The city of St. Louis has committed to spending $150 million to build a new NFL stadium — even though there’s no NFL team committed to playing in St. Louis.
As expected, the vote today at St. Louis City Hall resulted in passage of the plan that would pony up $150 million for a new stadium. That plan, however, is not good enough for the league because it calls on the NFL itself to spend $300 million on the stadium. The NFL says its policies call for spending no more than $200 million.
But while the NFL says the St. Louis plan isn’t good enough, it may be good enough to persuade some owners that the league shouldn’t abandon St. Louis. And with Rams owner Stan Kroenke seeking the approval of 23 other owners to move to Los Angeles, all it takes is nine owners thinking the St. Louis plan sounds good for Kroenke to lose out on the approval he seeks.
So while the St. Louis vote today doesn’t guarantee the Rams will stay in St. Louis, it will make it harder for the Rams and the NFL to claim the city hasn’t supported the team. And if the city is supporting the team, it’s hard to justify leaving.