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Demoff Answers Questions On Rams Sale

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  • Demoff Answers Questions On Rams Sale

    02.11.2010 5:07 pm
    Demoff answers questions on Rams sale
    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch


    As first reported Wednesday night by Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz on STLtoday.com, St. Louis Rams owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez have entered into a purchase agreement to sell the team to Shahid Khan, an auto-parts manufacturer based in Urbana, Ill.
    On Thursday afternoon, Kevin Demoff, the Rams’ executive vice president of football operations and chief operating officer, held a news conference at Rams Park. Here are some excerpts from that session:

    *Where does the process go from here?
    “Once an agreement is submitted to the league, (minority owner) Stan Kroenke has 60 days in which to decide his intentions per his original agreement with the club. And then depending on what Stan does, the league Finance Committee will look at the process and make a recommendation on any potential owner. And then it will go to the owners for a vote. . . .
    “There’s a league meeting next month in Orlando and a follow-up meeting in May. I think it’ll probably be a topic that’s discussed at both of those meetings.”

    *How strong is the commitment to keeping the Rams in St. Louis?
    “Today is a tremendously exciting day for the organization, because whether or not a sale to a prospective buyer goes through, I think it reaffirms to everybody the commitment this club has to St. Louis and our belief in this marketplace. . . .
    “Chip and Lucia have always said they want to find a buyer here, that they remain committed to finding a buyer here, and they’re passionate about St. Louis and this market. Whatever happens, I think people realize that they’re genuine about their passion for the market, this club is genuine about our efforts to be in the community and advance this team forward. . . .
    “There was obviously some skepticism based on some of the rumors swirling around the team. Whatever happens this year, I think that’ll be alleviated and people will see this organization for what it truly is: a group that is dedicated to winning on the field, improving the experience at the dome, and connecting to this community, so that people eventually realize that the Rams are St. Louis’ football team and will continue to be St. Louis’ football team.”

    *For now, is it business as usual at Rams Park?
    “On Monday, we’ll continue to hold our personnel meetings regarding free agency. Next week our scouts will travel to Indianapolis for the (NFL Scouting) Combine. . . .
    “I promise you that March 5, the league year will open up, and we’ll be hosting free agents and looking what can be done to improve this team. I promise you that in April, we’ll be submitting a card to draft a player in the first round.
    “None of that will change.”

    *Are you under any financial restraints because of the pending sale?
    “We walked through a budget process in December, we walked through that process again for players in January when we met with ownership. I have not heard of any changes in the budget.
    “We’re excited to go into free agency and the draft this year and find ways to improve this football team. And I know (general manager) Billy (Devaney) and (coach) Steve (Spagnuolo) are hard at work focusing on that.”

    *Is there a sense of urgency to prove to a new owner that this team is going in the right direction?
    “I feel a sense of urgency every day we wake up to improve this product. I think if you look at 6-42 over the last three years, it’s unacceptable to the fans no matter who the owner is. . . .
    “Winning football games is a priority for this franchise. How we operate shouldn’t depend on the urgency. . . . It’s not far for us to say winning is urgent because ownership is in flux or we’re in transition. 2010 is
    an important year for us to show the fans of St. Louis that we’re going to improve this product.”

    *Is it too optimistic to think that a vote of the owners could take place at the May meeting?
    “I think that’s probably a reasonable timetable. After that, you’re looking toward August or September. . . . I think it’ll obviously depend on what happens over the course of the next two months. There are so many variables as you move forward in this deal. It’ll also depend on when the agreement is finally signed and submitted. . . .
    “I would expect hopefully (a deal is completed) toward the end of the spring.”

    *Will a change in ownership affect the team’s Dome lease?
    “That’s very clear: The Dome lease is with the Rams; it’s not with an individual ownership group. . . .
    “We’ve had a tremendous improvement in our relationship with the Dome in the last year, and we continue to work on that. Obviously, no matter who the ownership is, the lease will remain the same, the clauses in the lease will remain the same, and we’ll have to work through the issues in making sure that the Dome is a place the fans enjoy going every Sunday.”

  • #2
    Re: Demoff Answers Questions On Rams Sale

    "I have not heard of any changes in the budget"

    Interesting choice of words. There may or may not be changes in the budget coming, that will be interesting as per my other post.

    Some m and a agreements require management in accordance with a pre approved budget (which would then be attached as an exhibit to the merger or stock purchase agreement). If that was the case here, it would help the rams because it would mean that chip would be less likely to shy away from spending money in free agency. That is sheer speculation, since no one has seen a copy of the purchase document.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Demoff Answers Questions On Rams Sale

      HaHa it's funny how everyone is have so much grown up conversations about Mr. Khan... yay!!!
      Anyways He is a US citizen and I'd rather someone instead of a foreigner from anywhere by our team not only that but he is a avid Ram fan which I respect and appears he cares and wants to make this team a winner.. Which is the most important thing of all subjects involved..
      Last edited by Nick; -02-14-2010, 11:36 AM. Reason: When will you figure out that personal shots/criticisms are off limits?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Demoff Answers Questions On Rams Sale

        Originally posted by general counsel View Post
        "I have not heard of any changes in the budget"

        Interesting choice of words. There may or may not be changes in the budget coming, that will be interesting as per my other post.

        Some m and a agreements require management in accordance with a pre approved budget (which would then be attached as an exhibit to the merger or stock purchase agreement). If that was the case here, it would help the rams because it would mean that chip would be less likely to shy away from spending money in free agency. That is sheer speculation, since no one has seen a copy of the purchase document.

        ramming speed to all

        general counsel
        I don't think he was playing a word game or anything, he was probably just telling the truth and hasn't heard any specific instructions yet

        I doubt it changes much anyway, in the NFL it's not like you can go wild (Yes, even with the no-cap year you still can't go on a spending spree).

        Comment

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        • r8rh8rmike
          St. Louis Rams' New Owner Offers Hope
          by r8rh8rmike
          St. Louis Rams' new owner offers hope

          Sports Columnist Bernie Miklasz
          ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
          02/12/2010


          The pending sale of the Rams to Shahid Khan is cause for optimism. Khan represents the classic American success story. It's the kind of story that's made America so great. It's the kind of story that we traditionally root for, and point to, with pride.

          Born in Pakistan, Khan arrived in the U.S. in 1967. He was a teenager then, and St. Louis was Khan's landing spot, his first stop on American soil. Khan went on to earn an engineering degree at the University of Illinois. He married his college sweetheart. He built a successful career and a blissful personal life in America's heartland, living in the Champaign-Urbana, Ill., area for more than 40 years.

          And that bodes well for St. Louis and the Rams' future in our town. Khan has roots in this region. He didn't take his fortune and move to Malibu, Napa Valley, Aspen, the Hamptons or some other trendy spot. Khan remained in the Midwest. And that gives us a legitimate reason to believe he'll want to keep an NFL team in St. Louis.

          Khan is a football fan. He has a luxury suite at Illinois home games. Khan has helped Illinois football coach Ron Zook by giving Zook use of Khan's private jet for recruiting trips. He's been generous in his support of academic and athletic programs at Illinois. ShopSTL Marketplace

          America's Center & Dome / Annual Saint Louis Boat & Sport Show

          In an interview with Mike Owens of KSDK-TV and Marc Cox of KMOV-TV, Zook praised Khan as "a competitor and a winner. He's a very successful man. He's been very successful in everything he's done and there's no reason to think he won't be successful in the National Football League."

          As a bonus, Khan is a Rams fan. He's made that Sunday trip from Central Illinois to attend games at the Edward Jones Dome. Like you, Khan has watched the Rams at their best, and he has seen the Rams at their worst. And that's valuable. Khan figures to have a handle on what needs to be done to pull the Rams from the ditch.

          Provided that there are no glitches or unforeseen problems — and Khan still must gain clearance from NFL owners — he'll be in position to make a positive impact on the franchise.

          And I give lots of credit to Rams majority owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez. From the beginning, Rosenbloom told me he would strive to sell the team to someone who wanted to keep the Rams in St. Louis. Someone who, at least from what we can tell, has a favorable view of the city.

          Khan fits that description. And his presence is timely; no wealthy individuals from the immediate St. Louis community stepped up to make a bid to become the majority owner, so Khan can save the day.

          OK, now that we've covered the pleasantries, let's switch gears....
          -02-11-2010, 09:55 PM
        • dhaab
          Rams Soon Will BE Put Up for Sale - No Preconditions
          by dhaab
          Not looking good.



          St. Louis Rams soon will be put up for sale
          By Bernie Miklasz
          ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
          Sunday, May. 31 2009
          Here's an early heads-up for any wealthy individuals, families or potential
          investor groups in the St. Louis area who dream of owning an NFL franchise:

          You're in luck.

          But you might want to act fast, because the Rams are likely to hit the open
          market in the near future, officially offered for sale by majority owners Chip
          Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez.

          After inheriting control of the Rams in early 2008 from their late mother,
          Georgia Frontiere, Rosenbloom and Rodriguez have concentrated on reorganizing
          the football operation. And they've had to deal with complex estate-tax issues
          in the aftermath of their mother's death.

          With substantial progress made in those areas, the timetable for a sale has
          moved up.

          Two sources with direct knowledge of the situation told the Post-Dispatch on
          Saturday that Rosenbloom and Rodriguez have retained the services of Goldman
          Sachs, the prominent investment banking firm.

          The owners will ask Goldman Sachs to help facilitate the sale of the Rams by
          evaluating bids and soliciting potential buyers.

          The sale price is unknown, but Forbes magazine's most recent estimate listed
          the Rams' value at $929 million.

          And if you are a St. Louis Rams fan, here's the reason to be concerned: I'm
          told there will be no preconditions attached to the sale of the Rams. This
          means the Rams could be scooped up by out-of-town buyers.

          And that's a dramatic — and potentially ominous — development, given the Rams'
          shaky lease at the Edward Jones Dome.

          Until now, Rosenbloom, the franchise's managing partner, has said he was open
          to the idea of selling the Rams as long as the new owner agreed to keep the
          team in St. Louis, long-term. Rosenbloom hoped that his pledge would entice a
          buyer from the St. Louis community.

          According to a source familiar with Rosenbloom's thinking, Rosenbloom is
          discouraged by the apparent lack of local ownership interest. Rosenbloom, the
          source said, has been waiting for more than a year for a St. Louis-area bidder
          to step forward, to no avail.

          The source said Rosenbloom's strong preference is to sell to St. Louis
          representatives. But with nothing happening on the St. Louis front, Rosenbloom
          has reluctantly concluded that the only way to expedite a sale is to make the
          Rams available to any party, near or far. And that includes Los Angeles, the
          Rams' home until moving to St. Louis in 1995.

          When reached Saturday, Rosenbloom declined to comment on sale and stadium
          issues. "The...
          -05-30-2009, 10:44 PM
        • r8rh8rmike
          St. Louis Rams Owners Weighing 3 Offers
          by r8rh8rmike
          St. Louis Rams owners weighing 3 offers

          By Jim Thomas
          ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
          01/20/2010

          St. Louis Rams owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez are closing in on a decision to accept one of three offers to purchase the team or walk away from the bidders and keep the franchise, league sources told the Post-Dispatch on Tuesday.

          A decision could be reached before the NFL draft in late April, not because of any kind of firm deadline, but simply to avoid uncertainty surrounding the team and its future entering the 2010 season.

          All three offers, described as "acceptable" by the sources, are comparable to what the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise recently sold for — which was in the range of total franchise value of $720 million to $800 million.

          The only known bid for the team is from a group of investors headed by St. Louis Blues hockey chairman Dave Checketts. The identity of the other two bidders remains unknown, although one was a relative late-comer in the process.

          The three bidders are committed in varying degrees to keeping the franchise in St. Louis, and that may have an impact on any sale decision.

          Rosenbloom and Rodriguez own 60 percent of the franchise, which they inherited from their late mother, Georgia Frontiere. Frontiere died on Jan. 18, 2008 — two years ago Monday — after a long battle with breast cancer. It is that 60 percent of the team that is for sale.

          Stan Kroenke owns the other 40 percent of the team.

          But at least one of the bids is for the full 100 percent of the team, in which case Kroenke's share would be bought out as well. But if Rosenbloom and Rodriguez end up selling only their 60 percent of the team, Kroenke could potentially scuttle the deal by saying he wants to "cash out," or sell his share of the team as well. If that's the case, the 60 percent investor may not have enough money to buy the full franchise.

          Those close to Rosenbloom say he has yet to get any indication from Kroenke on what he will do, although there have been signals from the Kroenke camp that he will simply hold his 40 percent share of the team if Rosenbloom and Rodriguez sell their 60 percent.

          Kroenke also has matching rights on any outside offers for the team. But under current NFL cross-ownership rules, he would not be allowed to exercise that right as long as he owns majority shares of the Denver Nuggets NBA team and the Colorado Avalanche NHL franchise. Kroenke also owns 29.9 percent of the English soccer club Arsenal, a team valued at $1.2 billion.

          Some clarity could be added to the issue this week. The Rams' brain trust is meeting in Los Angeles today and Thursday for the team's annual end-of-season summit meeting. Kroenke is expected to attend at least one day's worth of the meetings. If Kroenke indicates that he's on board with any...
          -01-19-2010, 10:48 PM
        • r8rh8rmike
          No Need To Panic Over Sale Of Rams
          by r8rh8rmike
          Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell
          ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
          06/03/2009

          Considering the recent unsettling history of this once-burned football town, it's perfectly understandable why so many St. Louis NFL fans are handling the news that the "For Sale" sign is officially hanging outside the gates at Rams Park as if the moving vans are not far behind. The flinch reflex goes into hyper-drive once you've already seen your first NFL franchise spirited off to the West.

          Now you automatically assume the worst: Move on me once, shame on you. Move on me twice, shame on me.

          Well, not so fast my pessimistic people. Your Pavlovian responses might be completely understandable, but they could also be quite unnecessary. Here's what you need to know: Regardless of whether the majority ownership of the Rams is eventually purchased by local buyers or strangers from a thousand miles away, the odds are still fairly strong that St. Louis will remain the Rams' home. No matter who ultimately ends up buying this franchise from Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez, they will find a dramatically different economic landscape in place since the wild and woolly 1980s, when NFL franchise free agency was at its peak.

          There simply aren't a lot of cities to go dashing off to that have fancy state-of-the-art stadiums waiting for you. Twenty or 30 years ago, pro football owners could use cities like St. Louis, Jacksonville, Phoenix, Indianapolis or Charlotte as leverage against any NFL municipality that showed any reluctance to construct a lavish new publicly funded football palace.

          That was then. This is now. The American economic landscape has changed dramatically with a declining economy and a tapped-out marketplace of big-league cities. Ken Shropshire, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania's noted Wharton Business School, says the days of franchises hopscotching around the country could be over. "That's the pretty common thought," Shropshire said. "The markets that wanted teams and that can support teams have already been filled. Buffalo is kind of flirting with Toronto, but beyond that, Los Angeles is (the only viable city left). And it's not all that certain that Los Angeles wants or will support an NFL franchise anymore."

          The panic mode needs to be ramped down several pegs for any number of reasons. First of all, there is the issue of time. There's a lease that essentially keeps the franchise locked in St. Louis for at least five more years. Then there is the issue of a shrinking pool of potential buyers. While Blues Chairman Dave Checketts has already made it clear that he has put together a group of potential buyers who have already begun talking with Rosenbloom, there's no guarantee that there will be a flood of other potential buyers. As Shropshire says, "You're running out of people with that sort of wealth. In a city like yours...
          -06-03-2009, 08:03 PM
        • MauiRam
          New Ram Owners Want to Do What's Right ..
          by MauiRam
          owners want to do what's right
          By Bernie Miklasz
          ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
          05/22/2008

          Sports Columnist Bernie Miklasz

          If the Rams and the NFL were pieces of a movie plot, Chip Rosenbloom would utilize his talents as a screenwriter, producer and director and script a happy ending. And as the credits roll, the St. Louis audience would stand in applause.

          But this isn't a movie.

          This is reality.

          There are no heroes or villains, either. Just two sincere people — Chip and his sister, Lucia Rodriguez — who are struggling to do the right thing for everybody, including the fans of St. Louis.

          I had the chance to speak with Rosenbloom about the brush fire of rumors of a possible Rams sale. He was trying to make it to his young daughter's soccer party but had to experience another lesson on what it's like to be an NFL owner.

          Privacy and family time are compromised, and it's the price he'll have to pay for being the Rams' managing partner. Does he need it? Does he really want it? Rosenbloom has a fulfilling life in Los Angeles, with his wife and two children and a burgeoning film career. There will be many more Rams-sale rumors to deal with, and a bunch of other headaches. And Rosenbloom must determine if it's all worth it.

          Rosenbloom didn't want to be quoted, but after our conversation, the situation seems clearer to me. So I'll share what I think I know based on our discussion:


          — Are the Rams for sale? Answer: no — and yes.

          Chip and Lucia aren't seeking a buyer. Rosenbloom stressed that repeatedly. Nothing has changed, he insisted. Ideally, they'd like to hang on to the Rams for a long time, in part to honor their late mother, Georgia Frontiere. Chip isn't in any hurry to sell, but tax-related issues related to their mother's estate are complicated, and selling the Rams may be the one sure way of settling everything.

          If a credible figure expresses interest in buying this team, Frontiere's children will listen. And if that potential buyer is an excellent fit, they'll be inclined to sell. But Rosenbloom and Rodriguez want to be careful. If they sell, they want to place the Rams in good hands. There is no timetable, but this franchise will eventually be sold. I have said that all along; I just think it will occur further on down the road.

          — But what about Rosenbloom's pledge of allegiance to St. Louis? Was that a flagrant example of a phony sports owner telling the locals what they wanted to hear? Answer: no.

          Rosenbloom has never said he wouldn't sell. He feels a strong connection with St. Louis, because of the support given to his mother, and because of the family's NFL history. But again, it isn't that simple, because of the taxes owed. And as Rosenbloom indicated: Suppose an impressive buyer surfaces? Other than shooting down speculation...
          -05-22-2008, 02:49 PM
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