Forbes 400 member Stan Kroenke
is among those bidding
for the Los Angeles
Dodgers. Kroenke’s bid for the Dodgers was first reported
by the Daily Mail and later confirmed by Forbes.
If the billionaire gets the MLB team then St. Louis
can say adios to the NFL’s Rams, who have been in Kroenke’s control
since August 2010 when he dolled out $450 million to buy the 60% percent share of the team held by Chip Rosenbloom and his sister, Lucia Rodriguez.
NFL rules prohibit an owner from having controlling interest in a major sports team outside of the football team’s market.
Kroenke is the world’s biggest sports mogul
, with controlling stakes in the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, MLS’ Colorado Rapids and the iconic English soccer club Arsenal. He also started his own regional sports network, Altitude Sports and Entertainment
, for his teams in Denver
. It is the likely strategy for whom ever buys the Dodgers to do the exact same thing with either Fox or Time Warner.
Farmers Field, a new football stadium proposal
for Los Angeles that is being developed by AEG could be ready by the 2016 NFL season. The timing would work out nicely for Kroenke. His lease agreement with the city runs through 2025 but has a clause that allows the Rams to leave every 10 years unless the Edward Jones Dome is not judged to be in the top 25 percent of all NFL stadiums. The stadium is most likely in the bottom half of the league after new stadiums in Dallas and New York.
Next Wednesday, Feb. 1, is the deadline for the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission to outline how it will transform the Edward Jones Dome into a “first-tier” stadium by 2015. If it fails to do so, the Rams can break their lease and bolt St. Louis after the 2014 season. I don’t see how the politicians think they can get taxpayers in a city that has never been a hot-bed for football, to agree to pony up the $50 million or so of taxpayer money that would be needed to make Edward Jones Dome among the league’s elite stadiums, especially since $24 million in public money from the state and city are already slotted to pay off the stadium’s debt through 2025.
Even if Kroenke doen’t get the Dodgers, the fact that he is bidding for the team implies the Rams are bolting for L.A.