while though, as experts estimate a vote won’t take place until early next year.
All three of these teams have clearly shown their interest in potentially relocating to Los Angeles next year, and the move would be quite a big occasion for any of them. The Rams left Los Angeles back in 1995 and have revealed plans to build a large and modern stadium in Inglewood. The Raiders similarly departed LA in 1995 and have actually joined forces with the Chargers to develop a combined project that would be located in Carson. A move to LA could be a big boost for these teams, but local fans and officials in particular are keen to keep the franchises where they are.
It’s hard to know how much of an impact these hearings will have, but fans and concerned citizens will do all they can to make their opinions known. Afterwards, there’ll be a long and anxious wait for habitants of all three cities and fans of all three teams until a vote is eventually held. As previously mentioned, decisions won’t be made until next year but it is expected that relocation applications will be allowed in December. In that month, the owners’ meetings will take place in Dallas and the big question of which team will move to LA shall step into the spotlight once again.