Grubman: It’s unfair to raise Kroenke’s net worth in assessing public contributions

AP

The extended, 40-plus-minute radio interview of NFL executive V.P. Eric Grubman by Bernie Miklasz of 101 ESPN in St. Louis started with a claim from Grubman that none of the three cities faced with losing their teams have submitted “compelling proposals.” The discussion later had a compelling exchange between Grubman and Miklasz regarding the question of whether a reduction in the public contribution for a new stadium from $400 million to $300 million should prevent a deal being done with St. Louis.

Citing the $7.2 billion net worth of Rams owner Stan Kroenke, Miklasz said this: “I would think that if I were a gentleman who cared about this city and who benefited when the Rams moved here to take advantage at the time [of] an incredibly prosperous lease at the Edward Jones Dome and now sees the city less than 25 years later trying desperately to raise $400 million [in] public money to get everything done and understand that an effort has really been made on my behalf, even if it wasn’t the ideal situation, I would like to think that I’d be the kind of person to say, ‘You know what? The city has tried. This is the second new facility. There’s been an amazing commitment of public money, if you talk about the two facilities. My product has been lousy, really lousy. I have not engaged the fan base, I have not exactly cultivated goodwill. These people in my home state are really, really making an effort. And, yes, there may be flaws. It may not be everything that I want. But I have a conscience, and so I’ll work with them.’ I think if I were worth $7 billion, that would be my attitude.”

“I’m going to challenge that,” Grubman shot back. “I don’t believe you. And you don’t believe yourself. . . . Because what you’ve just said is, ‘If I’m worth $7.2 billion, the difference between $400 [million] and $300 million as a public contribution isn’t going to change it, and I’m going to work with them at [$]300 [million] even if it’s not [$]400 [million]. I call B.S. on that. . . . Because if your logic follows, then somebody worth [$]7.2 [billion], if it goes from [$]400 [million] to zero should feel the same way. . . . It’s the same thing.”

Miklasz disagreed strongly, and Grubman then said, “OK, so it goes to [$]200 [million].”

“You’re sort of playing a board game here,” Miklasz said.

“I’m hoisting you on your own petard,” Grubman replied. “You’ve always made the business argument, and now what you’re trying to do is make a business argument with emotion.”

“Are you telling me that in the National Football League that there is no room for sentiment, loyalty, it’s all nothing but business?” Miklasz later said. “Is that way you guys stand for? Nothing but business?”

Grubman then mentioned that owners should not do something that is “suboptimal” for them, simply because they have a high net worth like Kroenke.

“That’s not life,” Grubman said. “Life is he’s got options. Everyone has options. And they have to weigh those options against one another, and it’s not fair for you to bring up that person’s net worth to say that makes the difference between $400 million and $300 million.”

For starters, Kroenke’s current net worth is $7.7 billion. (So, basically, we’ve just found the $400 million, plus another $100 million.) And his wife’s current net worth $4.2 billion, which makes the couple worth $11.9 billion.

So it really is business and not emotion to consider whether a multibillionaire can use the threat of moving to obtain a significant public subsidy to stay. Sentiment and loyalty are great when they help the NFL sell merchandise or pander to specific demographic groups or put together a memorable cold open for a Thanksgiving Day broadcast.

But sentiment and loyalty definitely aren’t part of the stadium-financing game.

When it comes to the stadium-financing game, it’s all business. If Kroenke is going to pay for his own stadium, he’s going to do it in a bigger market like L.A. To get him to forego that option, a smaller market needs to cough up the cash in order to fulfill, for example, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s vision of St. Louis as an “NFL city.”

If a mid-level city wants to be an “NFL city,” there will be a price. For St. Louis to remain an “NFL city,” the current price isn’t $300 million. It’s $400 million.

And the reality is that sentiment, loyalty, and/or the 11-figure combined net worth of Stan Kroenke and/or Ann Walton Kroenke simply don’t matter.

100 responses to “Grubman: It’s unfair to raise Kroenke’s net worth in assessing public contributions

  1. An owner is going to want to move his/her team to where it best suits them. Either personally and/or financially. Same thing happened with the Sonics. Billionaires don’t play fair. Part of the reason they have that much money in the first place. This isn’t fair for fans and cities but life isn’t fair.

  2. It should be criminal to use public money to fund a business owner, with $7.2 billion, private business. You can do a lot with $400 million dollars that will help the citizens a lot more than a football team. See ya!

  3. Look, these guys did not become billionaires out of being kind or compassionate. They got that way by using every bit of leverage they has to get what they wanted.

    I think NFL cities are finally sick and tired of being held hostage by teams threatening to leave. They actually acted emotionally in the past to keep teams or to do whatever it takes to get a team.

    How does Jacksonville feel about getting the Jags or Cleveland feel about the new Browns? Heck, San Antonio build an entire domed stadium hoping a team would move there and the only thing that has happened to them is they get used as a threat when a team wants a new stadium in their current city.

    My advice is all the cities should just stop any and all funding for stadiums. Then, after a few years, the teams will come begging to them.

  4. Let the owners build their own stadiums. For example, see Jerry Jones and the Cowboys. Jerry stinks as a football man and a GM, but he is one heck of a businessman.

    He made good money at the old Texas stadium hosting a variety of events there. And he paid for most of the new Stadium we nicknamed Jerryworld. He is doing the same thing here, using the stadium year round for all kinds of events to make money and it is working.

  5. He’s rich yes, but it is bad business to reach into your own pockets for any reason.

    Just because you have gobs of money does not mean that you need to spend $400million of your own money on one piece of your business portfolio.

    The team is awful yes, but attendance has been bottom three in St. Louis for the past decade. Maybe the city is just not that into them. There are vocal vans yes, but they are clearly the vocal minority.

    Why spend half a billion of your own money to try to stay in St. Louis of all places when you can go to L.A?

  6. The NFL has been involved in every step of St. Louis’s new stadium process ~ meeting several times with the new stadium task force. The governer and mayor have spent a lot of political capital and the city has spent 13 million dollars putting this plan together. At the 11th hour, the NFL VP comes in and says the proposal is ‘not compelling’. Meanwhile, the NFL offers to finance a stadium for Oakland. Be warned small market and mid market NFL cities: the NFL will screw you over in a minute for a buck.

  7. That wretching noise you just heard was middle America projectile vomiting. I don’t assume anyone ever became wealthy by pissing away their money, but for Christ’s sake, several generations of their progeny couldn’t spend all that money.

  8. Just last year Uncle Fester paid $2 billion for the LA Clippers, which was more than they were worth. So, clearly, there’s occasionally some “sentiment” involved in owning a sports team.

  9. Corporate welfare is the best, but even that doesn’t compare to the soothing spectacle of sitting in my living room and watching supremely fit young men destroy themselves with each concussive hit.

    The people should pony up for the BIG GAME, and they shouldn’t complain about it, either.

    I love this game, and yet…

  10. This is something fans should keep in mind whenbowners ask for public money especially when they continuously put out a bad product. Stop supporting the team let thenowners feel the pain, they’ll eventually run out of cities.

  11. I applaud the fans who’ve tried to keep their team in their city.

    But yeah, we’ve all seen (and if you haven’t, bless you) how businesses make their decisions.

    Go ask Detroit.

  12. So we’re to believe that it is worth it for Kroenke to spend almost 2 billion of his own money in L.A because of the years of financial windfall his stadium will generate but if St.Louis comes up with a one time payment of 400 million than that suddenly out weighs the potential profits of L.A …. St. Louis should call Stans bluff.

  13. When people show you who they are, believe them. Through his comments, Grubman has just shown us who the NFL and its owners are. For the fans, sports are about hope and memories. For the owners/NFL, sports are all about the money and any city can lose their teams through the money grubbing actions of owners.

  14. Think the last thing Roger & Co. need is a long discussion of owners’ net worth vs. public subsidies of their private-profit anti-trust exempt businesses.

    In this political climate they’re going down that road. Roger is not earning his own $40 million a year letting that narrative creep along.

  15. Kroenke doesn’t need to take this bs from St. Louis. He’s a proven winner; 2 time Stanley Cup champion and was in the top payroll every season before the salary cap was put in place. Competed for the Stanely Cup each season.

    Also, made the Nuggets the highest paid team in the NBA for several seasons trying to win a NBA championship. That’s when Scott Van Pelt coined them the “Rich Creamies.” They did come within a game of the NBA Finals if you recall the Lakers vs Nuggets Western Conference Final.

    So St. Louis should realize they had the right owner and blew him off. He’ll now go win in LA.

  16. That NFL dude just hoisted the entire NFL fan base on one giant “petard”.. They don’t give a flying ____ about fans, about players, about loyalty..show me the money!!! If they could push an old lady into traffic to pick up the dime she was standing on they would. And we just sit there and take it

  17. And its hilarious that this NFL nerd goes Shakespeare’s Hamlet on this guy. What an ivy league d bag. He doesn’t care one ounce about fans or football. Its a job. Period. The gooddell legacy will be just that, we screwed over every city, fan and player as hard as possible to make as much as possible.

  18. I think having a NFL franchise nearby is a great thing for the fans. It inspires hometown loyalty, and gives us 12 months of entertainment. I would hate for my team to leave. However, since the real economic benefit to a city is a break even proposition at the very best, I wish some of these “mid-level” cities would tell there teams to vacate the premises by 12:01 am the day after the lease lapses. If the owners want fancy state of the art stadiums, they should pool their resources and build them themselves. Surely their credit is good enough, and they supposedly share everything else.

  19. I can understand a city waiving some zoning rules, or paying for a new road/rail station to the stadium etc as the latter has other benefits but I am in no way convinced that spending $400million on what’s essentially a plaything for a rich guy is a good Use of public funds. Think of the teachers/police officers, heck even guys that clean up graffiti that could be employed with that cash

  20. So a net worth of 11.9 billion. I can see why they wouldn’t want to carve 400 million off their cash pile – heck, that only leaves a daily budget of $630,000 for the next 50 years….

    Is Bernie Sanders starting to make sense?

  21. In other words, threatening to leave is bad, but using guilt and sentiment is good, especially when it comes to spending other people’s money. Got it.

  22. I see the interviewer’s point. I also see the interviewee’s point.

    If I were Kroenke, and I were inclined to stay in St. Louis, I would feel compelled to go ahead and confer that $100M difference.

    However, Kroenke has not shown any inclination to stay. He bought the franchise presumably with the intent to move it. He doesn’t have the old school loyalty roots of the Rooney or McCaskey clans. If he wants to move, loyalty has nothing to do with it, only business.

  23. Sounds like Grubman is a wannabe billionaire. How cute, listening to NFL execs discuss big business.

    Cut your pretend logic, and get over yourself. A stadium is an investment. If a man worth $7.2B spends $400M on a stadium instead of $300M, it makes no difference. It’s an investment he can afford out of pocket.

    It’s not like he loses resale, Grubman, he’s a billionaire. He is part of a club. Keep scratching at the door, you aren’t invited.

  24. This isn’t a shock to consider that it’s the way NFL owners feel about doing business, but it is sad to read it stated in such cold terms. It also says, very loudly and clearly, that the Rams are headed out of St. Louis. No matter where you stand on this, you can’t help but feel bad for the fans there.

  25. Would it help the St Louis’s proposal if they gave the NFL food stamps to stock their concession stands? Why should they only make $9.50 on a hot dog, when they could make $10.00.

  26. Yeah a guy worth $7.7 billion will face severe hardship if he only gets $300 million instead of $400 million.

    How bout this Grubman? You will get nothing and like it.

    These morons in the NFL have no clue of reality.

  27. Grubman is acting like a spoiled petulant child. What a jackass, he’s telling every teams’ fans that they are a bunch of chumps.

    The owners need to fire this bozo immediately. Mark Cuban was spot on when he criticized the NFL.

  28. They should wave goodbye to the stinky rams and go build:
    – The Kroenke Sucks elementary school
    – The Kroenke sucks Hospital
    – The Kroenke sucks freeway

    300 million dollars of public money can give the people of St Louis a proper legacy.

  29. and threatening to leave if the public doesn’t kick in $100 million over the $300 million they can barely scrape up is not an emotional ploy?

    I feel bad for St. Louis fans. Your team’s owner sucks. I guess trickle down does work.

  30. the fans should make a business decision of their own and not spend another dime to see the rams play. he is going to move anyway so why send him off with more of your money? what will be funny is in 10 years when the newness has worn off and the team is losing is him telling the fans of la that are not going to the games he needs a new stadium. the only thing wrong with the dome is it is not as new as some of the stadiums around the league.

  31. Sounds like rationalizing a decision that has already been made.

    Btw, Kroenke and Fisher seem like 2 scumbag peas in a pod….

  32. Maybe if politicians didn’t kow-tow to owners and offer them tax dollars and major incentives to stay in their cities, this would stop.

    Maybe if people didn’t elect politicians who kow-tow to owners, that wouldn’t happen.

    Who’s to blame again?

  33. As a Jaguars fan, I feel more & more happy that Kroenke bought the Rams when he was the minority owner. Shad Khan wanted to buy the Rams & when Kroenke used his option to buy the team, Khan bought the Jags. For all the talk we USED to hear about the Jags moving, that talk has pretty much all fallen by the wayside. Khan has now spent over $75 million of his own money for improvements to a stadium he doesn’t even own. Now if only he could fix our defense, we’d really have something going on in J-ville!

  34. ….Stan is going to come out on the wrong end of this deal….the power structure of the NFL wants ( and will manipulate) a sweetheart deal for the Chargers and the Raiders to stay in California. Stan will either A) Go to LA and fail…B) Stay in St.Louis as soon as the NFL gives him money under the table ..or c) Sell the team to a St.Louis group. I think a last min deal will take place with the NFL (B) and Stan will sell the land he bought to the NFL for a Chargers/Raiders stadium

  35. unkleruckus says:
    Dec 10, 2015 7:21 AM

    I agree with Kroenke. People are always suggesting how other people should spend their money. Business is business, loyalty is for friends and family.
    —-

    that seems to be okay until about the 3rd quarter when a team is down by 3 TDs and fans are racing to the exits.

    IMO, loyalty is a 2-way street that can in fact go beyond family and friends, and isn’t all about money. I’m old enough to remember the handshake deal, and the INTEGRITY present behind one. However I need to keep in mind that everyone doesn’t feel the same way, in order to avoid getting screwed.

  36. In a few years when Pat Bowlen dies, Stan is going to overpay by a few hundred million dollars to buy the Broncos, and then he’ll own all the major sports teams in Denver. He does not care about St. Louis, only about making his NFL team worth as much as possible (an LA team will be worth a lot more than a St. Louis one) so that he can flip it for The Broncos. I’m surprised no one else mentions this as a possibility, it’s the same reason Terry Pegula overpaid for the Bills.

    Also, public financing for an NFL stadium is a terrible idea. Sorry St. Louis, but you’re better off letting them leave.

  37. I am a longtime Steeler fan who remembers nothing of a rebellion against the building of stadiums in Pgh such as goes on now. I also had Bengal season tickets, went to a Super Bowl when they played, have listened to unending praise of the Reds and the super screaming about public money for stadiums in Cincy still goes on. What does all this say to me? Just that Andrew Carnegie did not build nearly enough libraries.

  38. business is fond of saying that government does not support business…well prove it! use your own money, not public money. and don’t take any deductions. all deductions are just a way of saying to the public, ‘you help me pay for this’

  39. “It should be criminal to use public money to fund a business owner, with $7.2 billion, private business”

    How so? The city benefits greatly from having a franchise. Businesses around the stadium benefit, Taxi/ car services benefit, Bars benefit, hoteles, Sports stores benefit from local product sale, etc.

    Building a new stadium that is handcuffed to a super bowl will benefit the local area significantly, likely more so than it will the owner in the short term. Why should the owner take all the risk when he/she will only receive a portion of the benefit.

  40. NFL owns us. They take our public money and create on-field rules we hate BUT WE STILL WATCH! what’s wrong with us? LETS STOP WATCHING ALREADY

  41. I’m a sports fan and have been one for almost 40 years and I can remember being terribly disappointed when I realized that most, if not all venues are publicly financed.

    We live in a time where municipalities simply cannot use public funds to build stadiums for privately owned teams. Not without an ROI for the taxpayer. Let’ em go, St. Louis! Too many other ways to make your town better than by getting in bed with this creep.

    Our nation’s infrastructure is crumbling and we are having this conversation?

  42. I heard the exchange live on Bernie’s radio program yesterday. Bernie pointed out that the public, in less than a year, came up with $400M to put into the 2nd new stadium for the NFL in less than 25 years. That was acceptable last April through November. But now Grubman countered — he considers it $300M because he considers $100M in money raised from the amusement tax as NFL money, not public money, even though the city could rightfully spend that money on roads or schools instead of the NFL stadium if it chose to. Grubman says he takes this position because the tax was waived for the baseball Cardinals. But the Cards paid for 80% of their stadium right out of Dewitt’s pocket. Kroenke will not. So, I believe the NFL is essentially ordering St. Louis to drop the tax waiver for the Cardinals. OK. NFL idea, not ours. I’m surprised the NFL would throw the MLB and Cardinals under the bus like that, but if that is what the NFL demands to fix the financing, let’s do it. The city can use that extra money to remove the remaining stadium funding deficit, and have some left over for schools and roads. Sorry Cardinals, but this was the NFL’s demand, not ours. Take it up with them.

  43. For starters, it was great hearing the pompous windbag Bernie Miklaskz get schooled by a person of higher Iq.
    Secondly, the St. Louis area had their chance to keep the Rams and spend less money to do so by simply upgrading the current Dom, yet they refused.
    NOW, they furiously try to throw something together to keep the Rams.
    Sorry, when you snooze, you lose.
    PS
    Look up St. Louis stadium renovation arbitration to see the whole story. Truly, the St. Louis folks blew it.

  44. The city does NOT greatly benefit from having a franchise. People would spend most of that money locally at other places. Some of the new stadiums capture the fans so that they eat inside the stadium and it doesn’t benefit local businesses. There may be some benefit (slightly higher hotel occupancy if the team gets a play off berth), but at a large cost.
    It’s rarely economically justifiable to spend for a sports stadium. Let the fans pay for it via PSLs if they want to see the games, don’t make the general tax payer subsidize a private business.

    The revenue from a Super Bowl is lessened by the onerous terms the NFL imposes.
    ——————————————–
    pocketsstraight says:
    Dec 10, 2015 9:27 AM
    “It should be criminal to use public money to fund a business owner, with $7.2 billion, private business”

    How so? The city benefits greatly from having a franchise. Businesses around the stadium benefit, Taxi/ car services benefit, Bars benefit, hoteles, Sports stores benefit from local product sale, etc.

    Building a new stadium that is handcuffed to a super bowl will benefit the local area significantly, likely more so than it will the owner in the short term. Why should the owner take all the risk when he/she will only receive a portion of the benefit.

  45. If the city wants the revenue a NFL franchise produces for the area then it should contribute.. If it doesn’t want it then don’t help fund a new stadium but please…. don’t whine and complain when the team moves to a more friendly area.

  46. If you listen to the interview, Grubman all but said outright that Carson will win and Kroenke will come back to St. Louis, but will not sign a 30 lease to play in a new St. Louis stadium that screwed up his big LA plans. He’ll play year-to-year in the dome, at least for a while.

  47. If the “investment” were so great and lucrative, getting people to voluntarily put their money in wouldn’t be a problem. You wouldn’t have to coerce people via taxes to fund a portion of it. If the stadium is built, and the team uses it eight times, the OWNERSHIP group can lease it out for other events. Or a PARTNERSHIP of other PRIVATE INTERESTS can finance the rest. All this comes down to is the stadium(s) in sports are treated as partially the team’s home field/court/diamond and the remainder is a “public work”. What needs to be removed is the notion of a “public work” in the first place. Public works are typically just boondoggles for well connected construction companies AND for Union parasites. In short, the WHOLE of the stadium should be financed by private investors and THEY can figure out how it gets used/turns a profit. Tax Incremental Financing/Bond Issuances and eminent domain abuse are the tools in the hands of BOTH over reaching governments and Big Bad Business that has forged our lovely corpora-f@scistic economy.

  48. If Kroenke stays in St. Louis and plays in the dome, so much for his argument that he needed a $700M upgrade to the dome for the fans — to improve the fan experience. OK. But he would go back to playing in the dome, instead of a new $1B stadium half funded by public dollars and PSLs that would improve the fan experience? This was all a sham to get out of his lease. It was never for his customers in St. Louis.

  49. Ask Arsenal supporters our opinion about silent Stan. How much money did Arsenal spend during the summer transfer window?

    Being also a Buffalo fan, I could not be happier that Kim and Terry Pegula own the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres.

  50. And yet everyone hates on Kraft. He was thinking about moving the team down to Providence but was overcome by the emotional support and following of the NE fans. So what did he do? Didn’t take a dime of taxpayer money and built a brand new stadium with his own pockets.

    What a dirtbag

  51. The people of St. Louis, and the thousands of loyal Ram fans, are, quite frankly, sick of this whole process. Living 20 miles outside the city, I’ve endured the gargantuan amounts of news, talk radio shows, and fan message boards relating to Kroenke and L.A. for far too long.

    The St. Louis Rams hold the record for the worst sustained performance in a 10-year period in the history of the NFL yet the great people in this city have filled the Edward Jones dungeon to 75% capacity for every game, every year up until the current crop of inept management and players appeared on the scene.

    The good people of St. Louis are planning on building a SECOND stadium in 25 years for this inept bunch of underachievers. Quite frankly, this Rams team couldn’t qualify for the Final Four college football playoffs yet this great city has supported them and wants to keep them. That’s loyalty. It’s akin to having gout and being thankful you can still walk.

    As a transplanted Bostonian, I marvel at the loyalty and dedication of Ram fans in this area. They deserve an NFL team and, as soon as the Rams leave, I hope the NFL gives them one.

  52. By funding stadiums, we enable owners and the league more disposable money by not requiring them to obtain 100% private financing. This indirectly pays/finances/enables the following:

    -Supreme Court decisions on the PSI of footballs (how stupid)

    -Greg Hardy beating his GF nearly to death and getting away with it, and then still making huge money

    -Countless domestic abuse cases

    -Coverups to domestic abuse

    -$3 million dollars per catch for Dwayne Bowe

    Here is a deal that should be conceeded by NFL ownership at a minimum. If we fund your stadium, NFL Ticket is FREE to all persons that want it (most likely in a given state, but affects interstate commerce, so who knows).

  53. Billionaires didn’t get that way by being nice or letting money slip away. And it’s not just the difference between $400 million or $300 million but rather the potential of DOUBLING the value of the Rams if they moved to LA, which is what some claim would be the end result.

    It also isn’t just billionaires who go to great lengths over seemingly trivial amounts of money. How many people do you know who are doing just fine financially but will drive halfway across town to save a couple cents on gas? Or go to multiple grocery stores to get slightly better deals on some items?

  54. The Rams have increase in value by a factor of 6 since they moved to St. Louis. Most of the shopping malls around St. Louis have signs in front of them announcing they are owned by Kroenke Group. St. Louis has made Kroenke very very wealthy. So just doubling the value doesn’t impress me — he has to pay a $500M relo fee. St. Louis is just asking for a $200M contribution here in his home market, where hasn’t talked in 4 years. And hasn’t had a winning season in 12 straight seasons. Yet the fans have averaged over 60,000 attendance per year. St. Louis would prefer that he spend all money he made here off of hard working Missourians, instead of near his new Malibu home in the porn capital.

  55. Stadiums, like the Olympics, never benefit the public. Cincinnati passed a sales tax increase to support stadiums and have ended up deep in debt, sold a hospital, and postponed transit investments.

    8 games a year will never repay millions of dollars of investment. Just not gonna happen.

    And, if you don’t want people asking how much you are worth, don’t ask for the people’s money. Funny, when people apply for food stamps, medicaid, or unemployment, they have to disclose personal financial records. You want government assistance? Show you need it.

  56. Go ahead, take your team to La La Land. They are a notoriously frontrunning fan base and if you put the same kind of product on the field there that you did in St. Louis, once the initial thrill wears off, your stadium will be empty.

  57. Rams are gone to L.A. Fantastic! St. Louis stole me by lining the pockets of a cash poor frontiere. Suck it down, St. Louis. Suck it down!!

  58. dawn of food says:
    Dec 10, 2015 10:56 AM

    8 games a year will never repay millions of dollars of investment. Just not gonna happen.

    ———

    make that 7 games in a year the NFL wants you to have a ‘home’ game 4000 miles away from home.

  59. If you’ve made a billion dollars, you’re not a good person. You’ve screwed a lot of people over. Kroenke’s been allowed to get away with it to make his fortune so he will keep doing it.

  60. Good businessmen don’t reach into their own pockets. Yada yada yada. Well, my response is that responsible citizens and public officials don’t bankrupt themselves on bad investments or give money to others for free.

    – Stadiums sit empty for the vast majority of the year.

    – The “jobs” created are mostly minimum wage, part time (game day only), and with zero benefits such as health insurance.

    I’m an LA homeowner and taxpayer. I will lead the campaign to recall any local politician who allows even one cent of taxpayer money to be given to the NFL.

  61. This is really about the precedent the NFL is trying to set, that 20 years is too old for a stadium. They already succeeded in Atlanta and have chipped away in St. Louis. If this precedent takes hold, the following teams will have stadiums that are “too old” in the next 5-8 years:

    Denver, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Houston, Cleveland, Baltimore, Carolina, Jacksonville, New England, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Tennessee, Seattle, Washington.

    The cycle of extortion will never end.

  62. davej13 says:
    Dec 10, 2015 12:34 AM
    Let the owners build their own stadiums. For example, see Jerry Jones and the Cowboys. Jerry stinks as a football man and a GM, but he is one heck of a businessman.
    ___________

    Jerrah got $444M out of the taxpayers for that ‘privately’ financed stadium. Heck of a businessman indeed.

    It is not unreasonable that public funds be used for the required infrastructure support for a project the size of a stadium just as it is for many a major private development that will generate revenue back to the community. It is another to use public funds for privately held land acquisition and actual construction costs and say the resulting complex was ‘privately’ funded.

    Looking at stadiums built in the last 20 years only Levi, Ford Field, The Linc, Gillette and FedEx although involving some public funds can fairly be said to be privately financed because the public funds were used for infrastructure or public land acquisition. Additionally Ford Field, Gillette and FedEx public expenses were one time costs, with no ongoing public expenditure. MetLife, using the existing infrastructure that supported Giants Stadium and requiring no land acquisition, is the only 100% privately funded stadium.

  63. What total and utter scumbags.

    Yes, lets ignore that fact the multi billionaire can easily afford to pay for his own stadium and instead plead poverty and extort a billion dollars from the taxpayers.

    I have stopped watching all NFL games but the Pats and I”m someone who used to watch every single game I could like a religion. I have not gone to the stadium in 4 years. I have not bought any merch in the last 3-4 years.

    I expect this to be my last year watching the nfl in large part because of the disgusting, utlra greedy scum that own the teams.

  64. The sleezy NFL will do whatever it wants. The owners do not care about any city , fan or even if they win or lose. Stan has ran this organization into the ground . What responsibility do the owners have with their teams ? Lose year after year then just move out of town ? STL can have the greatest stadium plan in history and if the NFL is dead set on leaving town it wont matter. This is such BS. This golden goose the NFL has is going to end. Stadiums being financed by cities being held hostage when owners have billions of dollars , is going to end. It simply wont be affordable to the city and states in which they play. I would wager if the owners had to pay for the stadiums , the ones they have now would be just fine.

  65. “Billionaires don’t play fair. Part of the reason they have that much money in the first place. This isn’t fair for fans and cities but life isn’t fair.”

    That and having rich daddies. Actually, it’s mainly having rich daddies.

  66. You’re asking a multi-billionaire to actually have compassion for their fellow man. Sorry, but they didn’t get that obscene wealth by playing by any code of morality. They value accumulating more wealth above anything else. There are exceptions to every rule, however, in which some of the very wealthy feel a need to acknowledge that the less fortunate may have had a part in them realizing their wealth. Those few like Gates and Zuckerberg should be commended.

  67. Redistribution of wealth is never considered socialism when it is being redistributed to the 1%.

    They call that investment.

  68. How well do you think the NFL (or any sports league) will do when all of their franchises are only in major cities? There aren’t enough cities to support all of these franchises.

  69. The NFL is through the Looking Glass. The team with (1) the owner who not only self-funded a new stadium, he kept the franchise in state by buying up the old and obsolete stadium; (2) the best and most innovative coach in the salary cap era, and (3) the quite possibly the best player in NFL history (certainly one of the hardest working and smartest) is under attack by the commissioner while failing franchises are asking for more handouts like they’re Oliver.

    Need we say more.

  70. The Billionaire Boy’s Club can **** themselves. When Bud Adams convinced the gullible voters of Nashville to build him an expensive stadium we were promised no tax hikes, etc. and that the stadium would pay for itself.

    Instead our property taxes doubled within a few years as they diverted money from education to the stadium then sold everyone a ‘for education’ tax hike. They’re millions each year out of the water district.

    And, of course, they have to because the concerts that were supposed to be a major revenue stream have dried up. Nashville is too small for most acts so the stadium was half-empty all the time and promoters abandoned it as a venue because you can’t make money in a half-empty stadium while paying ‘full stadium’ rent.

    Now these spoiled owners want to do the same to Oakland, St. Louis and San Diego. Do yourself a favor, let them walk. Let someone else pay the thousands of dollars every year to have a team that’ll stab you in the back in a decade or so when some other fools decide they need a pro-football team.

  71. johnniemayes says:
    Dec 10, 2015 1:57 AM

    So St. Louis should realize they had the right owner and blew him off. He’ll now go win in LA.

    Yeah, because in 21 years of partial-or-full ownership the Rams have had 4 winning seasons (none since he’s been full owner) and they got rid of all the FO & coaches that gave them that.

    And now the Rams fans have had suffer through 11 solid years of not winning and a spoiled billionaire who blames the stadium for not selling out when it’s, in fact, his crappy team.

  72. Just the latest example of why it’s silly to be such a die hard NFL/sports fan. The only people who truly have emotion and loyalty to the team are the fans as owners see it as just their business. Some players have the loyalty but most see it as their job and money is the priority. This isn’t a shot at owners or players (it is their business/job after all and it’s no different than your average chump working his/her job) but rather more along how naive fans are to think that pro sports are really anything but a business.

    Fans continue to get played as suckers by owners and they’ll keep being played for suckers as long as the fans let them.

    Look at the 76ers as a good example of this. Not only from their embarrassing tank job but how other owners forced a front office change there not because they are sickened by the mockery of the NBA and competitive sports in general that the 76ers tank plan is doing but because it is impacting sales when the 76ers visited teams.

  73. The bottom line is that Kroenecke wants to move to L.A., and he’s rich enough to do what he wants. It doesn’t matter what St Louis offers him. They could pay for the entire stadium and he would come up with a new reason to leave.

    St Louis should just save whatever dignity they have left and say “See ya”.

  74. I’m a broken record on this but I won’t stop saying it. Taxpayers should not be paying for sports venues. They don’t build factories for manufacturers or office complexes for financial companies so why in the hell are they building sports venues for a anti-trust exempt league whose average team employs less than 200 full time people on average? You want to give them tax breaks? Fine? Other incentives? Fine. But building stadiums to the tune of 500 Mill to 1 Bill is just stupid and quite frankly, criminally negligent. Until a few city fathers call their bluff leaving them with the likes of Topeka or Omaha or Boise as their suitors they will keep putting a gun to taxpayer heads. (No offense to those fine cities, they’re all very nice but not what the NFL wants as a venue)

  75. davej13 says:
    Let the owners build their own stadiums. For example, see Jerry Jones and the Cowboys. Jerry stinks as a football man and a GM, but he is one heck of a businessman.
    ________________

    He sure is. He got $444M of taxpayers money for his ‘privately’ financed stadium and is praised for doing it all himself.

  76. phantomgremlin says:
    Dec 10, 2015 12:56 AM
    Just last year Uncle Fester paid $2 billion for the LA Clippers, which was more than they were worth. So, clearly, there’s occasionally some “sentiment” involved in owning a sports team.

    —————————————————–

    That has MUCH more to do with the NBA’s new national TV deal that takes effect next season AND the likelihood the Clippers will be in line to take advantage of the Lakers falling apart of late to land a very lucrative TV deal or if Ballmer is able to do what is planned make the Clippers a true “America’s Team” by having their games available online only and being seen by viewers all over the world.

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