NFL Tease? St. Louis Rams Owner Buys Land In Inglewood
The owner of an NFL team bought a plot of land fit for a stadium, once again teasing us with the possibility of a team coming to Los Angeles.
St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke recently bought a plot of land between the closed Hollywood Park track and the newly-renovated Forum in Inglewood, the Los Angeles Times reports. The 60-acre plot can most likely fit a football stadium, but the Rams refuse to comment on what the land will be used for, according to the L.A. Business Journal.
The land has been owned by Walmart for years, and Kroenke just so happens to be married to one of the heiresses of the superstore fortune. Walmart tried to open a Supercenter on the property in 2004, but Inglewood residents flatly rejected them.
This is certainly a sizable leap for a team to make in regards to moving to the L.A. area. Many bigwigs in L.A. have been trying to lure a team here, and there have been two stadium ideas that have fizzled in the past—Farmer's Field at L.A. Live and a planned stadium all the way in the City of Industry.
Back in Missouri, all the pieces seem to be falling into place. Kroenke tried to develop an insanely expensive, taxpayer-funded $700 million stadium renovation that was trashed by the city in 2012, which could motivate Kroenke to look elsewhere for a team. There is also a very sneaky clause in the Rams' current lease that states that it becomes year-to-year if the Rams' stadium "isn't one of the league's eight best by the end of next season," according to Deadspin (How do they determine that, exactly?). Also, the Rose Bowl won a battle last week to host an NFL team if they begin construction on a new stadium.
Could these be the first few steps to bringing an NFL team back to Los Angeles?
Not so fast: there are still many hurdles to overcome. The Rams must attempt to negotiate another deal with St. Louis while they explore a move, the Times reports. They must also clear it with the NFL and receive a three-fourths majority vote from all the other teams in order to get the green light, in addition to a multitude of other legal mountains the Rams have to climb before they could even think of moving.
Deadspin seems a little more cynical about the whole thing, claiming that this is all a game of chicken: the purchase of the land could be part of Kroenke's plan to scare St. Louis into approving a new stadium in their city.
If the plan goes through, it will be yet another bit of interesting news for the people of Inglewood. Whether or not residents will approve remains to be seen (it does sound like a nightmare for NIMBYs).
So, if you're excited about the prospect of the Rams moving to L.A., keep in mind that if Kroenke solidifies his move to L.A., it's still eons away from fruition. Just be happy the Jaguars aren't moving here.