ST. LOUIS, Mo.- It finally happened. Just as we predicted, the St. Louis Rams announced their intention to relocate to sunny
Los Angeles Inglewood, California for the 2016 NFL season.
The announcement came in Houston, Texas, site of this year’s annual league owner’s meeting. There, the National Football League’s 32 team owners voted to give the St. Louis Rams approval to move to Los Angeles for the 2016 season, and the San Diego Chargers the option to join them within the next year.
Why did this happen?
Simply put, Governor Nixon’s ‘Stadium Task Force’ along with the City of St. Louis, provided the NFL with a new stadium plan that was ultimately deemed financially inadequate.
When we reported on the Governor’s new stadium proposal back in October, we felt even then, that the plans for the riverfront stadium north of downtown St. Louis were dubious at best. From our view, the owners of the National Football League agreed with that conclusion as well.
Yet, to be fair to both Governor Nixon and Mayor Slay, the Rams’ return to Los Angeles honestly crossed the proverbial Rubicon some time ago.
Rams owner, Stan Kroenke, already owned the land (in Inglewood) and possessed the cash to pay for the entire deal outright ($1 billion). The prospect of ruling over a nearly $2 billion stadium and entertainment complex in the nation’s second-largest market was just too good for the 68 year-old Missouri billionaire. Not to mention the fact that the terms of the Rams’ lease with the Edward Jones Dome were both hastily and foolishly agreed to by the City of St. Louis when the Rams first arrived in 1995; therms which included giving the Rams the ability to convert the lease to annual terms if the dome was not deemed among the top 25 percent of NFL stadiums based on various criteria. When you consider the fact that 22 NFL stadiums have been either built or refurbished since the original lease’s signing, the Edward Jones Dome had little chance of honoring its side of the agreement.
The legacy of the Rams’ time in St. Louis will, perhaps, always be thought of as something of a mixed bag. Some incredible highs, which included two Super Bowl appearances (1999, 2001) and one Super Bowl victory with the “Greatest Show On Turf” in 1999. Also, some incredible lows, posting just 56 wins from 2005-2015, an average of 5.09 per season.
We’re sure the St. Louis sports fan will survive without the NFL. The Cardinals and Blues are still thriving with fan and community support, just as always. If anyone in eastern Missouri still needs their football fix, Kansas City is only four hours away. We hear they’re nice there.
At the end of the day. It happened. Just as we prognosticated nearly a year ago. That said, there’s really only one thing left to say:
Farewell Horned Friends.