ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- After careful thought and consideration as to what the NFL could possibly be thinking with regards to its stadium situations around the country I’ve come to a conclusion.
I don’t envy the position the league is in right now.
Think about it. The #2 market in the nation is empty. Literally, there is no team in Los Angeles and there hasn’t been one for two decades. That’s an obscene amount of money being squandered by not being in such a huge city. The NFL wants to get back into LA badly.
As it should.
The problem is for 20 years no owner or developer has made any real progress whatsoever on building/financing a stadium. No one, that is, until Rams owner Stan Kroenke tried his hand in the matter. So for the first time since 1995 there is a legitimate chance of someone getting a stadium built in LA.
There’s just an issue with that. The city where Kroenke’s team currently resides happens to be on track to build a new stadium of its own. That’s not to say the city of St. Louis will 100% get its vision to become a reality. But as we speak in February 2015 it’s definitely alive.
So that means the NFL has to balance its desire to get into the nation’s second biggest market with giving a smaller city a chance to keep its team since it might be building a near-billion dollar stadium. If they choose the former then you’re telling St. Louis thanks for coming up with the plans for this but we need to be in Los Angeles more than we need your facility.
If they choose the latter they’re throwing away the first good chance they have of getting back into LA in 20 years.
See the issue?
I would imagine the league, right now, is trying to find a way of getting back into Los Angeles while keeping an NFL team in St. Louis – should the new riverfront stadium actually happen. How does that happen? Well, it’s complicated.
It could mean letting the Rams leave while redirecting another franchise (Chargers? Raiders?) to St. Louis. It could mean Kroenke being forced to buy another team to move to LA, a team whose market is less likely to build a new stadium than St. Louis is. It could mean something else entirely.
Obviously everything right now hinges on whether or not this riverfront stadium actually gets built. That’s the next big shoe to drop in the never ending saga of trying to figure out if St. Louis will have professional football come 2016.