During the past month, there has been a scramble by three American football franchises to move from their current locations to the U.S.’s second largest city, Los Angeles. For those unfamiliar, LA has been without an NFL franchise since the Rams and Raiders left in 1995; however, with a few franchises seemingly not as lucrative as their peers, the league is taking steps to fill a void in their financial portfolio by placing one or two teams in that market. On January 12, league owners will take a vote to accept a maximum of two bids from the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, and St. Louis Rams to relocate to the Los Angeles area.
The Rams have as their majority owner Stan Kroenke, a Missouri native who is also the majority shareholder for Arsenal. As part of his relocation bid, the Rams and Kroenke submitted to the NFL a proposal/justification for the relocation. This 29-page document became public this week and the outcry has been, to put it politely, not good.
Kroenke was raised in a small town in Missouri and went to school at the University of Missouri. His full name is Enos Stanley Kroenke, named after two St. Louis Cardinals’ legends. Despite his numerous residences due to his extensive business investments, he raised his family in the state of Missouri. In 2010, he told a local reporter that upon taking ownership of the Rams he would do everything in his power to keep the team in St. Louis: “I’ve been a Missourian for 60 years. People in our state know me. People know I can be trusted. People know I am an honorable guy.”
Remember all of that as you consider what the Rams, and by default Kroenke, wrote in the team’s bid to move to Los Angeles, something he mentioned he would not do in the article quoted above:
· “Any NFL Club that signs on to this proposal in St. Louis will be well on the road to financial ruin, and the League will be harmed” is an exact quote from the bid document describing what would happen if a team tried to relocate to St. Louis
· The city “lags, and will continue to lag, far behind in the economic drivers that are necessary for sustained success of an NFL franchise”
· San Diego and Oakland are called more attractive business markets than St. Louis and the application calls St. Louis “struggling”.