The NFL made a business decision to allow the Rams to go as Stan Kroenke was building his stadium come hell or high water.
I think the NFL made a smart move here and not one that I would have thought to make. They allowed the one owner who was absolutely hellbent on moving, willing to torch St. Louis on his way out, and spend his own money to go. Keeping him there would have been horrible for the NFL.
They then put the Chargers owner into a ridiculously tough situation by essentially saying "you can't let Carson build you a stadium but if you want, you can lease from Kroenke".
They don't want to do that, so Dean Spanos will sit stewing for a year. In spite of the harsh relations, I would not be surprised to see San Diego work out a deal in the next year.
The Raiders were totally blocked. They have to wait a year and then if they want they can move in as tenants at the Rams's stadium.
I think the jist of this is that the NFL didn't want two stadiums in a soft attendance market. To me, that's sensible.
Some might ask why the NFL just wouldn't allow the Raiders to move in with the Rams. I think there is some desire to control the perception of migratory teams. Putting the Chargers on the clock for a move they don't want, controls both of the other two teams.
There is a feeling that the Chargers did everything the right way. This vote really screws all that up in a way that is ...well...deniable.
I think there is a perception that San Diego is a solid NFL market while St. Louis may not be perceived that way.
I don't think in the grand scheme of things the NFL cares if the Raiders move into the Rams' stadium next year or if they stay in Oakland long term. Two teams in the #2 DMA or two teams in the #6 DMA is a fairly irrelevant argument.
I think the only thing I would have done differently is put more money on the table to get the teams to stay, AND allow the Raiders the ability to "trade" the Chargers their NFL stadium gift money ($100M) in return for being able to take the Charger's slot in the Ram's stadium.
Would $200M from the NFL and a fat new stadium check from San Diego's city government convince the Chargers to stay...I think it could.
I'll say this again for the record. The City of St. Louis would be smart to make a sweetheart deal with St. Louis University to startup football in a hugely reworked Edwards Jones Dome with a much improved parking situation. That would be making lemonade out of some very sour lemons.