The St. Louis Rams are rumored to be staying put.
Despite owner Stan Kroenke’s steps to move the team to Los Angeles and build a new stadium in Inglewood, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell may be ready to put his foot down and keep the team in St. Louis. League sources say Goodell will be blocking the team’s move, which could be creating a showdown in Missouri.
If the rumor is true, it would waste a lot of work by the St. Louis Rams owner. Kroenke had already bought the land in Los Angeles and put together plans not only for the stadium, but the private financing to put it together. The stadium would involve quite a bit more than just a football field, as the Los Angeles Times noted.
“Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who bought 60 acres adjacent to the Forum a year ago, has joined forces with the owners of the 238-acre Hollywood Park site, Stockbridge Capital Group. They plan to add an 80,000-seat NFL stadium and 6,000-seat performance venue to the already-massive development of retail, office, hotel and residential space, Stockbridge and the Kroenke Group told The Times.”
But NFL commissioner Roger Goodell may be standing in the way of those plans.
“Goodell won’t let Stan move to LA,” an NFL owner told ESPN. “Because Goodell would catch holy hell for moving a team from a market willing to spend hundreds of millions to keep a team.”
Civic leaders in St. Louis have put together plans for a $985 million stadium project, a proposal intended to persuade Kroenke to keep the team there.
There could be problems with the proposal, however. This week, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said he could not extend bonds for a new St. Louis stadium without approval from the Missouri Senate, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
But the efforts to keep the team in St. Louis appear to be gaining steam, a turnaround from just a few months ago when civic leaders had a hard time getting on the same page.In early September, St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bryan Burwell wrote that the entire region needed to be on board if they were to keep the Rams in St. Louis.
“Stop looking at this as a stadium issue and instead envision it as a larger plan that will revitalize the entire region. The most troubling part of the political heel dragging that St. Louis is infamous for is that it plays right into Los Angeles’ hands. The more St. Louis waits, the more Gov. Jay Nixon proceeds with trepidation, the more incentive it gives Kroenke to find a way to put LA in play.”
The St. Louis Rams are not the only team rumored to be moving to Los Angeles. The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers are also in the discussion, but sources say the Rams are the only team making progress.
“The only thing that’s moved the ball in L.A. has been Stan,” Mark Fabiani, the Chargers’ special counsel on stadium issues, told ESPN.com recently. “He changed the world.”
Roger Goodell has already put a stop the the St. Louis Rams relocation rumors before, declaring near the end of the 2014 season that no team was moving to Los Angeles — at least not until 2016 at the earliest.
[Image via Traity]