So, Stan Kroenke is the new owner of the St. Louis Rams. Enjoy it while it lasts. The team won't be here for long. Why? 1. Kroenke Won't Commit to Keeping Club Here
After NFL owners approved Kroenke's purchase of the club last week, the new owner had this to say to ESPN
"I've been around St. Louis and Missouri a major portion of my life. I've never had any desire to lead the charge out of St.
Louis. That's not why we're here. We're here to work very hard and be
successful in St. Louis."
"Now, the realistic part
of that. I live to be competitive. To be competitive, you have to have
revenue. We're going to work really hard to have a model that produces
revenue where we can be consistently competitive. Anyone can be a
contender in the pro sports business every so often. The real challenge
is to be competitive every year."
Now tell me, doesn't that sound like a person who's leaving a window -- hell, a garage door -- open for his exit out of town?
2. Kroenke Serves on a Committee to Bring an NFL Team to Los Angeles
Again, we turn to ESPN
, which this spring revealed that Kroenke has spent the last several years one a committee attempting to bring a team to southern California. Now, to be fair, other NFL owners also sit on the committee. Still, most of them don't own franchises that once called L.A. home and who have an exit clause in their current lease agreement. 3. Favorable Lease Agreement Allows Rams to Leave
Under terms of its lease with the Edward Jones Dome, Kroenke is free to move the team in 2014 so long as the stadium isn't among the top eight facilities in the NFL. People please, there's no amount of remodeling that will make "The Ed" -- a.k.a. the football warehouse
-- one of the premier stadiums in the league. 4. New Los Angeles Stadium Will Soon Beg for a Team
While we nervously wring our hands over what Kroenke might do, Los Angeles is moving forward with plans to build a new, state-of-the-art stadium
.5. Kroenke's Business M.O. is Pitting Communities Against Each Other, Getting Sweetheart Deals
Kroenke's business, THF Realty, has earned millions in free handouts by pitting communities against each other for public subsidies. The town that throws the most TIF money and other incentives THF's way
, wins the Wal-Mart, Lowe's and other developments. Look for the same thing between St. Louis and other cities vying for an NFL franchise. Can cash-strapped St. Louis really afford to help build the new stadium that the Rams will want? Not really. And it's going to be damn hard for us to compete against the likes of a major market like L.A.
Read my colleague Keegan Hamilton's rebuttal: Five Reasons the Rams Will STAY in St. Louis
.Note: The views expressed in Tuesday Tussle do not necessarily represent the stance of the author. In fact, the sides for these arguments are determined by a coin toss.