Roger Goodell thinks the NFL is close to having enough information to decide whether the league will relocate a franchise to Los Angeles.
Goodell, who spoke Tuesday during an interview with ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike, said that he does not expect a decision any time in the near future. But the NFL commissioner also said that public hearings, which begin Tuesday in St. Louis, will help the league make a "smart decision."
"I think we're getting to the point now where we have sufficient information in the home markets, and will have it by the time we make this decision," Goodell said. "[We] also [have] sufficient information in Los Angeles to make a smart decision but a decision that's thoughtful and considers all the different issues."
The NFL has scheduled hearings in each of the three markets -- St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland -- where the current team is considering relocation to Los Angeles. The hearing in San Diego will take place Wednesday, followed by the Oakland hearing on Thursday.
Members of Goodell's executive staff will attend to listen to comments by and answer questions from the public. The league said in its announcement last week that it wants to "provide an opportunity for fans and others in the community to ask questions and express their views directly to the NFL before any decisions are made about potential relocation of a club or clubs from a current market."
"There's been a tremendous amount of discussion about this," Goodell said Tuesday. "We take the relocation policies seriously. We want to make sure that we do everything we possibly can to make sure we can find solutions in their current communities, and when we can't, we want to apply this policy evenly and fairly."
The Rams, who left Los Angeles in 1995, hope to build a state-of-the-art stadium in Inglewood, California. The Chargers and Raiders are combining on a planned project for Carson, California. The Raiders also left Los Angeles in 1995.
"We've been 20 years not in the Los Angeles market," Goodell said. "[Relocation to Los Angeles] would be a huge plus for fans. There are 20 million fans in that market that would love to have a franchise. But we've got to do this responsibly. There's a process, and we're going through that process."
No decisions on an actual move to Los Angeles can come before early 2016. However, at the owners meetings in Dallas in December, it's highly possible the NFL will open the window for relocation applications, letting any of the three teams formally apply.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.