St. Louis Rams
Issue: Stadium upgrades
Yet another return candidate from last year's list, the Rams are the only team whose stadium situation got worse since 2012. Back in July, the Rams got the word from the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission that they weren't going to get the $700 million they were seeking for renovations to the Edward Jones Dome.
That presents a huge problem for the Rams and the city, which promised to make the building into a "first-tier" stadium by 2015. That's basically like a middle-class parent showing a high school freshman a Lamborghini and telling him or her that it's theirs on graduation day.
In this case, however, St. Louis not coming through with that shiny new toy allows the Rams to get out of their lease in 2015. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon wants to open up talks with the team, but right now the Rams look like they might be eyeing a return to Los Angeles as well.
In fairness to the Rams, it's in their nature to bolt from their hometown every few decades or so. The franchise left Cleveland for Los Angeles in 1946 and left L.A. for St. Louis nearly 50 years later. Meanwhile, it's been more than a decade since the Kurt Warner "Greatest Show On Turf" Super Bowl years and, despite a promising showing last season, the team's still waiting for Sam Bradford to emerge as a savior and already wasted star running back Steven Jackson's stint. The Rams haven't made the playoffs since 2004 and haven't won more games than they've lost since 2003.
Rams ownership wanted a roof with a sliding panel, a glass front instead of a brick exterior and the re-routing of a nearby street, but wanted their home city to shell out the approximate worth of the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise to get it. A move to Los Angeles would put the team much closer to just about all of its NFC West rivals, but the line of teams with stadium troubles is already getting fairly long.