St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is planning to build an NFL stadium in Los Angeles, leading to speculation about the franchise's future .
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Inglewood Mayor Says City Has Enough Verified Signatures for NFL Stadium Initiative
Wednesday, Feb. 11
Radio show 980 The Beast in L.A. provided an update on the initiative to build an NFL stadium in the city from Inglewood Mayor James Butts:
Inglewood Mayor James Butts called in to The Fred Roggin Show with some breaking news regarding the “City of Champions” project to build an NFL stadium on the Hollywood Park land, a project that St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is a part of.
“We have the verified signatures and the initiative did pass.
Missouri Governor Speaks About Efforts to Keep Rams in St. Louis
Tuesday, Feb. 10
ESPN's Nick Wagoner provided comments from governor Jay Nixon, who spoke about the St. Louis stdium project:
I'm not going to handicap this other than to say that if we do nothing then we're not an NFL city," Nixon said. "If we do nothing, then $10 million a year of taxes is gone. If we do nothing, then people will stand right here 10 years from now and that [dilapidated building] will look exactly like it looks right there.
This is our chance to get a dual benefit of using tax dollars appropriately [and] get the redevelopment of an area of the downtown that has been very hard to redevelop. Doing nothing, it's really easy to see what's going to happen.
Wagoner provided more details and Nixon's response to a potential road block being presented by existing power lines, rowers and railroads present for the stadium:
The power lines and towers move would cost $20 million and the railroad move would cost $3 million. Both are contingent upon the stadium deal being finalized. That $23 million was already accounted for in the initial proposal submitted by Peacock and Blitz last month.
"To get a site ready that has issues involving railroad lines and power stations, those are basically the two hardest things of infrastructure to deal with," Nixon said. "These folks can never have a break in service. They can never have a redundancy in all of their issues. To get the organizations behind me to jump to that quickly, I would argue are among the most difficult tasks on the front end.
Nixon also addressed the progress that has been made thus far:
We are just on a time frame here that requires us to move forward," Nixon said. "So I feel that with the discussions we've had with the league and others, we're in a positive framework to get redevelopment and progress here.
Consultants Being Hired to Develop 64K Seat St. Louis Stadium
Thursday, Jan. 29
David Hunn of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports a vote has passed that may help the effort to keep the Rams in St. Louis:
Thursday, the public board that built and owns the Edward Jones Dome authorized its leaders to pay consultants toward the development of a 64,000-seat, open-air stadium on the north riverfront downtown.
The resolution passed unanimously.
Keeping Rams in St. Louis Will Take "Spectacular Effort"
Wednesday, Jan. 28
David Hunn of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch provided comments from the chairman of the region’s tourism bureau, who believes the Rams want to move to Los Angeles:
The fight to keep the football team here, said Andrew Leonard, chairman of the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission, will have to be a “spectacular effort.”
“There’s no question about it, they’d rather be in Los Angeles, in my mind,” Leonard told fellow board members during Wednesday morning’s regular commission meeting.
Rams Reportedly Expected to Go Year-to-Year on St. Louis Lease
Monday, Jan. 26
Albert Breer of NFL.com reported on the latest developments surrounding the future of the St. Louis Rams and a potential move to Los Angeles:
Two big steps are expected this week. The Rams will provide notice to St. Louis that they're going year-to-year on their lease before Wednesday's deadline to do so. And they'll likely turn in to the city of Inglewood the 8,500 signatures necessary to set up a public vote, which will most likely take place in the spring, to re-zone the land where the stadium will be built. According to a source, the team already has the signatures in hand.
The 60-acre plot Kroenke bought in January 2014 is approved for a stadium, but the adjacent 238-acre area owned by the Stockbridge Capital Group isn't. Once all 298 acres are zoned properly, shovels can go in the ground.
Breer also reported on the possible mechanizations that would lead to a move west:
How that plays out will determine whether or not the club meets the league's relocation guidelines, which call for a team to demonstrate that the existing market has failed. If the financing includes an eventual public contribution, that will make it tougher for the Rams to qualify for relocation, but if the St. Louis plan does not end up including much public money, that could grease the skids for a move. In any case, the Rams have been less successful than the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders when it comes to demonstrating that their market has failed.
Kroenke is also amenable to the idea of having a second team as part of the project, according to a source, which would help the NFL make the most of the effort.
Photo, Details Revealed Regarding Proposed St. Louis Stadium
Friday, Jan. 9
KMOX Sports revealed a photo of the proposed venue:
Photo of the proposed riverfront stadium #STLNFL http://t.co/vBUMD6Xhuw2015-1-9 18:10:32
Chris Hrabe of KMOX reported the venue's cost:
Chris Hrabe @chrabe
"No new tax burden on taxpayers in the local region of the state of Missouri." Estimate $860-985mil cost. #NFLSTL2015-1-9 18:16:35
St. Louis Leaders Work to Keep Team
Wednesday, Jan. 7
The Associated Press provided new details on the plans of St. Louis leaders trying to keep the team:
AP NFL @AP_NFL
St. Louis leaders: Rams owner Kroenke won't return our calls, will work directly with #NFL on keeping team http://t.co/iGYYE9HHOm2015-1-7 20:23:17
John Salter of the AP added further information:
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon isn't giving up on the Rams.
'St. Louis is an NFL city,' Nixon said Wednesday. 'I don't think it's too late to keep the Rams.'
But city leaders are hedging their bets, saying the plan now is to work directly with the NFL — not the Rams. The change in philosophy is due in part to the fact that Kroenke won't take calls from Mayor Francis Slay or other city leaders, said Maggie Crane, Slay's spokeswoman.
'He hasn't responded, he hasn't called back, he hasn't done anything,' Crane said of Kroenke.
'After a while you sort of get the hint,' said Jeff Rainford, the mayor's chief of staff.
Messages left Wednesday at Kroenke's office were not returned. A Rams spokesman declined comment.
St. Louis Won't Get Into Bidding War for Rams
Tuesday, Jan. 6
St. Louis officials and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon commented on the future of the Rams in the city following the announcement of Stan Kroenke's plan to build an NFL stadium in Los Angeles, via Kevin McDermott of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Faced with the strongest sign yet that Rams owner Stan Kroenke is preparing to pack up his team for Los Angeles, officials in Missouri and St. Louis are vowing to fight to keep it here — to a point.
“The mayor thinks we should ... not get into a bidding war with Los Angeles,” Jeff Rainford, spokesman for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, said Monday, in response to reports that Kroenke has closed an LA land deal that could be the first step toward moving the Rams back to Southern California.
“A National Football League franchise does have value, and we should want one, but let’s use some common sense,” Rainford said. “The parameters are not a blank check.”
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who has created a two-person committee to come up with recommendations on how to keep the Rams, took a similar position.
“St. Louis is an NFL city and I am committed to keeping it that way,” Nixon said in a written statement. He said he expects to receive a plan by week’s end “that’s consistent with our principles of protecting taxpayers, creating jobs, and making significant use of private investment to clean up and revitalize underutilized areas.”
Kroenke Plans Los Angeles NFL Stadium
Tuesday, Jan. 6
Mum had been the word around NFL circles regarding a team's potential move to Los Angeles after commissioner Roger Goodell put the kibosh on any plan for 2015. It appears, however, that St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke isn't wasting any time making big plans for the following season.
Officials at Stockbridge Capital Group, which owns a 238-acre piece of land in Hollywood Park, told Sam Farmer and Roger Vincent of the Los Angeles Times they are currently planning to build a stadium that will bring the NFL back to Los Angeles.
"We are excited to unveil an expanded plan that will bring a world-class sports and entertainment district to Hollywood Park," Stockbridge founder Terry Fancher said. "We are committed to working with [the Kroenke Group] to build a project that will put Inglewood back on the map as home of the truly great sports and entertainment venues."
Stockbridge says the proposed state-of-the-art facility will have an 80,000-person capacity and a 6,000-seat "performance venue." Kroenke bought 60 acres of land in Inglewood, California, last year, sparking rumors of a Rams relocation. The franchise played in Los Angeles from 1946-1994, at which point it moved to St. Louis when it was unable to secure funding for a new stadium.
Kroenke finds himself in a similar situation in St. Louis two decades later. The Times report indicates the franchise and city are $575 million apart on improvements to the Edward Jones Dome, which has been its home since the move. According to their lease, the Rams are allowed to convert their 30-year agreement to a year-to-year deal in January. "St. Louis officials expected to have a new stadium proposal in a few weeks. This land purchase news coming out now ratchets up pressure," reported NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Jason Cole of Bleacher Report reported what he was hearing regarding the Rams' future in St. Louis:
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Ben Volin of BostonGlobe.com quickly shared his thoughts on the proposal:
Ben Volin @BenVolin
Interesting that after being silent for years about LA, Stan Kroenke and his firm announced the stadium plans & released artist's renditions2015-1-5 13:25:34
Ben Volin @BenVolin
And the design of the proposed LA stadium is pretty wild http://t.co/eBg8JGpq4v http://t.co/0JeDZWcjjy2015-1-5 13:26:43
The San Diego Chargers currently have a similar situation with Qualcomm Stadium. Last month, the franchise announced it had no plans on attempting a relocation for the 2015 season.
It's unclear how (if at all) the Chargers fit into a potential plan. The Rams and Chargers are in different conferences, so it's possible they could choose to share the stadium. The Oakland Raiders have also been floated as a potential relocator, giving Kroenke two options if he hopes to split the cost.
Any team that relocates would likely need to spend a couple of years playing at the Rose Bowl or Los Angeles Coliseum during construction.
Neither the Rams nor the NFL commented on the Times report. The NFL has not been in the nation's second-largest city since 1994, when the Rams and Raiders moved to their current cities amid stadium funding issues.
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