St. Louis could become the NFL’s new Los Angeles

Getty Images

Rams owner Stan Kroenke seems to be intent on building a new stadium in Inglewood.  Missouri Governor Jay Nixon seems to  be intent on building a new stadium in St. Louis.  Both circumstances could become very useful for the NFL.

As explained by Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Nixon’s Plan A has become keeping the Rams in St. Louis.  Plan B has become positioning St. Louis to lure another franchise to town.

Per Miklasz, Nixon has identified “core principles” for the stadium project, including placing the stadium “in an area of existing blight,” compliance with environmental regulations, payment of competitive wages for construction, meaningful re-use of the Edward Jones Dome, ownership of the stadium by the public not the team, and no new taxes.

Miklasz also reports that Nixon has made it clear to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that the project is “serious,” and that Nixon is fully engaged in the process.

None of it may matter to Kroenke, who already has made it clear that he’ll build a stadium in Ingelwood, a project that Mayor James Butts made clear on Thursday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio that Inglewood fully intends to build the kind of stadium that will lure one or two NFL teams.

Eventually, it could be a win-win-win-win — even if it doesn’t feel that way for St. Louis for about a decade or so.  First, L.A. gets the Rams.  Second, the Rams get L.A.  Third, the NFL gets a new L.A. in St. Louis, which would become the perennial leverage point for teams that want new stadiums in their existing cities.  Fourth, St. Louis gets a new team — eventually.  Maybe.

The last time an NFL team left St. Louis, it took seven years to replace the Cardinals with the Rams.  This time around it could take longer.  Maybe it will never happen at all.  Until it does (even if it never does), St. Louis becomes the “or else” in every stadium negotiation in every current city where the NFL does business.

So lose the Rams, gain the Raiders.  Or whichever team eventually, and inevitably, finds itself unable to get a new building in its current town.

38 responses to “St. Louis could become the NFL’s new Los Angeles

  1. “…ownership of the stadium by the public not the team, and no new taxes”.

    Sooo, ythey’re gonna spend money, but not increase tax revenue? If so, then the choices are:

    a. Generate the revenue some other way, or
    b. Cut something else, or
    c. Incure more public debt

    I have my doubts that the government is smart enough to pull off option (a), and I’m 100% sure that they’re to cowardly for option (b).

    What was the last choice again? Yeah, its gonna be that one.

  2. Some cities just can’t support unsuccessful franchises. Anyone, well pretty much any city, can support a successful one. L.A. is too enticing of a market to not leave St Louis for.

  3. Great. So in effect, we replace LA with STL as the new go-to-city in which to extort new stadiums from current teams.
    Solution is to move Jaguires (sic) to STL, then LA won’t have a leverage city because no one would ever choose JAX again.

  4. Per Miklasz, Nixon has identified “core principles” for the stadium project, including placing the stadium “in an area of existing blight,”

    I’ve been to St. Louis recently. Trust me, there will be no problem locating a stadium site “in an area of existing blight.” Plenty to choose from.

  5. So does that mean that they’ll be copying the movie “Eddie?”

    In that movie, the Knicks threaten to move to … yep, you guessed it.
    St Louis.

  6. Yes, great idea. Move a team out of St. Louis and then move a new team into St. Louis. I mean, why infuriate one fan base when you can infuriate two? Sounds like a totally solid and logical plan.

  7. Threatening to move to St Louis doesn’t seem to have the same bite as a threat to go to LA.


    Exactly. By moving to LA the franchise increases it’s value… by a lot. By moving to St. Louis, most would either stay the same or lose value.

  8. This is just like the childrens game Musical chairs. The Rams will go LA….The Jags will go St.Louis….and the defunct XFL Orlando Rage will go to Jacksonville……..

    LOL. They Jags are not going anywhere. Only a person that knows nothing about the Jaguars would make suck a idiotic statement. When i come get my lunch today i want super size fries with that.

  9. The Rams will (and should) go to L.A.
    St Louis and Oakland are the leagues weakest markets, so the Raiders could slide to Missouri if the deal is better. Kind of a parallel move, but if the deal is better, maybe…
    Jacksonville has had better attendance than St Louis and generates more revenue than St Louis with mostly worse teams. Other than Shad’s previous interest in purchasing the Rams, I see no connection between the Jags and St Louis.

  10. Fourth, St. Louis gets a new team — eventually. Maybe.

    And have/pay for 2 empty stadiums, genius idea.

  11. Get ready for that corporate welfare St. Louis! I bet that owner suite that you are going to fund is going to be the best in the league!

  12. A vacant stadium in St. Louis owned by the city (even if new), will have absolutely no leverage effect for other NFL teams. Will local governments in Oakland, San Diego, Jacksonville or Buffalo really fear that their team is going to move to what is basically a dying midwestern city?? And remember, St. Louis is a city that has seen more than one NFL team leave its city. Nobody is going to see St. Louis as anything other than an empty threat. And with populations becoming much more wise to the NFL’s (and other sports’) attempts to have taxpayers subisidize their largess, the days of sweetheart deals to keep teams in their current cities (and in stadia owned by the teams, not the cities), will be fading fast. Once the Rams leave STL in a year or so, STL won’t ever see another NFL franchise. No hate here, just reality.

  13. Still waiting to see more than just a circus tent in the background of some artist drawing for that new stadium they’re breaking ground on sometime this year in LA. Does this concern anyone who thinks the Rams are on the way?

  14. Funny how this article fails to mention that if St. Louis builds a new stadium for the Rams, they will not be allowed to move due to the NFL bylaws…

  15. “in an area of existing blight,”

    ladies and gentlemen: introducing your Ferguson Looters…

  16. I’d still rather see the Raiders stay in Oakland. But if they have to move then St. Louis, San Antonio & Portland are all infinitely preferable to repeating the mistake of moving to Los Angeles.

  17. lukebenten says: Feb 13, 2015 1:07 PM

    “Funny how this article fails to mention that if St. Louis builds a new stadium for the Rams, they will not be allowed to move due to the NFL bylaws…”

    Not true. St. Louis already reneged on their deal with the Rams when they failed to keep the dome a top tier stadium. That’s something most people don’t realize. An arbitrator ruled in favor of the Rams, effectively allowing the team to move. And much to the dismay of the NFL, this is still America and the antitrust laws prohibit the league from blocking a franchise move.

  18. Kroenke is the reason the team would / will leave. MLS/NFL is the reason a new stadium will get built. The amount of seats sold for each game is not bad (attendance…different story). The NFL belongs in St Louis, I just wish we had a different owner.

    I’ve watched Kroenke whip a 180 many times, to include screw Shahid Khan. I think the stadium will get built in LA. If a stadium gets built in STL, don’t be surprised if the Rams are in it and a team like Oakland or San Diego end up in LA. Lots of stuff happens behind the seems and if the tax payers foot the bill again, don’t be surprised if Kroenke says…I’ll keep the Rams here…thanks for the help. You never know what that man will do when it comes to money….

  19. What about San Diego? Everyone, is thinks the Raiders will be the second team to move to Walmart Stadium in Los Angeles. I think spano, the owner of the Chargers, has already made a winno – wink deal with the Rams owner, to move to Los Angeles. The Raiders would have options to relocate to San Diego or St. Louis, whichever city gives Mark Davis, the most benjamins, will win out, because of desperation.

  20. The NFL could expand again. San Antonio or Oklahoma City and ST Louis being in the mix. Hard to say as long as Goodell is running the show though.

  21. St. Louis is a great city, (area) I’m not sure what all of the hate is about. Probably judgement from people whom have not sent much time there. The Ferguson incident could of happened anywhere, and has happened in many other places, it just didn’t get as much exposure.

    The problem I see, is that it is more of a baseball town. Plenty of football fans around, and they come out in droves when the team is good. When they are bad, not as much. I still think the Rams belong there, as the Raiders belong in Oakland. L.A. is the same way, fairweather fans, probably even more extreme though. After a number of years of poor seasons, St. Louis I think has faired better than LA would have under the circumstances.

  22. It’s shameful how message boards seem to reinforce the ignorance of people. If you don’t know the facts, what’s the point of making a statement? I’m from St. Louis. I live out West now. Less humidity, less extreme weather. Bad human behavior? MUCH more. Let’s not start casting stones about dying Midwestern cities and riots. If you go on Google, do a search. There are TWO St. Louis urban entities. The city, which is independent, which is locked in size, has a population in the 300K’s. The county is 1M. Combined, St. Louis has a population of 1.3M. Add the suburbs, and there are 3M. After you’re done researching THAT, please go look at the attendance statistics in St. Louis and the profitability of the Rams in St. Louis. When you’re done with THAT, go do some research on the history of the Rams. You MAY be shocked at the teams origins and original name and players and where they played. Not Cleveland, btw. PEOPLE, STOP being lazy, and stop mentioning baseless facts that have no truth in reality. EDUCATE yourselves before you speak or type. You have a right to opinions, but you don’t have a right to create your own truths.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.