Rams owner Stan Kroenke will move into his new palace next season, a building he’ll share with the Chargers amid questions about the demand for that much football in Los Angeles.
In the city he abandoned, there’s still a market for the sport, even if it’s the minor league kind.
According to Daniel Kaplan of TheAthletic.com, the St. Louis entry to the XFL has drawn significant local interest.
The team has already sold 6,000 season tickets, most in the fledgling league, and they hope to sell out the Dome at America’s Center. They’ve reconfigured the Rams’ old building to hold 27,500 for the XFL, and there’s clearly a grudge against Kroenke helping to spark sales.
“So to have a team back in St. Louis is really, really exciting and just to stick it to Kroenke, I am happy sticking it to Kroenke any time I can,” said Jason “Dirty” Spurgeon, who co-hosts a weekly podcast dedicated to the XFL’s St. Louis BattleHawks.
His co-host, Arlington Lane, added that it was important for local fans to show St. Louis was always a viable market.
“A lot of people were mad at Kroenke for taking it away,” Lane said. “And, you know, we had supported it even though they were bad. And now this is another opportunity where we can show not just St. Louis but also the whole country that we still love football and professional football belongs here in St. Louis.”
While other alternative leagues have tried to focus on smaller markets that lacked NFL teams, the XFL put seven of its eight teams in places that already had NFL fanbases. At the moment, whether out of actual interest or just spite, St. Louis has drawn the largest following.