Dealing in what ifs in news and sports is the product of the 24 hour news cycle with both radio and TV capitalizing on it. It fuels all talk formats. Why? You have to fill time and there’s a lot of it. Further, speculation makes for great theater. A good example of this lies in the speculation that is fueling St. Louis in its efforts to keep the Rams this coming season. However, speculations aside, looks as if owner and Missouri native –Stan Kroenke – will move the franchise back to Los Angeles in time for the 2016 season.
Kroenke’s partnered with the Stockbridge Capital Group. They’re overseeing The City of Champions Revitalization Initiativein Inglewood California, a suburb of Los Angeles. Part of this revitalization project includes the building of an 80,000 seat football stadium which will return the NFL to the Los Angeles area after what will have been a 21 year hiatus.
This isn’t speculation. This is fact. It’s happening and there’s really nothing anyone can do to stop it from happening. And if Kroenke’s building it, it’s going to be the Rams’ eventual home base. If you think otherwise you’re dealing with fantasy.
Last week, a headline from INSIDESTL.com read: “If Kroenke Moves On, Who Could Fill Rams’ Ownership Void?” Shane Gray wrote the article because Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s stadium task force co-head Dave Peacock fired a shot on a St. Louis sports radio show randomly discussing the possibility Kroenke could be forced to sell his team. “The goal is to keep the Rams,” Peacock said during the radio interview. “Teams can be prevented from moving, but owners can move. Ownership can change within a team and that’s probably more palatable than actually moving a team. And I don’t know that Stan Kroenke long-term will own the team. I don’t know that. And I don’t know if Stan Kroenke knows that.”
So, Gray ran with it, discussing possible new owners in the event Kroenke was to sell the team based on Peacock’s theory (a theory conjured up, mind you, with not much evidence to back it).
Speculation can also add a measure of fantasy. Let’s put those two terms together and you have Specu-Fantasy. That’s what Gray’s article is; Specu-Fantasy. Here’s why: Kroenke isn’t going to sell the Rams and no one can force him to. His possible team-relocation back to Los Angeles isn’t a detriment to the league; it’s a benefit to it.
This is a fact (not speculation). Kroenke doesn’t sell any of his sports enterprises; he only buys them. That’s what Gray has written throughout this St. Louis stadium issue in regards to the Rams’ owner, and he’s absolutely correct.
Another important fact to keep in mind about the Rams’ owner as reported via some of Gray’s other articles follows: Kroenke likes to own the real estate and facilities his teams play in. That’s an absolute fact. This is why the NFL’s return to Los Angeles is happening. It’s all thanks to Kroenke. He owns the Rams and the land he’s building his stadium on in Inglewood.
Here’s another fact for you regarding Kroenke and the Rams’ Edward Jones Dome lease, specifically that Top Tier stipulation. Kroenke doesn’t have to fork out a red cent of his money to ensure the EJD becomes one of the top eight stadiums in the NFL. The state of Missouri and the city of St. Louis is responsible for every penny.
And after an arbitrator ruled in favor of the Rams $700 million renovation proposal of the EJD over the CVCs $124 million proposal, that gave Kroenke and the Rams free agency which Kroenke is taking full advantage of now going year-to-year able to leave when he needs to. That’s happening because of another fact. According to Forbes, of the 32 NFL teams, the Rams are dead last in value at $930 million which is way below the $1.4 billion average per franchise. These facts make the proposed $900 million St. Louis Riverfront Stadium worth as much as the renderings for AEGs now defunct Farmers Field.Nothing.
Here’s why the value rings in at nothing. For that Riverfront Stadium to be built, it will require Kroenke to fork over somewhere between $200 million to $400 million. What makes anyone think he would fork over that much coin for a non-existant stadium when the only stadium that matters is the one his team currently plays in, the EJD? And remember, the top tier stipulation in his EJD lease says he doesn’t have to fork over one red cent to make the EJD one of the eight best in the league.
Here’s another fact for you. It’s all about Location! Location! Location! Los Angeles- the home of Hollywood a.k.a. the Entertainment Capital of the World – is a much more desirable and valuable media market place than St. Louis ever was or will be. Period. If Kroenke’s going to shell out between a quarter of a billion to half a billion dollars of his own coin to build a football stadium, it stands to reason he’ll do that in a market place that will increase the value of his team minimum three times its current value which is dead last in the league.
That’s exactly what he’s doing with his real estate investment in Inglewood. Kroenke’s increasing the value of his team from dead last to top five in the entire NFL.
And let’s not go the “L.A. lost three teams because they couldn’t support them. What’s any different now?” route. That is nothing but a tired lie.
Nothing’s different. Los Angeles has always been able to support the NFL. The Rams first called Los Angeles home for 49 years prior to the move to the Mid-West in 1995. Georgia Frontiere moved the team not because there wasn’t a fan following, but because she was offered hundreds of millions of dollars by St. Louis and only after she purged the team of its best players driving the team into the ground.