The 40-minute press conference officially introducing the Rams back to Los Angeles after more than 20 years quickly became a love-fest for the man who will build Kroenkeworld. At the event, the Stan formerly known as Silent continued his newfound candor, speaking to the crowd and, for the second time this week, showing real emotion when talking about the team returning home.
As chronicled by Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times, the roughly 200 Rams fans who attended the event wearing blue and yellow jerseys that the Rams at first will wear on throwback days only (apparently) turned varying shades of red when the subject of a powder-blue partnership was broached.
“We can’t wait for the day to welcome a second team into our building to help have a true AFC-NFC rivalry which will be special,” COO Kevin Demoff said to the crowd, in reference to the looming arrival of the Chargers.
Per Farmer, this remark triggered boos and other negative noises from the Rams fans. The ruckus quickly became loud enough to interrupt Demoff.
“We don’t want them!” some fans shouted, according to Farmer.
The discord returned as owner Stan Kroenke fielded a question about the Chargers sharing space with the Rams. Farmer explains that the boos nearly drowned out the question.
“Stay in San Diego!” some yelled.
“We’re immediately engaged [with the Chargers] talking about what some kind of deal might look like,” Kroenke said. “We’ve offered several iterations of that, so we’ll see where that goes.”
If Rams fans get their way, it would go nowhere. And even though Kroenke will realize significant revenue by either accepting the Chargers as a tenant or full partner, he surely has to at least wonder what it would mean to control the L.A. market, like the Rams did before the Raiders moved there in the early 1980s.
It wouldn’t be easy to kill a possible deal with the Chargers, especially since the Raiders then would acquire dibs. The deal to allow Kroenke to move the Rams from St. Louis specifically was structured to ensure that he will be reasonable in his negotiations with a second team.
Still, if Kroenke at some point becomes as determined to hoard L.A. as he was to get there, it would be unwise to bet against him.