Rams Stadium Saga: Silent Stan Speaks Loudly Without Saying a Word

Shane Gray provides special Rams commentaries on 101sports.com. Follow him on Twitter: @ShaneGmoSTLRams.

As recently reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, L.A. Business Journal and the Los Angeles Times and later confirmed via written statement by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s Columbia-based real-estate company, The Kroenke Group, the Missouri-born and bred real estate and sports mogul has purchased a 60-acre plot of land in Inglewood, Calif. – a plot of land that has been rumored as a potential NFL stadium site since the late 1990s.

The land that Kroenke secured is a parking lot situated between The Forum – the former home of the Los Angeles Lakers during their historic Showtime Era – and Hollywood Park.

In a very real sense, “Silent” Stan’s land acquisition quite loudly and very clearly proclaimed to the powers that be in St. Louis and the key figures within the state – without the use of a single word – that it’s “game time.”

It is important to note that while 60 acres is viewed by most as of marginal size for an NFL venue and surrounding footprint in the nation’s second-largest market, Sam Farmer of the aforementioned L.A. Times points out that there are over 200 adjacent acres surrounding the property that, although currently slated to be transformed from a defunct racetrack to a modern residential community, could at least theoretically be combined with Kroenke’s purchase to form a much larger consolidated area of development.

By purchasing the above mentioned land, the Rams’ owner quickly corrected those who strangely suggested that the team had nowhere to go beyond greater St. Louis. Quite simply, when you are the second-richest owner in the NFL and share a combined husband-wife wealth of $10 billion dollars (according to Forbes’ late 2013 update, up from $5 billion in March of 2011), you can grab the land you covet and go where you want to go – assuming you desire to move and clear numerous league hurdles to do so.

When you possess the kind of paper, the kind of power and the overall level of business acumen that Kroenke does, you don’t need someone else to build a stadium for you – such as AEG’s long-proposed concept of a would-be downtown L.A. venue to be called Farmer’s Field, for example. When you are Kroenke – a man who owns one of the nation’s largest ranches – you can hire your own ranch-hands, so to speak, and build the darn thing yourself.

All that said, Kroenke is one of the 10 largest landholders in the United States, so the news of him securing a plot of land in and of itself is about as noteworthy as the sun rising in the morning. As of 2012, landreport.com listed Kroenke as the nation’s 10th-largest land owner with a reported possession of 740,000 acres. By October of 2013, Kroenke was listed by the same outlet as the country’s eighth-largest land possessor via his ownership of nearly 850,000 acres. In just one year, Kroenke’s land holdings jumped by nearly 13 percent.

Of course, this new California-based lay of land isn’t just any piece of property in some random location.  No, this plot of land is located in L.A., the Rams’ former home.

As expected, the news of this purchase caused much commotion in St. Louis and Missouri. This revelation would, understandably, cause much concern in any NFL city dealing with a perceived unstable stadium situation. But in the Gateway City, it has set off alarms.

Unlike most other cities that are/have gone through stadium sagas, this region suffered a painful divorce when losing a franchise (the Cardinals) just over a quarter-century ago. In general, fans here are understandably more insecure than those of other markets who have not previously lost a team. In addition, unlike what has occurred in many other cities where owners have been outspoken in continually stating a preference and expectation of working it out at home, Kroenke is further solidifying his moniker of “Silent” Stan by refusing to directly communicate with a fan base that desperately craves some reassurance on the stadium front. Furthermore, St. Louis fans are dealing with a troublesome dome lease that can be voided or set into a year-to-year status following the 2014 season. Finally, the inept on-field play has resulted in the Rams compiling the league’s worst record over the last nine seasons, something that, along with the team’s seeming uncertain future, has hurt attendance figures and created additional perceived instability in the minds of some.

So, with the fan base already on edge, why was the L.A. land bought at this time? Why would Kroenke – being of Wal-Mart blood and a key member of the conglomerate’s vaunted one percent – go through with the deal now?

Be confident of this: Kroenke could have seamlessly and quietly worked out an unofficial agreement to purchase this real estate following the 2014 season as the Rams’ lease expired in St. Louis. “Silent” Stan could have worked out the parameters of the deal while making nothing official until, oh, January of 2015.

If Kroenke wanted to attempt sneak out of town as quietly and smoothly as possible, he would have made this deal official after the 2014 campaign, not well before it.

Let us not forget that what Kroenke wants quiet stays quiet. Only what Kroenke wants announced, gets announced. In short, you can bet that this land wasn’t bought at the beginning of the offseason – right before the NFL’s biggest event (the Super Bowl) and right before the commissioner’s annual press conference – by accident.

Let’s remember that it was not that long ago that “Silent” Stan snuck in at the last moment without a peep and surprised almost everyone by grabbing majority ownership of the organization after Shad Khan – a former Rams season-ticket holder and the current owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars – had already reached an agreement to purchase a majority stake in the franchise.

So, again, why would Kroenke go through with this now?

Well, since the purchase, we have seen subsequent rumors abounding of potential NFL and/or MLS development in L.A. on his coveted new piece of property, including purely speculative rumors of a possible Rams relocation. That’s a win-win for Kroenke regarding stadium leverage here.

It should come as no surprise that, since the purchase, Rams vice president and chief operating officer Kevin Demoff has stated (on 101 ESPN’s “The Fast Lane”) that there has been more response and solution-driven chatter from unnamed sources regarding the St. Louis stadium situation than there had been in the last three years combined. That is another major win for “Silent” Stan.

Does anyone really believe that this is all happening by accident? Are people oblivious to the way the “L.A. games” are played? Does anyone think that the always shrewd and calculated Kroenke hasn’t taken note of what has occurred around him during the past 20 years as related to league venues and the L.A. angle?

Did people forget about Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay parking a plane with the team logo on it in L.A. for several weeks during their stadium negotiations? How about the San Diego Chargers having training camp in L.A. County during multiple seasons? How about Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank reportedly leaking information to state politicians that he was receiving interest about a move from the nation’s second-largest market? How about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and other league executives all but telling Minnesota that the Vikings were practically out the door if they didn’t get a deal passed prior to the session that saw a venue bill approved? How about the subtle and not-so-subtle mentions of L.A. possibilities by countless other franchises (the Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins, just to name a few) over the last few years?

Kroenke made a brilliant play here: He not only secured prime real estate that he could personally utilize for any number of non-NFL/sports-related developments, he secured coveted ground that could either be sold for a future NFL/sports -related project or for a non-sports related development. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, he better positioned himself in both St. Louis and Los Angeles in relation to the NFL and/or MLS. He has upped the ante in the Lou while creating options – any and all options – in L.A.

Regardless of what eventually becomes of a parking lot 1,800 miles away from the Gateway City that has drawn more of the collective attention of St. Louisans than any other such space on the globe, Kroenke’s land buy will ultimately end up as yet another real estate win, in some shape, form or fashion. After all, the real estate game is where it all began, and he knows the real estate game – along with the NFL stadium game – as well as anyone, anywhere.

So, rather than to suggest this land grab was an obvious (too obvious) step toward leaving town, Kroenke’s history and that of the league’s suggests it makes much more sense to believe it was an astute action designed in part to speed up the pace of getting things done quicker in St. Louis. Keep in mind, Kroenke only bought into the franchise on the explicit precondition that the team move here after being lead investor for the city’s NFL expansion efforts in 1993.

Yes, while many see all of this as a signal that the Rams are quickly on the move, I see this as a sign that Kroenke wants to move quickly get things moving – in St. Louis.

Kroenke knows league stadium issues are highly complex and often take many years to iron out. The Vikings, for example, began their quest for a new venue in 1998 before reaching a deal in 2012. The San Francisco 49ers began working toward another stadium in the late 90s and will finally unveil a new venue this fall. Finally, the Chargers have been on a year-to-year lease for years and have been seeking a stadium resolution since 2002. The Chargers, by the way, have been in position to terminate their lease each year since 2007.

Thus, while it seems that Rams stadium negotiations have been going on forever, the whole process is really very fresh in relation to what other cities have gone through. Arbitration, after all, only began in 2012.

And while the whole L.A. land situation has the familiar scent of another NFL leverage move, it also is serving, intentionally or not, as MLS leverage – particularly after the tremendously successful exhibition matches in the city a year ago.

Speaking of leverage, one of the more laughable things spouted recently in local media is the idea that L.A. leverage is dead. This would make at least some sense if one then suggested a belief that there was not any possibility of the Rams moving, or that it was unlikely that any team relocates. However, this individual both suggested L.A. leverage was essentially a thing of the past but that the Rams were likely to move there.

What?

Let me get this straight: if Rams defensive end Robert Quinn were a free agent this offseason and told the front office that he would stay for the league minimum and not entertain offers from other teams, would that create any pressure to pay up? On the other hand, would the pressure and leverage intensify if the team at least believed that Quinn were shopping around the league for the most lucrative payday possible and considering a move out of St. Louis?

In the business community, if a city possesses a corporation that it values to any degree and that corporation is seen as potentially eying another location as its home, the incentive goes up to ensure that the business does not leave town. That’s called leverage.

It’s no different in the NFL: When it gets down to crunch time and league owners desire stadium deals designed to increase revenue streams in their own cities, they subtly or not so subtly throw out some variation of the L.A. leverage card. It’s been played for nearly 20 years and – despite some baseless and ridiculous assertions otherwise – it will continue to be played until that market is filled.

It is impossible to accurately suggest that a move is likely and then simultaneously assert that such a prospective possibility would not induce leverage, unless one suggests that nobody wants to retain the former Super Bowl champions – and that is far from the case. Apparently, the intentional (yes) or unintentional (cough/laugh) utilization of L.A. as leverage mysteriously died in 2012 just after it was significant in Minnesota eventually solidifying a new stadium resolution and cementing the team’s headquarters in the Twin Cities.

L.A. leverage is alive and well. And while it is indeed alive and well, that does not mean that it is any more likely that a team is moving to L.A. now that it was five or 10 years ago.

In fact, the above mentioned Farmer of the L.A. Times recently told Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback Podcast that he does not anticipate a franchise being in L.A. within the next five years.

To some, this is hard to comprehend and makes no sense. But when studying the NFL closely and its unique economic model, one can see why Los Angeles remains without a team and likely will for the next several seasons.

For one, the league’s egalitarian model is one that shares the majority of revenues equally, thus making the differences in market size less important than what is seen in other sports. Please see the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, for example.

Secondly, there are no separate TV deals available for NFL teams. This is a significant differentiation from the setup of MLB and the NBA, for instance.

Thirdly, nobody is going to take what amounts to a future money printing potential expansion spot from that league-controlled market – with emphasis on league-controlled – without paying what would equate to an expansion fee.

League owners aren’t about charity to other owners. They aren’t going to leave money on the table or let their most prized leverage spot go without someone paying up and paying up in full.

Last year, I suggested a $500 million-and-up relocation fee,  but all signs point to that prospective fee ringing in at no less than $800 million and very likely in excess of a billion dollars.

In addition to a punitive relocation fee, NFL policy guidelines state that a relocation franchise would not qualify for the NFL’s G4 loan, a loan that effectively operates as a grant. Thus, a relocating organization would not qualify for up to $200 million in league money as any “…project must not involve any relocation of or change in an affected club’s home territory.”

Additionally, the chances of getting any meaningful public assistance for a venue in California, as most are now aware, is slim. In St. Louis, it is very likely that at least some public help (in various forms) would be likely. The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission was nearing a $200 million commitment by the finalization of arbitration, and an anonymous source close to negotiations believes they could have gone a little higher.

One can conservatively estimate that a new venue in L.A. would cost at least one billion dollars, without counting the construction of team practice facilities, higher business taxes and generally higher costs of doing business in that great state.

In short, a completed move to L.A. would almost assuredly cost well in excess of $2 billion dollars. And let me be clear: Anyone dreaming that the league would somehow bypass a huge payday by playing choir boy and waving a massive expansion-esque fee for a move is either uninformed or delusional. It’s not happening – not for the Rams or any other franchise.

When one understands Kroenke’s background, one knows that he has predominately built his empire by finding ways to pay less and turn as much profit as possible via cost-friendly deals. It is, after all, the Wal-Mart way. And you aren’t going to get the Wal-Mart way, as related to an NFL stadium, in California.

While on the topic of Kroenke, a recent report from outstanding St. Louis Post-Dispatch Rams beat writer Jim Thomas suggested that Kroenke was not returning Missouri governor Jay Nixon’s phone calls. Last week, Demoff neither confirmed nor denied that report in multiple radio interviews, including this one at 101 ESPN.

Be that as it may, the Rams have long stated that they wish to keep all stadium negotiations as private as possible, and the governor’s office has shared similar sentiments in the last year.

The bottom line is this: If it were eventually proven that Kroenke has not and does not eventually participate in negotiations and discussions with the governor, he would clearly be in violation of article 4.3 of the NFL bylaws, which plainly states that clubs must operate in “good faith” to find a stadium solution in its home territory. Clearly, it would not be considered that a club negotiated in “good faith” if it were proven that they refused to negotiate with their state’s highest authority and the individual designated for the lead role in this process.

As things stand now, the safe bet remains that the Rams work out the stadium issues in St. Louis via a three-way combination of NFL funds, Kroenke cash and some city/state public support.

Yet, anyone saying that a move is impossible is wrong. When you have Kroenke’s pockets and business wherewithal, such a move is certainly far from impossible.

I would suggest that all parties interested in ensuring that St. Louis continues to house an NFL franchise take the L.A. land purchase seriously and that they move forward proactively and handle business.

No, I don’t believe that the soon-to-be 67-year-old Kroenke wants to drag the Rams back across the country and pay what would even be a substantial part of his vast net worth to do so, while hurting business interests here in the state that still houses his greatest activity and is home of his real estate companies.

But to pretend that he isn’t capable of finding a way to eventually pull off a move would be foolish, too. The hoops to jump through would be very substantial, but Kroenke has proven time and again that he typically finds a way to get what he wants.

In the big picture, the poker games have just begun. This is going to be a ride with bumps, bruises, twists and turns. My best advice would be to take everything related to stadium rumors with a grain of salt – or maybe a bucket – for the here and now.

As we have seen around the NFL, these things usually get ugly before they get pretty. These things usually don’t progress much until deadlines approach.

Another thing to keep in mind through all of this is that Kroenke is not the ideal owner for an L.A.-based team. He is reluctant to directly communicate with his fan bases and seems to be unwilling to regularly communicate with the public, whether in London, Denver or St. Louis. How would Kroenke handle the bright lights and media pressures of L.A.?  There are certainly other owners who would seem to be a much better personality and public relations fit in Hollywood than “Silent” Stan.

For those who still insist that it’s a no-brainer to go to L.A and an automatic gold mine, then I assume you are suggesting that a substantial number of NFL owners and the league itself have been brainless in leaving the market void for nearly two decades?

Or maybe they have a whole different long-term plan in place, one that keeps all existing markets and their respective revenues in place, avoids alienating any current fan bases and those regions of the nation, and continues to grow the overall pie via new franchises and a fresh start in L.A. and other prospective cities.

After all, how many thriving corporations look to shrink their reach rather than expand into additional territories and markets? In the minds of some, you would think that McDonald’s would stop opening new restaurants and instead begin relocating them unnecessarily.

In the end, expansion makes the most sense to the league, likely at or near the end of the current TV deals and collective bargaining agreement.

In the meantime, expect “Silent” Stan to do what NFL owner after NFL owner has done: find a way to get the best deal they can in the city they are in, just as almost every corporation of any kind does worldwide.

It is big business, and in the end, expect the Gateway to the West to house one of the finest venues in the league, something that I personally believe has been in the mind of Enos Stanley Kroenke for a very long time.

People forget how the Rams captured the city’s collective attention just a decade or so ago. Eventually, the Rams’ on-field play will make the region and state wildly proud again. And with what I expect will eventually be a long-term agreement and the chance to truly begin building a multi-generational fan base, it will be appropriate to do so in a venue that better showcases this great city and the bright future that it – and the St. Louis Rams – possesses right here.

Many are already villainizing Kroenke, but if it were not for him, the Rams would not be here in the first place. Perhaps some should wait and see how this plays out before they make some of the judgments they are. Nobody, after all, likes to feel awful about talking bad about someone who they eventually view as more of a hero than a villain, do they?

 

Additional resources via 101sports.com on the Rams’ stadium saga:

–The column touted by ESPN’s Mike Sando as arguably the best he had seen on the Rams stadium situation here, with an expansive look at Kroenke’s background from various angles, his history of building stadiums for a  variety of franchises, much more on L.A. and much more on why the Rams and Kroenke are liking staying put.

–The NFL’s best and most extensive community work is detailed here, including why that commitment starts with Kevin Demoff, who has deep family roots in St. Louis. This piece also includes an extensive interview with Rams vice president of marketing Brian Killingsworth. Killingsworth explains why the “future fan” in St. Louis is at the forefront of everything the organization does off the field and what the big picture hopes are for all the club’s community initiatives.

Timely analysis from Randy Karraker on article 4.3 regarding the Rams’ future.

–A compelling take on why the Rams belong in St. Louis, also via Karraker.

–Full copy of Article 4.3 regarding NFL relocation.

  • Shane Gray STL Rams

    As always, appreciative of comments and interaction.

    • Michael Grande

      Bring Back the Los Angeles Rams #Deaconjones #JACKYOUNGBLOOD #ERIC DICKERSON

      • illusion87

        Quinn, Long, Laurenitis and Ogletree > Fearsome Foursome.

        Faulk, Holt, Bruce, Warner, Jackson > Dickerson.

        St. Louis Superbowl 1
        LA Superbowl 0

        • sickoe47

          Rosey grier,merlin olsen,deacon jones and lamar lundy the original fearsome foursome

          Eric Dickerson,vince ferragamo,jackie slater

          1973-1979 NFC west division champs

          1979 NFC CHAMPIONS

          • illusion87

            Not even comparable! STL>LA!

        • Worthy James

          Ironic this harlequin goes by the name of “illusion”.

          • illusion87

            I stated all facts. Cry more!

    • Caponie

      You’re a hack.

      • Shane Gray STL Rams

        You are entitled to your opinion, but I know the work I have done and the merit it has. Take care, Caponie.

  • SaintLouis Rams

    Keep the Rams in St. Louis. Support the movement! https://www.facebook.com/KeepTheRamsInStLouis

    • Caponie

      There is almost 30,000 people on the Bring back the L.A.Rams page only 9,000 on the keep the Rams in St.Louis page. You’re not even close.

      • illusion87

        The LA page has been up for almost 6 years. The St. Louis one a bit less than a year. LA has a metro area of about 5x that of St. Louis. Thus, if the St. Louis one is close to 10,000, the LA one, to be on par, should have almost 50,000. What’s up with that! STL>LA.

        • Shane Gray STL Rams

          Actually, the St. Louis page has been active for essentially just slightly over three months and is already nearing 10K likes.

          • Worthy James

            The LA page are all straight up likes though. No trading likes in Australia in the LA movement.

          • illusion87

            What the heck are you even babbling about…

      • SaintLouis Rams

        A little info you L.A. trolls don’t know.
        The BBTLARs page (29976 likes), has been around since 11/15/2009 in a city with the population of 3.858 MILLION.
        And the Keep the Rams in St. Louis Facebook page (9,198 likes) has ben active since Nov 2013 in a city with were the population is 318,172.
        so why wouldn’t the BBTLARs page have more fans since its been around going on 5 years now? Come with a little something better than that boys.

  • Gary Weed

    Man, as good as this article is, it misses one VERY important factor. This plot of land in Inglewood everyone is obsessing over was not bought 2 or 3 weeks ago. It was purchased in 2012 with the SOLE purpose of placing a Walmart Supercenter there, but the city shot down Kroenke. This land purchase means ZERO>>

    • Shane Gray STL Rams

      Thanks for the kind words Gary, although I will see there are conflicting reports on when the specific transaction to Kroenke actually occurred.

    • Worthy James

      No. It was bought a little less than two weeks before the public announcement. I actually spoke to someone who helped handle the transaction several days after the announcement, and he was telling me how he couldn’t believe when the transaction came through the wire, but that he had keep it on the hush. Walmart had plans that were shot down in 2005. Check the article in the Los Angeles Business News for the specifics. Everything is in there.

      • Gary Weed

        Read my comment above…they had to keep it hush because it was essentially a transfer of ownership.. His wife owned the property AND ESK was on the Walmart board when it was purchased.

        • The Truth

          NO, he wasn’t. And NO, she didn’t. She’s not even on the board of directors. WALMART owned the property as an entity.

          Jim C. Walton and S Robson Walton are the majority stockholders

        • Worthy James

          Remember, Kroenke was one of at least three NFL owners who approached Mayor Butts regarding the site. Hard to believe Kroenke’s intentions with the land are very different than what the other owners would have done had they bought the property. That’s prime stadium real estate.

    • David Graham

      This land purchase was just finalized in January. It’s well documented by everyone that has reported on it…It was recent. Kroenke isn’t Walmart. KSE isn’t Walmart. Yes Stan is married to a WalMart heir but it’s not related to the sale of the land. WalMart tried to build a superstore there but it was denied by votes. This land purchase is a huge chess piece in the game. Doesn’t matter what side of the fence you sit on LA/St. Louis, it’s not something to be swept under the rug. Kroenke is the first NFL owner to step into LA with property big enough to put a NFL size stadium since the NFL left the market.

      • Gary Weed

        David, you do realize ESK was on the board of Walmart at the time that WALMART purchased the land in 2012 right?? This was essentially a transfer of ownership with no money changing hands because Kroenke would essentially be paying himself. Plus 60 acres is NOWHERE near big enough to put a state of the art stadium and enough parking to make it work. In comparison, Cowboys Stadium (just the stadium) covers 73 acres. That does not include parking. Yes, I know Hollywood Park is now closed but the city will not just hand that over.

        • The Truth

          Again.. Walmart did NOT purchase the land in 2012. It was 2004. The Walmart voting initiative was in 2004.

          Kroenke was on board of directors of Walmart from 1995-2000

          Seriously, do you just make this crap up as you go along?

          Funny you would choose the largest stadium in NFL In comparison. “lol’ Try using the new Niner stadium (40 acres ) Try using the Colts stadium in Indy (38 acres ) try using Seattle’s home field ( 21 acres ) etc..

        • David Graham

          Gary, Even if he was on the board it doesn’t matter. Walmart sold the land last month to KSE(Kroenke Sports Entertainment). It’s a transaction that can’t be done under the table. Two seperate companies. Board member or not he can’t make a decision to sell a company owned property to one of his companies. You’re missing the point that Walmart owned it and sold it. Kroenke bought it last month. Oh and as far as the acres goes….CenturyLink/Lucas Oil/Levi/Veterans/ED Dome as well as others all sit on less than the 60 acres Kroenke purchased…some much less.

      • Shane Gray STL Rams

        Yes, the L.A. land purchase is indeed a huge chess piece in this game of poker, of that we can agree, David.

    • The Truth

      Weed. Just how ignorant are you? Obviously quite so, because not so long ago, you were running around the net claiming that it wasn’t Tavon Austin at the NFL collegiate bowl, but rather a Tavon impostor. How is anyone supposed to take your tin-foil hat wearing idiocy seriously?

      Public records show the Kroenke land deal was closed on Jan 15th 2014. What part of that aren’t you comprehending? The land was purchased in 2004 by Walmart (Not Kroenke ) and County records do show that in May 2004, three parcels that comprise the 59.8-acre site changed hands for an aggregate of $41.4 million.The city then turned down the Walmart (Not Kroenke) initiative in April of same year.. again,2004, not 2012. It has sat vacant since.

      Wal-Mart and Stockbridge (Owners of Hollywood Park) struck a deal for the site in 2008, but the transaction never closed. MSG (Owner of the Forum) also made a run at purchasing the lot in late 2013, but right before a scheduled meeting with Walmart, they were told a buyer had been found.

      So, in closing, how long are going to try to spread the wrong information?

  • Guest

    Bring Back The Los Angeles Rams!
    Like the Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/losangelesrams

  • Joe Phillips

    Bring Back the LA Rams! Like and support the page! http://www.facebook.com/losangelesrams

  • Worthy James

    Obviously the purchase got the attention of Jay Nixon, etc. The leverage is there, although Stan’s always had it in regards to St Louis. I will say he turned up the temperature a bit though. I think an overlooked angle is the leverage that Kroenke acquired in the leagues ongoing negotiations with AEG. Everyone knows that Phil Anschutz is as shrewd a negotiator as Kroenke, so this may help SK obtain a more favorable deal at Farmers Field. One thing is for certain, after 20 years of LA leverage stories, such a purchase is unprecedented. At very least, it is an extremely viable option for Kroenke.

    • Shane Gray STL Rams

      Although I agree with most of your post, unless Farmer’s Field makes massive changes to it’s proposal, it has little chance of ever getting off the ground.

  • Brett Shepherd

    shane….didn’t you write the same bs about 2 weeks ago?

    • Caponie

      Shane is nothing more than a clueless hack

      • Shane Gray STL Rams

        Caponie, you should state this a few more times. So far, you have posted this three times. Thanks for the laughs. :)

    • Shane Gray STL Rams

      No, I have not written on the stadium of late, but thanks for the classy question. I hope all is well and blessed for you in the ATL anyhow, homie.

  • Brett Shepherd

    same article, different week

    • illusion87

      Cry somewhere else. Rams are St. Louis’ team, we won a Superbowl within years of being here and all those years in LA, where’s your superbowl ring at?

      STL!!

      https://www.facebook.com/KeepTheRamsInStLouis

      • Caponie

        illusion87 the Rams won a NFL Championship in L.A.. You are a typical clueless St. Louis sports fan. Do a little research before you open your mouth moron

        • illusion87

          An NFL Championship != Superbowl Championship. Your WW2 era win doesn’t count in today’s league. Try again though. STL>LA.

          • Caponie

            It dosen’t? Then why are the Packers listed as the team with the most Championships with 13? What they won 13 Super Bowls. I’ll say it again you are a clueless St. Louis sports fan. Now go away little brain.

          • illusion87

            Clueless and St. Louis sports aren’t in the same sentence. There’s a reason we are known as the best fans in baseball, and LA is known to the rest of the country as having a fickle, bandwagon fan base.

            Why doesn’t anyone count Chicagos baseball championship in 1915 in the Federal League with todays numbers? Because it’s a different league! The fact remains, that the 30 odd years LA was in modern day NFC-AFC NFL, they never won a superbowl!

          • Caponie

            So with your (and I say this while I bite my tongue ) logic the Cardinals only have 5 world championships not 11 because 6 of them were won before blacks and hispanics were allowed in baseball so the first 6 don’t count because it wasn’t in the modern era of baseball. You’re right St. Louis is a great baseball town but it’s not even close to a great football town.

          • The Truth

            Yep Caponie.

            All the St Louis Cardinal world series titles before the league was integrated in 1947 don’t count.

            It was a different league then. A segregated league.

            That means the Dodgers have won more titles (6) than the Cardinals (5) in the “modern era”

            Dodgers>Cards

          • Caponie

            And what he dosen’t realize is that in 51 when the Rams won the NFL title they did it by throwing the football. They were playing the way the offense’s in the NFL play today. Can’t get more modern than that.

          • illusion87

            It doesn’t matter, it was a different league, you guys are pathetic! Ask anyone outside of LA how many wins the LA Rams have, answer = 0. How many do the St. Louis Rams have = 1.

          • The Truth

            Yawn! Same St Louie spin.

          • illusion87

            Truth hurts huh.

          • The Truth

            Don’t know. Haven’t seen it from you.

          • illusion87

            Wat.

          • Caponie

            You are a first class moron and you’re a hick. Now go fuck your butt ugly sister again. Nobody else will

          • illusion87

            Truth hurts doesn’t it. Thanks for replying with an un-opinionated and intelligent reply, it really makes your point stronger.

          • The Truth

            Yawn redux.

          • illusion87

            Most of the Championships in Brooklyn, NY then if you’re going with that ridiculous idea. (BTW did you know Branch Rickey was a long time farm system guy in St. Louis for the Cardinals?) The league had different rules, yes, but it was still the MLB, with the championship being the World Series. The Cardinals have 11 of those, the Dodgers have 6. The difference here with Football is that the leagues were actually separate, and when merged, is why they created a new championship, called the Superbowl. Do I really need to give a history lesson to you, do some research before you open that mouth! Birds>Cards, historically and in modern day.

            What happened in the NLCS big boy, with double the payroll of the Cardinals you guys couldn’t even get past a team of rookies in St. Louis! Just sad! Hopefully this year with 3x the payroll of the Cardinals you guys can stand a chance, even so, it won’t be respected by anyone outside of LA or New York. That’s typical LA for you though, rather than take time to work on a team (or work on something), just throw money at it until it gets better, look at Magic Johnson!!

          • illusion87

            HAHA you guys are absolutely clueless, it’s quite sad. Regardless of the rules, it’s been the MLB all that time, with the World Series as the championship the entire time… The Cardinals have 11 of those. The Superbowl was not the championship prior to the 1970 year… The LA Rams have NO superbowl wins. /next

          • Guest

            OK then. So all the St Louis Cardinal world series titles before the league was integrated in 1947 don’t count. It was a different league then. A segregated league.That means the Dodgers have won more titles (6) than the Cardinals (5) in the modern era Dodgers>Cards

          • illusion87

            Regardless of the rules of the league, the league is still the same, and the championship is the same, that being the World Series, Cards=11, Dodgers=6. The league changed in football, as well as the championship. How many Superbowls do the LA Rams have = 0, STL = 1. #tooeasy #next

    • David Graham

      It’s a copy and paste thing after breakfast with Bernie.

      • Shane Gray STL Rams

        That’s funny, David. I have spent as much time — perhaps more time than anyone — studying this topic from a multitude of angles over the last few years, including talking with NFL people, people within the city, media across the country and digging into the facts on relocation, the L.A. situation, SK’s background, etc. While I respect Bernie and count him as a friend, the BWB you mentioned had no impact on the column above, nor my column (touted by ESPN’s Mike Sando as the best on the topic to date last summer anywhere) when I researched and penned that piece.

    • Shane Gray STL Rams

      Actually, Brett, much of it is different than any post columns I have written on the topic — including emphasizing that those completing writing off the potential of SK building a stadium in L.A. are off base. Hope you are doing well.

  • David Graham

    It’s well documented by Goodell and NFL owners that the league isn’t expanding. If the league was going to expand, they have AEG and Roski both sitting with shovel ready stadiums. Why isn’t the league jumping at such a great opportunity? Because they aren’t expanding. 32 is the perfect number and they would have to share revenue with new owners. $1 billion in expansion fees would be lost revenue in time with the extra owners taking TV revenue and other shared revenue from the existing owners. Again, if the league was thinking of expanding, they would jump at the chance of AEG or Roski joining the owners club. Neither of those stadium projects will be on the table for long. Based on your thoughts a new owner building a brand new stadium in LA that could be used for SuperBowls and still keep LA open for league leverage for a 2nd team. Expansion isn’t happening just like everyone associated with the NFL has said.

    • Robert Sanford

      hate to burst your bubble but goodell said nothing about AEG, except build your stadium……and Roski cant own anything in the NFL with his casino intrests he has…..as Goodell has stated many times…Build a Stadium…..we will come. The NFL owns the LA market. The LA business people want to put the cart before the horse.

      • David Graham

        My point was that the NFL isn’t expanding. Not bursting any bubble with your non information. I was pointing out that if the league was expanding, they have options right now that won’t be there most likely next year. Both projects are set to go another direction if they don’t have a team in place soon. The St. Louis media is the only source that continues to spout off about expansion even though every NFL representative has stated the league isn’t expanding. Again, if they were, there is nothing stopping them from searching out legitimate potential owners in the LA market. Why aren’t they starting the process? Because they aren’t expanding. Don’t tell me they want to keep LA open for leverage. The NFL is said LA is close and adding one potential expansion team in LA and one somewhere else would still leave LA open for leverage for a 2nd team. Moral to the story is the NFL isn’t expanding…it will be a relocated team just like Jerry Jones said.

        • David Graham

          Goodell has never said build the stadium first. Again, where do you guys get this stuff? AEG and Roski have both said they won’t build before they have a team. Smart move by them. Nobody from the NFL has told them they need to build it first. Anyway, Stan will build it himself right in Inglewood. Of course he will move them into the RoseBowl or Colliseum first while it’s being built. Plenty of teams have moved before the stadium was built.

          • Worthy James

            You absolutely right David. Anschutz has already said he would be willing to buy 100% of a team if need be. Think he wouldn’t have spoken to the league about expansion if that was the plan. He couldn’t own it as a corporation (AEG), but he would own them as an individual. Soon-Shiong would also have jumped on it.

          • Shane Gray STL Rams

            What you seem to be oblivious to is that nobody wants anything to do with the AEG plan as constituted, whether via relocation or expansion. And SK is not a seller anyhow, so that point is moot.

          • David Graham

            What you seem oblivious to is the Fact that Goodell said the league isn’t expanding. Bob Costas took something he said and twisted it. Goodell never back tracked…he said the NFL has no plans for expansion. Jerry Jones said there will be a team in LA soon and it will be a relocated team. Don’t tell me about some made up behind the scenes talk that you think you know about. I’m telling you that everyone involved with the NFL has said the league isn’t expanding. Doesn’t fit your agenda does it?

          • Shane Gray STL Rams

            David, as I said, you are flat out wrong on NFL expansion. Believe what you want to I will know what I want to. Thanks. And fyi, Costas didn’t twist anything.

          • David Graham

            Steelers president Art Rooney II, chairman of the NFL stadium committee, is among the owners most plugged into what appears to be the inevitable return to LA. Because there are no plans to expand the 32-team league, a Los Angeles franchise — or franchises — would result from a relocation.

            http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/2417238-85/nfl-angeles-los-stadium-steelers-team-rooney-season-guys-lot?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+tribunereviewsteelers+%28Steelers+Stories%29#axzz2tncPciG4

            “There won’t be any expansion,” he said. “So it will be teams that move.”

            http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000220639/article/jerry-jones-two-nfl-teams-could-move-to-los-angeles
            There’s 2 quotes from 2 of the NFL owners. I’m not sure how you continue to deny that they say a relocated team not expansion. I guess somethings get lost in translation between the truth and St. Louis media.

          • Shane Gray STL Rams

            David, you can think what you want to in regard to some of the surface things said regarding L.A. After all, it has worked so well for nearly 20 years, right, and hasn’t proven to be leverage talk time after time after time, correct? I stand by what I have said 100%. So at this point, I will respectfully disagree with you. Quoting Jerry Jones on these matters, as pointed out above, is somewhat laughable.

          • David Graham

            Shane, Jerry Jones sits at the big boy table in NFL meetings. Art Rooney is on the stadium committee. I guess ignoring those quotes makes it easier to spin your agenda. The fact that they are both big time NFL owners, speaks much more to the current situation than your supposed research on the matter. Feel free to stay ignorant to what the NFL owners are saying about expansion and a relocated team to the LA market.

            Let me add that this land in Inglewood was being pursued by more than one NFL owner according to the Mayor of Inglewood. I guess the other owners interested just wanted to build something for soccer. Also, after it was reported that these owners were interested, is when Goodell came out with his 2nd memo about the league controlling the LA market. Stan informed the league and purchased the land. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that NFL knew about the purchase and strong armed the teams involved. I think they made sure it was Kroenke that purchased the land. After all the NFL has said they will return to LA the right way. LA Rams with a built in fan base is the perfect way!

          • Shane Gray STL Rams

            Everyone knows about the Dodgers thing, and the NFL was already preparing to deal with the cross ownership issues. Well aware of the league memos, etc. You can (and are) reading into it what you want to.

          • Eric Geller

            Shane – buddy – thanks for the plug….I think. Seems you’ve got it all figured out in all of your “war & peace” diatribes which are obvious clues that St. Louis IS Worried about the L.A. Rams. You actully say that the threat is real.

            http://onanygivensportsday.com/2014/01/27/st-louis-admit-it-youre-worried/

            You can say what you want. Using “L.A. as Leverage” has greatly diminished because the Chargers and Raiders really don’t want to leave their respective cities.

            The NFL has said NO EXPANSION. And if the League were to expand why would they put TWO EXPANSION TEAMS in Los Angeles at the same time. Do you really think the L.A. entertainment consumer would want to pay upwards of from $300 to $3,000 per seat – not to mention PSL’s – for five years of bad football by two teams with no history whatsoever?

            I agree with you – at some point the league will probably expand to 36 teams. I can see Los Angeles possibly getting an expansion team. Not two. The possibility is very real that L.A. could get a relocated team with a built-in rich history in Los Angeles to profit from the existing solid fanbase as well as an expansion team for the newer, younger people.

            There are many things to consider. A relocation fee is an obvious one. What makes you think some corporation in L.A. wouldn’t help an existing owner with the relocation fee in return for, let’s say, naming rights to the stadium.

            If/when the League does expand, it will ask for the same amount from a potential expansion team owner to join the league whether that potential owner wants to put a team in L.A. or Twin Falls Idaho for that matter.

            You never once – in any of your articles (which I like to read by the way) – talk about the teams net worth in St. Louis being in the bottom five of that category of the 32 teams in the league.

            The teams worth – as it sits in St. Louis – at approximately $850 million – is well below the league average of $1.2 billion per franchise.

            You never mention “branding” of the team and how that relates to location, location, location.
            Like it or not, St. Louis isn’t a destination the entertainment industry – and yes the NFL is part of the entertainment industry – is really looking to jump into at this point. Markets change. 20 years ago, that worked for St. Louis and the NFL. Seems it’s come full circle.

            If St. Louis were such a tremendous entertainment industry destination, the NBA would’ve jumped at the market. Not even a mention.

            There’s hyperbole for staying in St. Louis and relocating back to Los Angeles.

            Fact of the matter is your taxpayers won’t want to chip in to pay for another stadium while you’re all still paying for the dome.

        • Shane Gray STL Rams

          Addressed your faulty take on NFL expansion above. Thanks for commenting, however.

          • David Graham

            I addressed you right back with quotes from NFL owners not some made up BS. Like I said, feel free to stay ignorant to what the NFL owners are saying and listening to Bernie. Ignorance is bliss!

          • Shane Gray STL Rams

            Again, think what you want. But if you want to accuse me of making up stuff, you will be blocked. I work with integrity and that’s not something I’m going to have going on. That said, ignorance is indeed bliss for those who can ignore nearly 20 years of the same ol’ stuff yet still be “ignorant” enough — using your word — to fall for it time after time. You can believe as you wish, I will believe as I know. In the meantime, L.A. will continue to get played for the foreseeable future until expansion comes around and/or the very slim possibility someone pays well over $2 billion to make a move into the market/build a stadium, etc.

          • David Graham

            You seem to be the only one that knows the NFL is expanding when everyone associated with the NFL is saying they aren’t. It might be time for a reality check. Take off the tin foil hat and the voices will go away.

            Also, you keep coming up with numbers for relocation fees that nobody knows are accurate. Please provide a link to the information so those of us “Not in the Know” can catch up.

          • Shane Gray STL Rams

            David, there are many people talking about expansion. I am far from the only one. There is plenty of information on relocation fees out there. Many now suggest over $1B. Why in the world would common sense itself let you know — besides the reports — that owners aren’t going to let someone go there without paying up massively as it would both take an expansion spot and take a leverage spot. I have written my column, stand by it in its entirety, etc. I am not going to be your personal research assistant, however. You can go look up whatever you want to beyond to scope of this column. Thanks.

          • David Graham

            Okay, let’s build off of your assumptions. The NFL can collect $1 billion in expansion fees and split that 32 ways. They then have to split TV revenues and shared money with the new owner which cuts into their already guaranteed income. Over time that expansion fee will be gone and the shared revenue will be less.

            Now if they collect the $1 billion in relocation fees, it’s split 31 ways and they don’t share any additional revenue with a new owner.

            Based on the above it seems like a much better deal for relocation than expansion. Of course not in favor of the owner relocating. Although, a team in LA has been estimated to be worth up to $2 billion. The Rams are somewhere in the $800 million range. They can offset the expansion fee with the $1.2 billion in value increase. Of course it’s not recognized income until the team is sold so the out of pocket expense is still huge. Let’s also not forget the Rams played in LA for 49 years and paid a relocation fee to move. Also, the league would gain revenue with a team in the LA market. They aren’t going to make it impossible for a team to move. Relocation fees can be paid in installments also.

            My point is that nobody knows for sure the numbers and how they will be implemented. If it makes sense to everyone involved to increase revenue in the LA market the NFL will make sure they capitalize on it. Again, they have said it’s a black eye on the NFL not having a team in LA and it’s closer than ever to happening.

          • Shane Gray STL Rams

            David, you make good points but you are assuming your math in the current TV deals and current CBA. Expansion would not occur until at or near time for a new tv deal and CBA so the split would not be the same. By your assumption on more teams costing the league and owners shared revenue, you would think the league would be in favor of contracting and dropping to 28 teams or 20 teams or something so that that they don’t have to split as many times. One thing you are overlooking is that new tv deals are almost assuredly going to be larger. In addition, you have more teams with expansion selling tickets, merchandise, luxury suites etc that would be part of shared revenue. So in that way, too, their is more revenue via more teams. There is a reason that thriving companies almost ALWAYS look to continually grow and expand their product, number of stores, etc. In the long run, if you have a business doing well, it ends up generating more dollars, growth and a bigger overall pie. Why would the NFL then want to alienate any existing fan bases when they can keep all the revenues in every market AND expand upon those as well. Rather than shrinking the brand, it makes sense to grow the brand and keep all the markets (each are making money) full and bringing in money.

          • David Graham

            By no means did I suggest retraction. I stand by my original point that 32 is the perfect number for alignment purposes.
            You’re missing the point on growth without expansion. The league can grow revenue by moving the Rams into the LA market without having to expand.
            Also, you’re wrong on the luxury suites being part of shared revenue. Kroenke can double the Rams value and the team revenue by moving to LA.
            I was just pointing out how it favors the NFL to collect a relocation fee instead of a expansion fee, especially using your numbers. If the fee is the same it favors relocation based how it’s distributed and doesn’t effect revenue sharing going forward.

          • Shane Gray STL Rams

            We aren’t going to agree David and I didn’t mean to imply suites were shared. This isn’t going anywhere here tho. U believe a thriving business would rather not expand, something u just don’t really ever see. U believe a thriving business would move any of its profitable locations – and they all are – and abandon those revenues by choice unnecessarily. That’s fine that u wish to believe that but it really makes no sense.

          • David Graham

            You’re right we will have to agree to disagree. If I was an owner I would want to keep my 1/32 size piece of pie and have the pie get bigger. Rather than have a 1/34 size piece of pie that is slightly bigger. I get that growing a business through expansion is a good thing but there are ways to grow without diluting your talent level.

          • Shane Gray STL Rams

            Another thing to consider is expansion could be big in talks of new cba down the road. Why? We’d be talking a load of new jobs for more players if new teams are added. One thing is certain, it will all be fascinating to watch play out.

          • Shane Gray STL Rams

            Besides locals such as Jim Thomas saying $800M plus after his time at Super Bowl when this broke (and Thomas is never one to spout off), there are national people like Peter King who recently said total cost of $2 to as high as $3B for team to pay all it would cost to move. Those are just a couple of examples.

          • Shane Gray STL Rams

            David, thank you for the apology, sincerely. I know these are passionate issues but I would never make up something like that. Time will tell how it all plays out. We are not going to agree on some of these points — at least not for now — so it’s no use beating one another over the head. I apologize for any remarks that seemed rude as well. You have a good evening and keep in touch anytime.

    • Shane Gray STL Rams

      You could not be more off base about NFL expansion. The NFL absolutely wants to expand. I know that doesn’t fit your agenda or your hopes of a Rams return to L.A. that is a slim to none proposition, but it absolutely will happen down the road nonetheless. The NFL has been “off” in having even teams/divisions before. Eventually, 36 well be a well rounded number, if desired. The expansion fees will be extra money as they will come with new and expanded TV deals and a new CBA. Right now isn’t the time for expansion and that is why it has not and will not occur yet. The league would jump at the AEG plan? That is laughable at best. There is not an NFL owner — nor the league itself — that will TOUCH that proposal as is. It is a joke and not tenable. Roski’s site has been sitting there ready to go for five years. It isn’t happening, at least not via relocation. Everyone in the NFL has not said that expansion isn’t happening, to your dismay. League executives and owners, confidentially, have said it is indeed a long term goal. The commissioner said the same before retracting as admitting such was costing various teams leverage. Expansion WILL happen in the NFL. It’s not a matter of if, but when.

  • Worthy James

    One other thing worth noting is that while I’m sure the “leak” was strategic, Kroenke’s overall process was externally accelerated by the adjacent development at Hollywood Park to the south. If Kroenke wants to potentially build a stadium, he was forced to get in gear, before the neighboring developments infrastructure is begun this year.

    • Shane Gray STL Rams

      Actually, that is not true. Again, as stated in the article, Kroenke could have easily worked out the parameters of a deal without making it official now. He IS a part of Wal-Mart, and there is no reason they could not have set it up and ironed it all out without officially closing the deal now. Without any question, this deal could have been “done” without it being done to the point of making it known by anyone at this stage.

      • Worthy James

        The adjacent development plans where the racetrack stands is not a Walmart venture. I would think Kroenke will look to acquire more of that land, or at least lease extra parking if he builds a stadium. That will be more difficult if a housing development proceeds this year.

        • Shane Gray STL Rams

          Yes, he would likely need more land (not Wal-Mart owned) if he were to ever move forward with a stadium/parking/Patriot Place like development there.

  • Gary Weed

    Keep The Rams in St Louis… Rally at Kiener Plaze on 4/15/14 at Noon. Yours truly will be the MC. Live music and former players. Be there!!!

  • Gary Weed

    join the movement facebook.com/keeptheramsinstlouis

  • David Graham

    Funny how you round things to fit your agenda Shane. Why stop at 9 seasons of the worst record of any team? In fact there are 2 teams with only one more win over that span then the Rams (OAK, DET). But when you go with a nice even 10 years or Decade both those teams have a worse record than the Rams and the Browns are the same as the Rams over the past decade. Just stop with the excuses. Stop trying make it out like no other NFL team has been as bad as the Rams and therefore the St. Louis fans get a pass. Truth is there are several teams that have had just as bad a stretch as the Rams and still show up and support their team.

    • Shane Gray STL Rams

      Feel free to go back 10 years, David, as if that changes much of anything. They were still of the bottom 3 teams of that span with the worst five years in NFL history, no winning seasons and no playoff appearances. Whether nine or ten years, they have been absolutely awful, of that there is no argument. It’s hilarious that you want to pretend that nine years is like a little speed bump in the road. Funny stuff.

      • David Graham

        What’s funny is you keep using it like an excuse for the St. Louis fan base being at the bottom of the league for quite some time. There are other teams that have had a bad run over the 10 years and don’t seem to have as much problems with attendance. Detroit and Cleveland have been just as bad on the field but still put more fans in the stadium. Keep playing the poor me…I’m a fan of a bad football team so I have a reason. Not sure Kroenke is buying your excuses….just land in LA!

        • Shane Gray STL Rams

          It’s funny when the truth is put out how a select faction of the delusional group dying for a team that left 20 years ago and is blind to the facts of future expansion, how L.A. continues to get played for leverage until then, etc get their feathers ruffled. None of the teams you mentioned have been as bad as the Rams, had the worst five years ever and NOR are they going through a lease issue in a city that lost a team a quarter century ago. That has many staying away as they feel they are going to lose another team. As the Rams and the commissioner have stated, the support here has been terrific under the circumstances. Yes, he bought land in L.A. Thanks for the news flash I should have included that tidbit in my column.

  • illusion87

    Rams are staying in St. Louis. Midwest = Men who watch football. Westcoast = men who go on dates with their boyfriends in their Prius to Starbucks.

    https://www.facebook.com/KeepTheRamsInStLouis

    • Caponie

      Midwest= guys who go on dates with their sisters.

      • illusion87

        That’s the south, try again. Too many frappe’ mocha carmel machiados for this little west coaster today eh?

        • Caponie

          No it’s the midwest. You’re living proof. Inbreeding is a terrible thing. And I don’t live anywhere near the left coast. And I don’t drink any kind of coffee. Don’t you have to go milk some cows and then sleep with your butt ugly sister?

          • illusion87

            HAHA you’ve obviously never been to St. Louis. There isn’t a farm in sight, it’s gangbangers wearing Rams flatbills. Far from the redneck stereotype your opinionated comical act of east and west coasters assume.

          • Caponie

            You mean like the stereotype you used to describe men who live on the west coast? You should quit now. I am so much smarter than you it’s comical. Like I said it’s the inbreeding with you. Very small brain. Now go your sister is waiting.

          • illusion87

            You are indeed inept, you are getting St. Louis mixed up with Alabama or something, do you not travel outside of your liberal parasitic San Andreas fault line? I’ve been to LA though, and all I see is gay guys driving around Prius’ sipping their Starbucks. There’s a reason there isn’t NFL in LA, your population is too girly for it! There would have to be “family days” where you could bring your “partner” and “adopted children,” the giveouts to all the games would be double sided dildos and condoms. LOL!

          • Joe Phillips

            So your saying a Rams fan base who’s in the bottom of the attendance charts are more football fans than the westcoast super bowl champion seahawks who broke the world record for the loudest stadium? Nice try.

          • illusion87

            Huh.

          • Joe Phillips

            I should have known your small brain couldn’t comprehend that. My bad

          • illusion87

            Huh.

          • Joe Phillips

            Whatever, I’m done with you and your pea brain. I’m not one to give trolls what they want.

          • illusion87

            Huh.

  • Caponie

    “Additionally, the chances of getting any meaningful public assistance for a venue in California, as most are now aware, is slim. In St. Louis, it is very likely that at least some public help (in various forms) would be likely. The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission was nearing a $200 million commitment by the finalization of arbitration”. This is just not true.That proposal called for the Rams to pay half of that amount. This is why you cannot believe anything this hack writes. He knows nothing and he lies to make it look like he knows whats going on.

    • Shane Gray STL Rams

      Actually, you don’t understand what the CVC was contemplating doing beyond the offer of a split. You can think what you want, though. Jim Thomas knows the same, as do others. You know you are doing a good job when you research from a great variety of angles and those opposing what the facts suggest say you know nothing. Thanks for the comment, nonetheless.

      • Caponie

        And you don’t understand either. You know nothing. You lied in your column to spin it the way you wanted it to read. I caught you and now you’ve been exposed.

        • Shane Gray STL Rams

          Didn’t lie whatsoever, nor would I ever regarding any of my columns. You don’t like what I said, fine, but call me a liar again and you will be blocked. Thanks. I take what I do seriously and — as I assume you wouldnt’ — I don’t take being inaccurately called a liar very well.

          • Caponie

            You’re a liar. Block me I don’t give a fuck liar.

  • Holt81

    Great piece Shane. I’m not trying to say a l.a move is impossible but i think l.a is more valuable without a team noted by king and farmer. I strongly believe we have a new stadium agreement in the next 3-5 years. It’s amazing how these l.a fans keep coming on stl sites these folks are scared.

    • Shane Gray STL Rams

      Thank you for the kind words. I appreciate them.

  • sickoe47

    Seems like were only getting the “st louis” side of the story and it sounds biased.since when is it alright to not support your team through rough times?!teams like Cincinnati,Cleveland,green bay,Minnesota and buffalo have had losing seasons and still managed to draw crowds into their stadium.didn’t st louis go through a similar situation with the football cardinals?!were the city didn’t want to pay for a brand new stadium therefore the move Arizona.st louis isn’t even done paying for the EJD (200 million to be exact) and you want the good people of st louis to pony up half for a brand spanking new stadium?!if you even bothered doing some research you would know that the economy in California is on the ups and this is especially true in los Angeles,development is steadily on the rise and investors are ready to spend large amounts of money on projects in and around the city.do you not remember how AEG secured naming rights right away before the stadium was even built?!700 million to be exact,you don’t think stan can persuade a large company to do the same?!relocation is also off the table due to the fact that tv revenues are spilt evenly 32 ways and why would the NFL just expand to one city?!seems like your just biased toward the situation.

    • Shane Gray STL Rams

      All of those teams have been better over than the Rams of the last nine years…even the Bills. None have endured the worst five years ever, either. St. Louis has done a fine job supporting a horrific product. Look at what the mighty Steelers nation did re: attendance this year after being good forever and going 8-8. As for the Cali economy, I have researched it, thanks. In addition, I made no mention of the state of the economy in this column, I simply said public support is unlikely there (as history has shown). Yes, Kroenke tried to buy the Dodgers. And? The NFL was already preparing to deal with cross-ownership issues.

      • sickoe47

        The bengals,browns and bills have had worst streches than the rams have and they still manage to sell out their respective stadiums.st louis have NOT supported the rams during their unfortunate run look at the last 5 years in attendance bottom 4 of 32 teams,look at the television ratings as well,question is why isn’t anybody in st louis watching the rams on tv?!oh that’s right blackout rules.apparently history has shown that st louis is just not a football town,why?!because if the city of st louis really “loved” the rams like u say why did stan kroenke have to buy land in Inglewood to jump start conversations between the team and the city?!

        • Shane Gray STL Rams

          No, none of them have been worse over the last nine years and none of them just endured the worst five years ever… none of them are dealing with the possibility that their team could move in another year, which hurts the gate more than most could imagine. The Bengals have been much better than St. Louis in recent years with multiple playoff berths yet barely sold out a playoff game. That never happened in St. Louis. All three of the teams you mentioned have had blackouts in recent years as well. Speaking of Detroit, they had a year where they were last in attendance before their bounce back (08 I believe) and the Bengals averaged under 50K in 2011.

  • Marty Griptite

    We need to keep what we have here in saint louis. If we are looking to grow not only as town but as an emerging city on the map, the Rams facility is a good place to start.

  • illusion87

    Shane, great read, thanks! Me and some buddies had our weekly poker match in my Mizzou, Blues, Cardinals, Rams and AB mancave last night. This article was a great discussion started and we all believe the Rams are staying in this great city!

    STL till I die!

    • Shane Gray STL Rams

      Appreciate those kind words, illusion87. Thanks.

  • Gerald Reynolds

    Shane again your the spin doctor here. Spouting the same old stuff. Someway, somehow, good old Missouri Stan will stand by his people and forget about the billions to be made in LA. Its truly amazing. If Stan has bought 60 acres in Fenton, you would be singing to the heavens that Stan is staying. Stan buys 60 acres in LA and its a ploy to get St Louis and Missouri listening to move them into action. Have you not been paying attention? Nixon has been trying to talk to Stan but Stan doesn’t want to talk to him. Demoff is trying hard not to say anything that will hurt season ticket sales for 2014 but, Demoff has said nothing about the Rams being committed to St Louis. Infact Demoff said he cannot guarantee where the Rams home will be beyond March 2015.