Recently, Georgia Frontiere, the majority (I think 60%) owner of the St. Louis Rams died. Her share of the team ownership has passed to two Rosenblooms (brother and sister).
Georgia acquired ownership of the Rams upon the death of her husband Carroll Rosenbloom (I think this happened in the late 1970s). Not sure if she is the mother or step-mother of the two Rosenbloom children (now adults) who just inherited the 60% ownership stake.
Georgia (and her advisor - team president John Shaw) agreed to move the team to St. Louis for the 1995 season, citing lack of support in Anaheim, and in anticipation of completion of a new domed stadium in St. Louis (built on speculation of St. Louis acquiring an NFL team during league expansion, teams were awarded to Carolina and Jacksonville instead).
Upon moving the team to St. Louis, she sold 40% of the Rams to Stan Kroenke, who is married to one of Sam (Wal-Mart) Walton's nieces, and has made a bundle for himself developing strip malls for new Wal-Mart / Sam's Club locations. Stan subseequently bought the Denver Nuggets (NBA) / Colorado Avalanche (NHL) and the Pepsi Center in Denver. Supposedly, he holds a right of first refusal on the purchase of the remaining 60% of Rams ownership, however NFL by-laws supposedly prohibit being majority owner of an NFL team in one market and owner of a major sports team in another market (is that a conflict-of-interest, somehow ?). So Kroenke would have to divest his ownership stake in the Denver teams, and because of this is reportedly NOT actively pursuing the remaining 60% of the Rams.
Reportedly, former 49ers / Penguins owner Edward DeBartolo
has had "some discussions". Perhaps a second party too. The going rate for an NFL franchise is now approx. $900 million, so a 60% stake might fetch around $540 million. OUCH !!! That seems like a lot, but each team's income stream from the network TV contract alone is over $100 million / year, I believe.
Paul Tagliabue made no secret of the fact, that when he left as NFL commissioner, one of his "unfinished business" items was having a team in Los Angeles. With the current 32 team league, it seems like another expansion would have to push the league to at least 36 teams to create any type of balance, and that might dilute franchise value too much. Therefore any movement to L.A. would more likely be via the relocation route.
DeBartolo himself has noted the lack of community support in L.A., as a deterrent to moving a team there.
But note the following: When the Rams moved to St. Louis, they committed to playing in the domw there for 20 years (through the 2014 season). After that, they have the right to terminate the lease if (and I don't know how you would legally determine this) the dome is not among the top 1/4 of NFL facilities. In anticipation of this, the team will likely issue their demands with regard to facility upgrades around 2012. If they are not ridiculously extravagant, look for St. Louis gov't to agree. If the city / team come to mutual agreement, I am not sure how much longer the lease would be extended for. But this whole situation provides the team with an "out" in another 7 years. So at the very least, expect the Rams to use this leverage to garner a rather sweet deal on any lease extension.
Would they move back to L.A. ? Would a potential new owner feel that he could get a better deal in L.A. ? Right now the answer is "NO". St. Louis has been sold out or close to it, since the Rams moved to St. Louis in 1995. If the league desperately wanted a team owner to relocate his franchise to L.A., the league itself might have to subsisdize it (that sounds kind of patheitic, given the way various cities have jumped through hoops at the league's behest).