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  1. #1
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    If Rams ever call, Checketts will listen

    By Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Thursday, Oct. 09 2008
    Dave Checketts, owner of the St. Louis Rams?

    When Checketts, the Blues' CEO, made a guest appearance on my KSLG (1380 AM)
    radio show Wednesday, I asked him if he'd be interested in purchasing the Rams.

    Rams Chairman Chip Rosenbloom has said he's in no hurry to sell and would like
    to keep the team. But if Rosenbloom had to sell, he told me he would try to
    place the franchise in good hands and wants the new owner to be committed to
    keeping the team in St. Louis.

    Could Checketts be that candidate?

    If given an opportunity, would Checketts step up and attempt to make a deal
    with Rosenbloom?

    "The answer is absolutely," Checketts said. "We love St. Louis. It's a great
    NFL franchise. There are some real hurdles ahead with it. I'm more interested
    in doing the right thing for St. Louis than I am necessarily being the owner of
    the Rams.

    "I think Chip's having discussions with a lot of different people. I don't
    think he's decided exactly what he wants to do, but if and when he decides to
    sell I hope I get a call."

    As Checketts indicated, there would be obstacles.

    The Rams' sale price would probably fall between $800 million and $1 billion.
    If Stan Kroenke retained his 40 percent ownership share, the new majority
    partner would have to fund 60 percent of the purchase price. Yes, a new owner
    could recruit partners, but under NFL rules the lead owner must control at
    least 30 percent of the franchise.

    Though Checketts' personal worth is unclear, it's doubtful that he has the kind
    of financial clout required to own an NFL franchise. In theory, Checketts could
    put together a group headed by a "silent" majority partner a big-money
    investor who has little interest in being the front man for the franchise.

    And in that setup, Checketts would fit as the chief executive. He's operated
    successful sports businesses, including the NBA Utah Jazz and New York Knicks.
    Under Checketts' leadership, the Blues are quickly rebuilding their fan base
    and popularity. When Checketts ran Madison Square Garden in New York, the arena
    prospered. Checketts also started up the profitable MSG sports network.

    NFL rules barring cross ownership wouldn't apply to Checketts. He owns a pro
    soccer franchise, in Utah, Real Salt Lake. But since there is no NFL team in
    Salt Lake City, Checketts is cleared to be an NFL owner in St. Louis. It's the
    same reason Paul Allen can own the NFL Seattle Seahawks and the NBA Portland
    Trailblazers; the Blazers do not compete with an NFL team in Portland.

    Kroenke, however, has a problem. The NFL won't permit Kroenke to be the
    controlling owner of the Rams, because he owns NBA, NHL, and soccer franchises
    in Denver, home of the NFL Broncos. The NFL doesn't want NFL profits generated
    in one market (St. Louis) to be used in competition against an NFL owner in
    another market (Denver).

    Checketts has an excellent reputation in the pro-sports fraternity, and he's on
    friendly terms with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

    Checketts has had conversations with Rosenbloom. When the Blues played at the
    Los Angeles Kings late last season, Rosenbloom watched the game in a luxury
    suite as Checketts' guest.

    "Chip is a good guy," Checketts said. "I've enjoyed getting to know him and
    feel bad about him losing his mother (Georgia Frontiere) when he did. I know
    that's been painful for him.

    "But it's a great franchise and if the day comes that he needs some help or
    wants to talk about that (sale) with us we'll be very interested in that
    conversation."

    On the eve of his third season as the Blues' CEO, Checketts still has a lot of
    work to do after taking over a franchise that had bottomed out at the box
    office and in the standings.

    The Blues haven't qualified for the NHL playoffs since 2004, and though
    competitive, they've experienced two losing seasons under Checketts. But the
    Blues possess some of the best prospects in the NHL and are busy developing a
    promising nucleus of players, with more than half the opening-night roster
    listed at age 26 or younger.

    And there is no question that the franchise has made substantial progress under
    the personable, fan-friendly Checketts, who is restoring the community's
    enthusiasm for Blues hockey.

    "We're encouraged," Checketts said. "This is a very difficult time in our
    economy. We've discounted some tickets and we're still thinking of ways we can
    make it easier for fans to support us."

    Checketts as Rams owner is probably a long shot. But he's established
    credibility with sports fans in the St. Louis market and has a long executive
    history of getting things done. So I wouldn't count him out.


  2. #2
    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: If Rams ever call, Checketts will listen

    Ok, so it's a money thing more than a desire, or good for the team thing. I can live with that. There are plenty of ways to get around that. One, multiple investors. Two, Chip holding onto 33% of the team, Kroenke keeping 33%, and Checketts buying 34%. Assuming one billion for the franchise, $340 million's a lot cheaper than $600 million. Plus, the $270 million that Chip gets hopefully would cover the inheritance taxes.

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    Re: If Rams ever call, Checketts will listen

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Ok, so it's a money thing more than a desire, or good for the team thing. I can live with that. There are plenty of ways to get around that. One, multiple investors. Two, Chip holding onto 33% of the team, Kroenke keeping 33%, and Checketts buying 34%. Assuming one billion for the franchise, $340 million's a lot cheaper than $600 million. Plus, the $270 million that Chip gets hopefully would cover the inheritance taxes.
    Assuming you can get Kroenke to sell off 7%.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: If Rams ever call, Checketts will listen

    True, it's an assumption, however, he can't become a majority owner because of his Denver holdings, and so if there needs to be a coalition of owners buying into the Rams, he might need to agree to sell off some of his portion to make it all work out, like in this situation.

    He could always be given the option to buy some back at a discount to updated market value later as the ownership is consolidated with time or something. Who knows. I was just giving an option to get around the money issue, because I, for one, love the idea of Checketts buying the Rams at this point in time.

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    Re: If Rams ever call, Checketts will listen

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    True, it's an assumption, however, he can't become a majority owner because of his Denver holdings, and so if there needs to be a coalition of owners buying into the Rams, he might need to agree to sell off some of his portion to make it all work out, like in this situation.

    He could always be given the option to buy some back at a discount to updated market value later as the ownership is consolidated with time or something. Who knows. I was just giving an option to get around the money issue, because I, for one, love the idea of Checketts buying the Rams at this point in time.
    I agree, the idea of Checketts as owner has a lot of merit. Surely, there is at least one way to get it done.


    I tell you what would be nice........if we could morph the characteristics of the 3 names that have been publicly mentioned. Checketts, Rush Limbaugh, Andy Taylor.

    The new owner would bring Taylor's pocket book and resources; Limbaugh's unwavering quest for success and national media attention; and Checkett's love of St. Louis and fan friendly atmosphere.

    Our new owner........Andy Checkbaugh!
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: If Rams ever call, Checketts will listen

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    I agree, the idea of Checketts as owner has a lot of merit. Surely, there is at least one way to get it done.


    I tell you what would be nice........if we could morph the characteristics of the 3 names that have been publicly mentioned. Checketts, Rush Limbaugh, Andy Taylor.

    No drug addled bigots as owner...thank you.
    "You people point your 'f'in' finger and say theres the bad guy....what that make you....good?" Tony Montana

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    Re: If Rams ever call, Checketts will listen

    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo Ram Fan View Post
    No drug addled bigots as owner...thank you.
    Though I disagree with your libelous description, I must ask...........if he brings with him winning football, why would we care?

    If the person you hate most in this world were to buy the Rams and lay out a plan to build a dynasty, would you turn it down? Not me.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: If Rams ever call, Checketts will listen

    Some people can never put politics aside, I am reminded of that every time a simple discussion about the weather turns into a flaming condemnation of the President (or some other political figure). Personally, I don't discuss politics in an entertainment setting, because it's never entertaining and almost always pointless.

    That said, if the owner keeps them in st.louis and turns them into a great team, then I really don't care who it is, with perhaps one or two key exceptions that would never happen anyway.

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