ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Speculation is running high over the future of the Rams in St. Louis.
A company with ties to Rams owner Stan Kroenke has purchased a football stadium-sized piece of ground in California. It’s a 60-acre parking lot in Inglewood originally planned for a Wal-Mart store. But the Los Angeles Times reports that as of late last year the land was sold to an unnamed party. The paper says that buyer is Kroenke.
The Rams neither confirmed nor denied that Kroenke purchased the land.
Mayor Slay’s Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford had this reaction for KMOX: “It certainly has our attention but we don’t know enough about it to be able to place a value on its significance.”
Los Angeles has been without an NFL franchise since the Rams and Raiders left after the 1994 season.
Moving an NFL franchise poses several challenges, but there is speculation that Kroenke may use the site as leverage to get additional improvements to the Edward Jones Dome.
Last February, the Rams won an arbitration case against the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission to bring the Dome up to First Tier status. The team said the stadium needs at least $700 million for major structural changes. The CVC presented a much more modest proposal, costing $120 million.
This is the first time an NFL owner has bought a major piece of land in the L.A. area, however the Times points out that 60 acres is probably too small to fit a stadium and the required parking.
Also relocation of a NFL team would require a three-quarters majority vote of the league’s 32 teams.