According to unnamed sources, St. Louis Rams owner Stanley Enos Kroenke – the native of St. Louis named after Cardinals baseball legends Stan “the Man” Musial and Enos Slaughter – has purchased 60 acres of land in Inglewood sitting between the Fabulous Forum and Hollywood Park.
Just enough land to build a top tier football stadium.
Also known as “Silent Stan” for staying out of the media spotlight and rarely speaking publicly when it comes to his business ventures and pro sports franchises, it seems “Silent Stan” opened his office window and, like the TV news anchor in the 1976 movie NETWORK, yelled to St. Louis,
“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
As I wrote in an article earlier this week, St. Louis’ sports media and fans have to be worried about the Los Angeles Rams.
The St. Louis media and football fans said L.A. wasn’t a factor going all-in on the outright lie that L.A. was a failure when it came to supporting an NFL team when in actuality L.A. supported the Rams 49 years prior to their move to the Midwest.
The St. Louis media said it was “in the know” about behind-the-scenes negotiations between the Rams and St. Louis for a new stadium.
They said “Silent Stan” would build his own stadium in St. Louis.
It seems they were half right. He might build his own stadium.
In Los Angeles. Not St. Louis.
The Rams – and Raiders – move out of Los Angeles was all about stadium issues. Specifically, the lack of modern NFL ready facilities in the greater Los Angeles/Orange County areas.
If you’re still not convinced L.A. supported an NFL team, listen to ex-Los Angeles Rams stars Jack Youngblood and Bob Klein in interviews I did with each about two years ago.
Adding Hollywood Park to the shovel-ready Farmers Field site in Downtown L.A., it appears the Rams moving back to Los Angeles is seriously in play.
If St. Louis wasn’t worried about the Los Angeles Rams before, you can bet they are now.
This purchase gives Stanley Enos Kroenke amazing tourque with much leverage in his pursuit of a top tier stadium for his Rams in St. Louis or anywhere.
That “sweetheart lease” negotiated by then Los Angeles Rams GM John Shaw moving the team to St. Louis for the 1995 season has stipulations in it calling for the Edward Jones Dome – formerly known as the Trans World Dome – to be in the top 25% of all NFL stadiums 10 and 20 years into the lease, or the Rams are free to go year-to-year in the Gateway City or move on to greener pastures.
Vilified by Rams fans in Los Angeles and Orange County for orchestrating the move of THEIR team to St. Louis in the mid-90s, it seems John Shaw could end up being a hero for negotiating that “sweetheart lease.”
It’s still too early to really tell what “Silent Stan” will do.
By now you know the story.
Arbiters ruled the Rams’ request for $700 million in upgrades to the EJD were approved while St. Louis’ plan for a $120 million upgrade isn’t an upgrade at all.
St. Louis can’t afford $700 million for a football stadium.
So, now we wait until the end of the upcoming season. That’s when that top-tier stipulation hits year 20 making the Rams free agents to play where they want.
What we do know is “Silent Stan’s” purchase of 60 acres of land at Hollywood Park has St. Louis hearing him loud and clear.
It seems the Los Angeles Rams 20-year road trip might be coming to an end.
Hope you’re still enjoying that “sweetheart lease,” St. Louis!