Already buying your Los Angeles Rams 2016 tickets? Not so fast.
A committee of St. Louis aldermen approved funding Thursday for a new $1 billion stadium that could keep the Rams in town long-term. The full Board of Aldermen will vote on the issue next weekend, ahead of an NFL-imposed deadline for the three cities whose team are attempting to relocate to Los Angeles, according to Fox Sports.
The Rams, Raiders, and Chargers all hope to move to the City of Angels as soon as possible, leaving their cities to fight to keep them around. St. Louis’ current venue, the Edward Jones Dome, was originally completed in 1995, making it almost 30 years newer than the stadiums in Oakland and San Diego.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke has made no secret of his desire to send his team to Los Angeles. The NFL’s owners will decide the Rams’ fate (along with the Chargers’ Radiers’) probably during special meetings Jan. 12 and 13, according to the Los Angeles Times, which reports that St. Louis appears best positioned to have a proposal ready by the Dec. 28 deadline.
By all appearances, St. Louis is the only market able to meet that deadline. Oakland has no viable plan, and San Diego’s hinges on a public vote that would not take place until later next year.
Asked whether San Diego would not be able to meet the deadline, Goodell said: “Certainly appears that’s the case, yes.”
But despite progress on the stadium-financing plan, NFL executives are not optimistic about St. Louis’ prospects, according to Fox Sports.
The good news from City Hall for St. Louis football fans was perhaps offset by skepticism from a key NFL executive.
In an interview Thursday with Bernie Miklasz on radio station WXOS-FM, NFL Executive Vice President Eric Grubman said the city “will fall short of having a compelling proposal that would attract the Rams.” Grubman said the proposed stadium will “cost more than is at the drawing board at the moment, the funding has declined and new taxes are being proposed to the Rams.”
Whether or not those comments are simply a negotiating tactic, it’s clear all three cities in danger of losing their teams are in the uncomfortable position of having to beg and plead (and also heavily tax their residents) to keep their franchises. From Fox Sports, here are the specifics St. Louis’ proposed plan:
The St. Louis proposal calls for the city to finance $150 million as part of the funding for a new stadium along the Mississippi River, near the Gateway Arch. The NFL team would pay $250 million, the league would give the team a $200 million loan, and fan seat licenses would generate $160 million. The rest of the funding would come from the state, either through tax credits or bonds.
It seems St. Louis has itself together a little more than San Diego and Oakland, which could prove the difference in the tri-city battle to hold onto their respective teams.