Feldman: If the NFL turns its back on St. Louis now its a complete fraud
EARTH CITY, MO - JANUARY 17: St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke addresses the media during a press conference at the Russell Training Center on January 17, 2012 in Earth City, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) By Dilip Vishwanat/Stringer
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (FootballStL) -- I’m sure everyone reading this listened to or watched the press conference with former A-B executive Dave Peacock and local attorney Bob Blitz. By now, you’ve seen the renderings as to what this new open-air stadium would look like. You know how much it would cost (between $860 and $985 million) as well as when it would conceivably be ready by (2020).
The NFL has rules regarding relocation. They’re very clear. They’re about as cut and dry as it gets.
The rules stipulate you have to exhaust ALL options in your existing market before a move is deemed appropriate. Can anyone who watched or listened to that presser today suggest the Rams – and namely owner Stan Kroenke – have fulfilled that requirement?
As Peacock so eloquently said, the city of San Diego’s been trying for more than a decade to do what the city of St. Louis is on the verge of doing in just about a year. Is this new project a guarantee to get off the ground while not putting any new burden on taxpayers in the area? Of course not. But it’s much further along from happening than not.
Area leaders have a plan. That’s a lot more than San Diego or Oakland can say at the moment.
Thus, if the NFL allows the Rams to move to Los Angeles while this project is still a legitimate possibility then the league is basically saying its rules are a farce. It’s saying their rules are just words on a page and can be thrown out the window at any point in time.
That would make the NFL a complete and total fraud in my book.
What does St. Louis have to do to prove to the country it deserves a professional football team? How many years of going to bad football games in an obsolete (Peacock’s words) Dome does it take before the rest of the civilized world realizes this city can support a franchise?
I get that the NFL wants to be in Los Angeles. Of course it does. Why wouldn’t it? LA’s the second largest media market in the country and represents a gold mine for owners. And considering there has been a major issue in getting a stadium built out west, the fact Kroenke seems to have found a way to do that can’t go unnoticed.
How does the NFL balance its desire to get into Los Angeles after 20 years away with following its own rules and not turning its back on a successful market?
Maybe allowing Kroenke to leave while assuring St. Louis it will get another franchise would work. Maybe forcing Kroenke to sell the Rams to buy another team so he can get into LA that way would do it. Or maybe Kroenke is flat out you-know-what out of luck.
But no matter what happens the NFL cannot leave St. Louis football-less again. It can’t. This city has followed the rules, it’s done everything in its power to get a new stadium built and progress is being made.
I don’t know what will happen with the project over the next several months. But as long as it’s a legitimate possibility, there should be NFL in St. Louis. Or the league should be exposed for what it is.