NFL In Los Angeles: 5 Reasons Why The St. Louis Rams Are Coming To Tinsletown

5 Reasons Why The St. Louis Rams Are Coming To Los Angeles

Los Angeles. The City of Angels. The City of Sunshine. The Entertainment Capital of the World. The city with no NFL franchise. Los Angeles has been without an NFL team since 1994. Before that, it had two, the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Raiders. After that season, both teams moved on to other markets, St. Louis, Missouri, and Oakland, California respectfully.

The rumors have been running rampant as of late that an NFL team will be returning to LA. This could happen as soon as 2016. The NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell are on board, but which team (if any) will be the one to relocate? It’s certainly no secret that the St. Louis Rams are at the top of a very short list. There have been rumors of a return for many years, but here are the 5 reasons why we believe the Rams are returning to Los Angeles:

#5 Los Angeles is hungry for a team

It has been 20 years and counting since the city of Los Angeles last saw professional football. When both the Raiders and Rams relocated in 1994, it broke the hearts of Angelenos. However, hearts can heal, and the NFL fans in Los Angeles are so hungry for a team that they are more than willing to forgive the Rams for their past grievances. Angelenos are literally begging for a team and would warmly welcome whoever is willing to come.

#4 Edward Jones Dome Lease

When NFL teams relocate, or threaten to relocate, it always comes down to one thing: stadiums. When the late Georgia Fronteire moved the then Los Angeles Rams to her hometown of St. Louis in 1995 it was because the Los Angeles facilities were run down, and she could not afford to refurbish. At the time, St. Louis gave their hometown sweetheart, a sexy new stadium: the Edward Jones Dome. Twenty years have passed, and the Rams lease at the dome is up at the end of the year. After the completion of the 2014 NFL season, the Rams will go on a year-to-year lease with the stadium and would be free to leave without any penalty. Coincidence? I think not.

#3 Sixty Acres of Prime Real Estate

On August 25th, 2010, real-estate investor and business entrepreneur, Stan Kroenke, purchased the St. Louis Rams from the Georgia Frontiere estate. Like Frontiere, he too is from Missouri, leading people to believe he would never move the Rams out of his home state. However, Kroenke is a business man first and foremost, and the NFL is one of the biggest businesses in the world. In addition to the Rams, Kroenke’s Sports Enterprises owns the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Mammoth, and Arsenal of the English Premier League. In January of this year, Kroenke purchased 60 acres of land adjacent to the Forum in Inglewood, California. Initial reports stated that the land was for a WalMart superstore (Kroenke is married to Ann Walton, the heir to the Walmart fortune). However, 60 acres is too much land for a WalMart, and the company was not able to get the necessary permits to build the store on the land. According to NFL-stadium rules and regulations, 60 acres is more than enough land to construct a state-of-the-art stadium with parking.

#2 The Chess Game With The Raiders

The market is ripe in Los Angeles for the NFL. AEG has passed all city votes to build a stadium in downtown LA, and respected NFL owners like Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft have publicly said that Los Angeles will have an NFL team in the next five years. The team that wins the LA lottery will hit pay dirt when they relocate. Kroenke and the Rams know this. Rumors are also swirling that the Oakland Raiders would like a new stadium and are threatening to move to either San Antonio or Los Angeles if they don’t get. The Oakland Coliseum recently signed a new long-term lease with the Oakland Athletics making it highly unlikely they would pay the estimated $700 million in improvements the Raiders are asking for. If Kroenke waits too long, and the Raiders move back to Los Angeles before him, he loses all leverage for a new stadium in St. Louis and loses out on the opportunity to cash in on the LA market. Kroenke is too smart to let that happen.

#1 Believe Everything That You Hear

Last month, ESPN Radio in St. Louis went over the radio waves to announce a reportthat the St. Louis Rams had already completed plans to move back to Los Angeles, and would be announcing the move publicly after Super Bowl XLIX. The radio broadcasters went over the air to announce the report in order to encourage the people and Governor of St. Louis to push for the Rams to stay. Kroenke is not interested in privately funding a stadium himself the way that AEG is willing to do if an NFL team agrees to move to LA. As of now, city, state and county officials in St. Louis have expressed no interest in providing the public funding necessary to improve the Edward Jones Dome. Taxpayers still owe over $300 million on the facility for its last round of improvements and are still paying off the New Busch Stadium built in 2006 for the St. Louis Cardinals.

What do you think?
Michael Duarte

Michael J. Duarte is a Los Angeles based writer. Born and raised in the City of Angels, Michael did his undergraduate work at the University of California Santa Barbara and a graduate program at the University of Southern California. Michael was awarded the Paul Lazarus Screenwriting Scholarship Award in 2004 and the Corwin Writing Award for his feature screenplay, "Chasing 4:00" in 2005. In addition to Sports writing, Michael is an avid marathon runner and fan of the Magic Bullet blender.