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Thread: Since the CVC said "No", what's next for the Rams?

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    RamsFanSam's Avatar
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    Since the CVC said "No", what's next for the Rams?

    There's a lot of incorrect rumors being spread about the future of the Rams in St. Louis. Most of these rumors are based upon hopes and desires rather than any kind of fact. Since I have researched this heavily during the past few weeks, I thought I would weigh in and at least try to put some of these rumors to rest.

    The CVC recently sent an official letter rejecting the Rams $700 upgrade proposal. For some reason, this ignited a huge amount of speculation which cannot be understood, since this was merely a formality. The CVC initially rejected the proposal months ago, and everyone knew the formal letter would follow. Anyone who has attended a game at the EJD knows the dome is smaller than it should be, and there are many amenities lacking. Spending $700 million to polish a turd will only result in a very expensive turd.

    There is a clear need to build a new stadium for the Rams. This is almost a unanimous opinion with Rams fans. The disagreement occurs when the location of the new stadium is discussed.

    At this point, the rest of this post will seem disjointed and disorganized. This is necessary because of so much misinformation and different possible solutions. I apologize for having to bounce around so much in my commentary.

    Enos Stanley Kroenke was born in Columbia, Mo, in 1947, and currently lives on his estate near there. He was named after two of the most famous St. Louis Cardinals, Enos Slaughter and Stan Musial. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri. Since 1983, when he formed the Kroenke group, he began amassing his fortune. He also founded THF Realty in St. Louis in 1991. Since 1983, he has used his business acumen to build a fortune worth over $4 billion. He married Ann Walton of Wal-Mart fame, and in 1995, he and his wife inherited a stake in Wal-Mart estimated to be worth more than $6 Billion - plus, Ann Kroenke is a wealthy woman in her own right.
    Recently, THF and LHM (another real estate development firm) have been working together and purchased Union Station and several adjacent properties in St. Louis. Conservative estimates indicate the investment in this area to be between $50 and $100 million. Stan also recently purchased outright the Rams, making him the sole owner. To do so, he gave up control of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids, Colorado Avalanche, and Colorado Mammoth to his son. To any casual observer, this indicates his desire to own the Rams.

    With so many ties to Missouri, it is obvious to everyone except a few that Kroenke is heavily invested in St. Louis for a reason. After investing untold millions in St. Louis and the surrounding area, there is no way he would throw it away to move to any other location.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    For the past couple of years, there has been speculation that Los Angeles will be the recipient of an NFL team. Used as a perennial bargaining chip and threat by other NFL teams, the Rams are no different - until recently. Last fall, the LA city council unanimously approved AEG's plan for a new stadium - which has since gone from being a healthy plan, to being on life support. In February, the NFL pulled the plug on the comatose idea, saying such a plan was economically unfeasible.
    The general idea behind the concept was that any team which decided to move to LA would have to give up a huge chunk of ownership, as well as a large percentage of all revenue, just to play there. Why would ANY owner decide to give up so much? The answer is - they won't. Another attempt to build an NFL stadium in the area has died, and neither has any chance of revival in the near future.
    Sorry, California dreamers - it looks like you won't be seeing the Rams in LA in the foreseeable future. Maybe in 8 or 10 years, the NFL will decide that LA is ready for an expansion team, a team that REALLY belongs to Los Angeles, something that is truly their own.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    San Antonio, Tulsa, and Omaha have also been thrown around as possible new homes for the Rams. I can explain easily why this won't happen, though.

    Omaha is a prime place for football - just look at the overwhelming fan base of the Cornhuskers. Football is popular in Nebraska. In fact, so are the Kansas City Chiefs. That sea of red in Omaha isn't just Cornhusker fans - it's Chiefs fans. There's far too much support for the Chiefs in Omaha for another team to take hold. Money spent in Omaha would be money wasted.

    Tulsa is another place that has been discussed. While Tulsa is far from being a small hicktown, and does have lots of oil money floating around, it is not quite ready for the NFL - yet. In addition, Tulsa has the misfortune of lying about halfway between Dallas and Kansas City - meaning that there is a huge following of Cowboys and Chiefs fans. If the Rams had to move, I would prefer the move take them to Tulsa - it's roughly equidistant from me as the EJD. I don't see Tulsa getting a team anytime soon - perhaps in the next round of NFL expansion.

    San Antonio - now THAT'S a beautiful city! I was fortunate enough to live there when I was younger. Back then, the sportscaster from KENS-TV kept pushing "WWPB" - We Want Pro Ball. Yes, they had the Spurs back then, and the Iceman cometh. What they were wanting was a MLB team. They have the San Antonio Missions, who are a minor league franchise like the Tulsa Drillers and Springfield Cardinals, but this is far from what they really want. Texas is football country - go to any small town on a Friday night during the fall, and you will see an entire town turn out at the local high school. San Antonio is far enough from Dallas and Houston that they might turn out a huge fan base for an NFL team of their own, and with the NFL attempting to garner attention from the Hispanic population, San Antonio looks like a perfect location...but it's not. Not yet. However, if a team like the Jags, Raiders, or Chargers wished to find a new home in 5-10 years, they would find a willing new home. For the Rams, it would be hostile country.


    The Rams would be MUCH better off to stay in St. Louis.
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    The Rams have worked hard to integrate themselves into St. Louis, and have succeeded. Every time I make a trip up there, I see thousands of Cardinals baseball shirts - but, I see more and more Rams jerseys, too. It seems that the younger generation is the one more interested in the Rams, and with the Rams involving themselves with schools and youth organizations across the area, this is to be expected. There is an ever-growing fan base in St. Louis, and Kroenke will hang on to this.

    Since the current home no longer fills the needs of the team, what will they do? There are three major schools of thought on this, and one minor passing thought. Let's look at these in order:

    The Rams can still negotiate with the CVC. The $700 million plan was answered with a "NO", but all that means is that the CVC won't pay for it all. They may pony up a chunk of cash to keep the Rams there and upgrade the stadium, but they would expect Kroenke and the NFL to do their part - meaning the Rams would probably have to come up with $200 million, as would the NFL, leaving about $300 million for the CVC to fund. I don't see this happening, but it might.

    Another idea is the Fenton site. Once, Dodge Rams were there - now it may be the St. Louis Rams...but that is doubtful. The location is far from downtown, with no Metrolink access nearby. Parking would not be an issue, as the site is HUGE. Hotels and motels ARE in the area, but they are not as numerous as can be found closer to the city. Being about 20 miles from Union Station and other investments Kroenke has made in the downtown area is another reason that this is the #3 choice.

    In Maryland Heights, there is a massive parcel of land near a soon-to-be-completed highway. It is flat, empty, and ready for development. However, there is a couple of problems - no Metrolink access, and few lodging options nearby. I see this as the Rams #2 option.

    Just north of the current stadium, many of us have tailgated in the empty lots. If the plans of the city had gone through like they wanted, we wouldn't be able to do that. There was supposed to be a massive development in that area, with new hotels and shops built all over. However, these plans fell through, leaving the area an empty, blighted area that the city of St. Louis is eager to rehabilitate. Land is cheap, and with tax incentives and local desire benefiting any developer, this appears to be the best option for the Rams and Kroenke. Much of the area has been previously razed, leaving it ready for development. Most people agree that this will be the site the Rams will chose for their new home.

    This leaves us with the question of who will pay for it all. It's not like Kroenke can't afford it - he could write a check and make it happen - but he won't. He didn't get to be a billionaire by foolishly spending his money. No, I expect some creative financing taking place. A spokesman for Governor Jay Nixon's office has stated that negotiations between Kroenke and the governor (who is committed to seeing the Rams remain in St. Louis) are imminent, and that a firm from New York has been contacted about financing a new stadium.

    What I see happening is a little bit more realistic than some other ideas, as well as a little more creative than some ideas I have seen.

    I see Kroenke putting up about $250 million. I see the city and state getting together to help out with another $150 million, with a majority of that being incentives. I see the CVC wanting to be a part of it all with a possible $200 million, and the NFL G4 loan adding about $200 million. That would total up to $800 million. Of course, they won't put that cash into the EJD, like I said before, spending a lot of money to polish a turd only makes an expensive turd. No, this will be a NEW stadium that will be an anchor on the north end of downtown, just like Busch stadium is an anchor on the south end. It will also be an anchor for a redevelopment of the Bottle district. But what kind of stadium can you build for $800 million?

    The answer is a nice one...especially in St. Louis, where dollars go farther than they do in other cities like LA or New York. But, it still wouldn't be as nice as they need. They need something to bring the NCAA playoffs and a Super Bowl to St. Louis. $800 million won't quite do this.

    So, how will they build a better stadium with that kind of cash? Simple. Either Ann Kroenke can invest (she is a billionaire, too), or someone else can. We have several billionaires in Missouri who would like to see a return on their investments, and this would be a good investment. I don't know if there are any prohibitions on the Busch family being a part of a new Rams stadium, but with the fortune the Busch family has acquired, they would be a potential source of investment. Another would be the Walton family. Wal-Mart has made many people VERY rich - and having a "foot in the door" in downtown St. Louis would be a good move for them. Another would be Johnny Morris. Most of you don't know that name. Let me just say that in 1972, he put a few products on a shelf in his daddy's liquor store, and me and many others bought those products. Today, those few products have grown into Bass Pro Shops. He's got the money, and investing in downtown St. Louis would give him a chance to build another huge store - this time, in downtown St. Louis, where it is close to the home of the Rams, Blues, and Cardinals.

    An investment of $200 million by any of those three, plus naming rights for the new stadium would result in a minimum of $1 billion for a new stadium. Saint Louis would have THE showcase stadium of the NFL.

    Well, there you have the actual facts and some potential ideas for what's to come. Just remember, no matter where the Rams are, they are STILL the RAMS!


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    Re: Since the CVC said "No", what's next for the Rams?

    ANYONE without the last name of "Kroenke" can only speculate as to the future home of the Rams. My greatest wish is that all football fans will come to think of the Rams' home as where the Lombardi trophy resides on an almost permanent basis.
    RealRam and Curly Horns like this.
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

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    Re: Since the CVC said "No", what's next for the Rams?

    More than Likely The Rams will move BACK to Los Angeles. They still have a huge fanbase there. That is only my speculation, but it makes the most since. Consider the fact that Los Angeles, gives the Ram rejuvenation, better endorsement deals and a Broader fan base. L.A. likes winners and the Rams are headed that way. Also you have very marketable players now in Austin, Bradford, Stedman, Lauranitis and let's not forget former Raider Great's son. If it happens is of course up for grab, but I think it's a great possibility.
    LA Rammer likes this.

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    Re: Since the CVC said "No", what's next for the Rams?

    The chances of them moving to LA are dwindling by the hour. There is no reasonable stadium offer, there are too many obstacles - the least of which is a half-billion dollar relocation fee, the other team owners would not approve because if they want to leverage for a new stadium LA would have to remain empty, the NFL said Farmers Field is pretty much a dead idea - and, there is more support for the Raiders than the Rams according to many sources.

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    Re: Since the CVC said "No", what's next for the Rams?

    Everything is negotiable, and if it's not, then that's negotiable too.
    "The disappointment of losing is huge!"

    Jack Youngblood

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    Re: Since the CVC said "No", what's next for the Rams?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoonJoe View Post
    Everything is negotiable, and if it's not, then that's negotiable too.
    Well there Joe, at the risk of being mooned, what would it take for you to switch your allegiance to the whiners, and never root for the Rams again?

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    Re: Since the CVC said "No", what's next for the Rams?

    Make an offer!
    "The disappointment of losing is huge!"

    Jack Youngblood

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    Re: Since the CVC said "No", what's next for the Rams?

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFanSam View Post
    The chances of them moving to LA are dwindling by the hour. There is no reasonable stadium offer, there are too many obstacles - the least of which is a half-billion dollar relocation fee, the other team owners would not approve because if they want to leverage for a new stadium LA would have to remain empty, the NFL said Farmers Field is pretty much a dead idea - and, there is more support for the Raiders than the Rams according to many sources.
    So you are saying there is a chance?

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    Re: Since the CVC said "No", what's next for the Rams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Truth View Post
    ANYONE without the last name of "Kroenke" can only speculate as to the future home of the Rams. My greatest wish is that all football fans will come to think of the Rams' home as where the Lombardi trophy resides on an almost permanent basis.
    Right on!!

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    Re: Since the CVC said "No", what's next for the Rams?

    Quote Originally Posted by macrammer View Post
    So you are saying there is a chance?
    With the way the contract with the CVC was written, the possibility was "written in". However, the chances were never that great - I would say around 10% to begin with - and with every passing day, the chances decrease. If I were a betting man, I would wager that the chance of seeing the Rams in Los Angeles (unless they are playing the L.A. Raiders...lol) are less than 5%.

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    Re: Since the CVC said "No", what's next for the Rams?

    Good thing you're not a bettin' man.... LOL
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

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    Re: Since the CVC said "No", what's next for the Rams?

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMFANRAIDERHATER View Post
    Good thing you're not a bettin' man.... LOL
    I think you're right...after reading this post Ramsí Stadium and Relocation Prospects Not as They Seem I can see I set the chances WAY to high.

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