Before I start ripping on the NFL, allow me to apologize to St. Louis. I can’t say I know the feeling of losing a team but from what I’ve heard, it feels like losing a close friend. The city of St. Louis and it’s fans deserved better than the way Stan Kroenke treated them.
The entire process that resulted in the Rams returning to Los Angeles was about one thing and one thing only. Money. During the press conference after the NFL announced the Rams relocation to Los Angeles, Kroenke made it seem that he had no choice but to relocate to Los Angeles when that simply wasn’t true. The city of St. Louis offered Kroenke and the Rams 400 million dollars to fund the building of a new stadium.
Your telling me that wasn’t enough “resources” to stay in St. Louis? Come on.
Kroenke led the city of St. Louis on pretending like he was ever going to consider a new deal. He lives in Los Angeles and had his mind set. Los Angeles could offer more money for a stadium, and more revenue that can go right into his pocket.
During the interviews after the NFL meeting, Goodell and Kroenke continued to use unexplained, brief comments about what L.A. has to offer such as Goodell saying the stadium is “what we believe will be responsive to the kind of things we need to be successful with the fans”. Goodell and Kroenke continued to use this phrase and never really described what kind of “things” they need to be successful.
That thing they need. Money.
Lets be clear when talking about how this process works when building a new stadium. The owners don’t pay for the entire stadium. The majority of the funding actually comes straight from the tax payers. Yet the revenue streaming in goes only to the owner.
Lets use the Miami Marlins as an example. When the MLB club built their brand new stadium that even had a aquarium surrounding the field, it cost 515 million dollars. However the Marlins only paid 155 million dollars. See the problem there? When asked about where the revenue goes, Marlins president David Samson said they keep everything. In fact he said “That is the goal to gain more revenue”.
So it is no mystery as to why the Rams wanted to move to Los Angeles. They will put up more money to fund a new stadium and Kroenke will pocket the revenue. Win win right? For the owner and the NFL yes but for the fans it is a major loss.
It is disappointing that cities are backed into a corner and threatened that they will lose their team if new stadiums aren’t built. For what exactly? Yes L.A. is a great destination for an entertainment complex as Goodell phrased this project includes. Yet how does a fancy new stadium benefit anyone? Fans don’t need all of these new features and what not to watch a sporting event.
The Chargers and Raiders are a different story. They have the oldest stadiums in the NFL and the leases are up. Oakland hasn’t even proposed a new deal so you can’t blame the Raiders for wanting to go to Los Angeles.
St. Louis didn’t deserve to lose their team. I am happy for the L.A. Rams fans but Stan Kroenke’s intentions are what bothers me. He has continued to pretend that St. Louis ever had a chance to retain the Rams. Here is what the mayor had to say on the manor. ““I have been Mayor of St. Louis since then and I — to this day– cannot ever remember meeting Stan Kroenke, much less engaging with him in any conversations about the future of NFL football in St. Louis,”
“They were not being truthful,” Slay said, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “And they knew we were putting a lot of energy into this. We were being led on.”-ProFootballTalk
I am sure the NFL will come up with a lot of excuses when the L.A. market isn’t interested in a below average team whos owner isn’t committed to winning and is all about money. The NFL ignored the loyalty of St. Louis when L.A. has shown they can be pretty disloyal themselves. Fans in these types of places quickly differ to the beach over the gridiron when things get tough.
This was and always will be about money. It is a business but it’s just a shame how these wealthy owners and the commissioner can go up to the podium and lie about their intentions and act like they give a damn about the fans.
I will leave it there.