St. Louis mayor says city won’t pursue another NFL team

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Before the NFL finalized arrangements for the Rams to move to Los Angeles on Tuesday, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay made no secret that he felt Rams owner Stan Kroenke was dishonest about his attempts to strike a stadium deal that would have kept the team in the city.

After the move was announced, Slay issued a statement saying that “the NFL ignored a strong market and viable plan for a new stadium” and called the city a great place to live with or without a professional football team. At a press conference on Wednesday, Slay said that he had no interest in trying to use the work they’ve done on a stadium deal in a bid to get another team to take the Rams’ place.

“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.”

With the Raiders and Chargers in limbo after Tuesday’s machinations, there could be further movement of franchises in the coming years. According to Slay, St. Louis won’t be one of the musical chairs involved in that process.

62 responses to “St. Louis mayor says city won’t pursue another NFL team

  1. Good for them. At least they realize they got played hard & are done with being a pawn to the NFL. Putting this out there now also hurts future owners that try to extort their home cities because its one less viable city they can “threaten” to leave for if they don’t get their hundreds of millions in public funds. STL would just become the new L.A., except with little chance of ever actually getting a team again.

  2. Good for ST. Louis! With tax payers fitting the bill for SOME stadiums (minus LA) and their willingness to threaten or pull a team from their fans. It makes me wonder if the NFL feels the fans owe them. This is the same organization that charged the gov’t to “salute the troops”. I love this game, but sometimes it’s hard to root for such a greasy – lying organization such as the NFL.

  3. Wise decision.

    The era of fan & city loyalty is quickly coming to an end, led by owners’ manipulation of them for personal gain, over the past decades.

    The vast majority of NFL owners make MORE than enough money to build their own stadiums. Those who don’t should PARTNER with cities. Allow the city to have a financial interest in the team, if the city is going to help build a stadium.

  4. St. Louis got the Rams 20 years ago, by the same machinations he’s criticizing, after the Rams had been in Los Angeles for 48 years. Bitter feelings are understandable (LA fans of TWO teams know), but what was Slay’s expectation here?

  5. …..EVERY NFL team has used the Los Angeles threat for 21 years to get a new stadium except for the following teams: GB…Bills…KC ….Saints….Dolphins….Chicago. Each of these teams have stadiums OLDER than 25 years…..

  6. To me that just shows that St.Louis didnt really want a team in the first place.
    Like a child throwing a temper tantrum…..If i cant have that toy, then i dont want ANY toy!!!
    Look, St.Louis lost the Cardinals, then they stole the Rams and now they lost the Rams as well!
    St.Louis isnt a football town.
    The KANSAS CITY CHIEFS own the state of Missouri.
    St.Louis was always more of a baseball town…
    But now KANSAS CITY ROYALS own Missouri.

    St. Louis is the stepchild

  7. STL got screwed.

    Rams fans, I know its too soon to think about it, but when you are ready, you are more than welcome into Viking Nation! We will stand with you guys, and will enjoy destroying the soon-to-be soft LA Rams in front of mostly empty seats and Viking fans in Los Angeles!

    Should have been San Diego, its a friggin 2 hour drive, same culture.

  8. 2 teams lost in 29 years. Fans and media blame the teams for not winning enough. In 21 years, Rams won a Super Bowl, played in another and made the playoffs in 5 different seasons.

    It’s the fans fault for not showing up and the city’s fault for not standing by the agreement negotiated by the drunken, shock treated politician they sent to negotiate with the Rams over 20 years ago.

  9. Even if the mayor says they aren’t pursuing another team, that will not stop the NFL from telling another city that if they don’t build the team owner a free stadium, the team will move to St. Louis or San Diego. Why? Because the NFL knows that most cities are so emotionally attached to their teams that they will capitulate, at least partially.

  10. I think they are being short-sighted, but in the end the right decision is to not pursue a team right now. They need to pour money into revitalizing that city, which is an absolute mess. But the next time a team has a chance to relo after the Chargers and Raiders get done may be quite some time. They need to be aware of that and make sure that they are for sure out of the mix.

    They were never going to win with Kroenke. he wanted to go to L.A., and nothing was going to stop him. He over-rode a 5-1 bias towards the other plan, so the “heavyweights” on the committee couldn’t stop him, so why would the citizens and political folks in St. Louis think their pleas would garner a different result? St. Louis has gotten over losing teams before, they can do it again. Once the Cards start winning next season, they will forget all about it.

  11. The NFL wants them to want a team. Then they can leverage every other city with threats of relocating to STL if they don’t give public money to fund a billionaires new playground.

    Enjoy California taxes baby….

  12. What about all the PSL holders? Does Stan owe all those license holders money, or a seat in the new digs?

  13. daysend564 says:
    Jan 13, 2016 3:28 PM
    Slay is a Democrat. Every word that comes out of his mouth is a lie.

    Not saying Kroenke is better, just tough to side with a liberal.

    24 48

    Can we stop the politics on this site?

    I come here for sports not your opinion on Mayor Slay’s trustworthyness. Left or Right, I don’t care, just keep your views to yourself on here.

  14. jonathankrobinson424 says:
    Jan 13, 2016 3:34 PM

    …..EVERY NFL team has used the Los Angeles threat for 21 years to get a new stadium except for the following teams: GB…Bills…KC ….Saints….Dolphins….Chicago. Each of these teams have stadiums OLDER than 25 years…..
    The bills used Toronto, and Sun Life Stadium will have been completely remodeled by the start of next season, with the owners own money.

  15. Slay is a Democrat, so he’s always going to play the victim. That poor city. – cry face –

    The stadium lease said that St. Louis had to make renovations 3 years ago, which the city refused.

    Maybe it is best you don’t have a NFL team, you can focus your time and efforts on trying to NOT be one of the most dangerous places in the US to live.

  16. And the next group of politicians to come on will be committed to the community by doing anything and everything to get the NFL back to St.Louis. It’s a never ending cycle, the politicians will cater to the NFL for the next 10-15 years spending hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars trying to show how St.Louis is really ready to bend over the barrel for the NFL.

  17. OK there were two parties negotiating to keep a team in St Louis.

    1. Billionaire businessman who invest their own money and make more by making good deals.

    2. Politicians who spend their lives spending other peoples money and just raise taxes when they want more.

    Shocker the Politicians lost.

  18. St. Louis has now lost an NBA franchise and two NFL teams. They’ve never tried to reclaim a NBA franchise and now they won’t try to get another NFL team. This proves that all they really care about is baseball.

  19. This had nothing to do with fan support. Stan saw his opportunity in 2010 knowing the circumstances and went for it. Stan never acted in good faith in negotiations with Stl because he simply didn’t have to. The NFL ran this dog and pony show in Stl knowing full well what the outcome was going to be. They had every opportunity to tell stl that no matter what you do its not going to be enough. Instead they chose to drag this out for entire year with their continuing support and direction with the design of the riverfront stadium proposal. It’s all about money.

  20. cities should not be held hostage by sports teams. They want to play somewhere they should pay their own way like everyone else. Way more important things for a city to pay for than a professional sports team like roads, schools, First Responders …

  21. Slay is a Democrat, so he’s always going to play the victim. That poor city. – cry face –

    The stadium lease said that St. Louis had to make renovations 3 years ago, which the city refused.

    Maybe it is best you don’t have a NFL team, you can focus your time and efforts on trying to NOT be one of the most dangerous places in the US to live.
    Please do not comment on things you do not understand…its not as simple as Stan and the NFL are making it out to be…Scumbag Stan, Goodevill and the NFL mafia did a class a hit job on the St. Louis market.

    If you do not know St. Louis and what has been going here the last 10 years with the Rams and the city you shouldn’t comment. By the way, Jeff Fisher has been in on it to…

  22. It’s funny, the last 20 years in LA the Rams had 12 winning seasons, 10 play-off appearances, multiple NFCCGs and a Superbowl appearance. They had a HOF running back in Eric Dickerson. They had multiple other great/HOF players on their teams.

    Yet, according to the NFL attendance records, they averaged about 53.5K fans/game those 20 years. And in losing seasons, attendance often averaged into the 40Ks and was never higher than 63K+, their first year in Anaheim.

    In St. Louis they had 4 winning seasons, 14 losing seasons, a few playoff games and set a rather low bar, twice, for crap teams. Yet in this ‘two sport town’ they averaged well over 60K attendance. With many years tickets sold as standing-room beyond the 67K seating capacity.

    And even knowing the Rams were leaving as late as 2014, the Rams brought in 57K. Something the Rams only bettered 5x, during all their winning, in their last 20 years in LA.

    Fact is, LA is really a bad football town. So even though they had a brief run of attendance success (70k+) in the early 70s, that went away and by 1977 and they were back down to 54K despite winning 5 consecutive NFC West crowns and being one of the NFL’s most dominant teams.

    If Kronke can’t sell concerts and other things at his $1.7 billion dollar facility, he’s screwed. LA has way, way, way too much competition for the entertainment dollar. And it’s never been much of a football town and they won’t support winners with any kind of regularity.

  23. @ Daysend…as I remember it…city’s sports authority was to submit building improvement plans which had to be agreed upon by the team. Kroenke wasn’t going to approve the improvements, even though the city said it would spend almost $20MM.

    I used to go watch 1 or 2 games there when I lived in Illinois. Too bad for city but at least they will not be saddled with debt for generations to come.

  24. @jonwill – They wouldn’t even give the plans and had to be fought for 3 years. Then, when the threat to leave started to become real, they offered up something. By that time, Kroenke saw what he was looking forward to deal with so wouldn’t agree on anything and started his groundwork to move west.

  25. St. Louis is a poor sports town. The only thing their single-minded fans can focus on is one team, that’s why they can’t have nice things. I think we all can agree that they have more than earned the “worst fans in football” moniker with the loss of two teams in 29 years.

  26. gotmygameon says:
    Jan 13, 2016 3:54 PM
    OK there were two parties negotiating to keep a team in St Louis.

    1. Billionaire businessman who invest their own money and make more by making good deals.

    You realize that every franchise Kronke owns in the US is among the bottom in attendance figures? The Nuggets. The Avalanche. The Rams.

    The ‘billionaire’ may know how to use insider information from the Walton (his wife is a Walton) family to buy-up and develop land around future WalMart store locations, but he knows crap about how to make a successful and profitable sports franchise.

    And, LA is one of the worst football cities in America. They wouldn’t come out for the Rams when were winning. St. Louis had a bad, bad team with only four winning seasons and the Rams attendance over those 20 years was 5k game higher than the Rams who were a good team the 20 years prior in LA.

  27. Agree with Mayor Slay’s position not to play the NFL’s rigged stadium shell game, but there may be another way — find a rogue billionaire willing to challenge the NFL ‘club’ in court:

    1. Everybody knows they are violating antitrust laws RIGHT NOW by not considering viable clubs in cities which want them;
    2. St. Louis is a great city which supports successful sports franchises RIGHT NOW;
    3. St. Louis has a viable stadium which they intended to improve on for use RIGHT NOW;
    4. A wealthy supporter of keeping sports in St. Louis could successfully challenge the NFL ‘club’ immediately for the way its rigged stadium shell game violates federal antitrust laws.

  28. Well, the NFL just played it’s trump card. Other football cities, you now have the upper hand on your owners. Let them threaten London, maybe the biggest long shot of all.

  29. What was the Lie(s) that the NFL and Rams put out there that everyone seems to reference without stating what specifically it was? Did the NFL/Rams have a deal requiring certain commitments by the City for participation in getting a certain type of upgrade/new facility that was not met? If so, how is it not the Cities fault that the team was relocated? Especially, if as was said yesterday during the new conference that the City had over a years’ extension to try and get something worked out.

    I understand there is significant emotion with the feeling of loss by those in St. Louis and the joy of L.A. fans who feel they are getting “their” team back. I am happy for the L.A. Fans and sad for the St. Louis faithful……

  30. How fascinating that people in St. Louis are telling outsiders that they if they don’t know what was going on in their city they shouldn’t comment. Especially when they were dropping their two cents on LA every chance they had. The circumstances are exactly the same but they didn’t want to hear that. It was “LA can’t support NFL football”. Well, now I’ll say it: St. Louis can’t support NFL football. They’ve had two teams fail there and don’t deserve to have a NFL team. You Like That?

  31. … city or location to be used ….San Antonio or Guam


    ….did you know if you combine San Antonio and Austin ,Texas that’s a combined 2.5 million population….that’s number #5 on the biggest regions. WOW !…..

  32. Stinks for St.Louis, they don’t deserve that….too bad the guy from Toronto didn’t feel the same way when it almost happened to Buffalo, instead he took daily pot shots at us.

  33. Slay has been Mayor of St. Louis during the entire period that the new/upgraded stadium issue was on the table and he didn’t once meet the owner, Stan Kroenke, much less engage him in any conversations about the future of NFL football in St. Louis? Seems like that was important enough to his community that he would attempt to get that done. Since he never indicated that he tried and was rebuffed, I can only draw the conclusion that he felt it was incumbent on Kroenke to make it happen. Yesterday, during the NFL News Conference, Kroenke made it clear that he had two very good employees fully engaged with St. Louis and the process. He said that he had full faith in them. As the owner of the private company, that certainly is his right.

    Kroenke explains that this issue has been going on longer that St. Louis Mayor Slay indicates. It likely has been an issue with the Rams since 2002 as that was when Kroenke was serving on the “NFL L.A.” committee and thus, it probably feels like it has been more than a decade to him. To St. Louis it hasn’t, obviously.

    The City of St. Louis subsequently lost an arbitration regarding the lease requirement to upgrade the current stadium to the top 25 percent of league. Unfortunately for St. Louis fans, the arbitration gave relocation as the only option if the city didn’t comply and upgrade the stadium. They didn’t comply and even after the Rams/NFL voluntarily extended the time period to allow more time to get compliance.

    I don’t know that I can put the blame for this relocation on the NFL/Rams entirely. Seems to me that this is no different than any other big business deal. For instance, if a company gets taxed highly in the U.S. and they move to China to make more profit, it isn’t the companies fault. It is the Gov. tax structure, economy and Capitalism that is at work. In this case, the local gov. didn’t want to put up more money to subsidize the team. So it goes…….No blame, just fact.

  34. Time for St. Louis to work on bringing an MLS team to the city. It will be a lot cheaper to see and much more enjoyable. Good luck LA. Time for Kronke to sucker you. Enjoy learning to say wait till next year.

  35. Where are all the free market voices in this discussion?

    Kroenke owns the franchise and is buying his own stadium. How is this different than any other business owner deciding to move a company out of town? Why do people think he should have been required to accept public funding and keep his business (his NFL franchise) in St. Louis?

    Also, he never made a secret of the fact that he wanted to move out of St. Louis. Site prep for his LA stadium began quite a while ago.

    The people of St. Louis should be grateful. Stadiums are not a good investment of public money. Nowadays they’re very expensive and have a surprisingly short life span. Taxpayers there dodged a bullet.

  36. a city given 20 years to upgrade the stadium then laughed when the rams proposed 750 million dollar upgrade and showed up with a poor 250 mil upgrade that arbitrators hailed as inept and ruled in favor of the rams. now after it became clear they were losing the team they come up with a 1.1 billion dollar plan , sounds like STL wanted to play the martyr. i live in arizona so either way they won’t be the team i get to watch every weekend but i am now and always will be a rams fan go LA GO RAMS!!

  37. rosloe62 says:
    Jan 13, 2016 5:04 PM
    Time for St. Louis to work on bringing an MLS team to the city. It will be a lot cheaper to see and much more enjoyable. Good luck LA. Time for Kronke to sucker you. Enjoy learning to say wait till next year.


    Soccer? More enjoyable?? Seriously????

    Maybe you should become a London Jaguars fan. Plenty of soccer teams across the pond.

  38. Not a surprise. Not after he said St. Louis deserves a World Class NFL Team. And just how many of those are around? Pats? Robert Kraft isn’t going anywhere. Seahawks? Not leaving that Fan base and Paul Allen is even richer than Kroenke. Packers? Don’t waste your breath.

    Not many to go around that fits his criteria.

  39. I agree with Ivan’s points above. So for all of you folks who keep mentioning the lease Kroenke had with the CVC, that didn’t mean bupkes either. Basically even if the City agreed to that 10-year, $700M upgrade – which, even Kroenke probably knows is an obvious non-starter – it would have been Stan taking the money and running. I applaud the City at the very least having the good sense to turn down a bad business deal on a lease that was already a no-win for them to start with.

    To add, after the way the League had basically made them bend over backwards for them, only to come away with all of this empty-handed, I don’t blame Slay and the powers that be for turning their back on the League. Saying this was a good business decision is one thing – and is understandable – but I really wish either Kroenke or the NFL would just come out and say that. You will still have fans in the region miffed about losing the Rams, sure, but at least they’d be over it sooner knowing that going back Los Angeles from a business perspective made perfect sense beyond all reasonable doubt.

    Yet instead the League chose to put up this dog and pony show of a process that was anything but legitimate. From the town hall meetings to the proposal deadlines, to even the Houston vote, this whole thing was a sham. The Shield wanted the Rams back in L.A. from the very start – and again, they rightfully should return to L.A. They never wanted to be in St. Louis to begin with.

  40. MLS to STL!

    St. Louis should try to get into a league that actually cares about their teams. Cost of a stadium is much lower as is an expansion franchise.

    St. Louis will move on and the NFL can use San Antonio as their puppet. No more Goodell is actually kind of a nice feeling.

  41. @kane337 LA stole the Rams from Cleveland, Ohio back in the early 50,s! LA had lost 3 NFL teams & now they will have another one to lose AGAIN! The Rams are not going back home! If they were, they would be going to Cleveland where they started! But most of you idiots out in LA LA land don’t know squat about the past of the NFL or your so-called original football team! Good Luck the next time greedy & evil Kroenke wants to move “YOUR” team!

  42. I Want St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay to Bring the Rams BAck To St.Louis,mo. I’m a NFL Fan And Soccer IS For Loosers If they bring soccer to St. Louis,mo. I’m mvoing to another state Where They HAve aN NFL Team Bring THe St. Louis Rams BAck TO St. Louis,Mo. And NFL SHould Fire Stan Kronke and Impeach St. Louis MAyor Francis Slay and Bring the Rams BAck To St. Louis,Mo. Send Soccer To Los Angeles,C.a. PErmantly Now.

  43. Major Leaguse Soccer Team is For Loosers It Makes Me Mad If they Bring The Major League Soccer Ro St. Louis In Missouri I’m Leaving Missouri and Going to Live down in texas To Watch NFL And Root For My Dallas Cowboys NFL Team And St.Louis Rams NFL Team PEriod.

  44. I want THe Rams Back In St.louis,Mo. and Send the Ooakland Raiders TO Los Angeles,C.A. So That Way St. Louis,Mo and Los Angeles,C.A. Will Both HAve NFL Teams Permantly I’ll Keep Watching NFL Football Games I’ll Boycott going to the St. Louis Major Leagues Soccer,St. Louis Cardinals Baseball,St. Louis BLues Hockey Games Until St.louis Gets An NFL Team As LOng As I Live. I’ll Boycott St.louis,Mo. Until St.louis Gets Another NFL Team I’m dead serious About it.

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