Whispers in the British media say St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke wants to turn his newly-purchased land in Los Angeles into a stadium for both kinds of football.
The billionaire sports mogul wants to move the Rams back to California and start a Major League Soccer team called the Los Angeles Gunners, according to an anonymous tipster quoted in The Sun. That 60 acre plot of land Kroenke recently purchased would be the site of a 75,000-seat stadium.
Living up to the nickname Silent Stan, Kroenke hasn't said a word since declaring to the NFL that he bought land suited for a stadium. The purchase set off a frenzy in St. Louis, the city Kroenke could leave if he doesn't get the millions of dollars he wants to build a new stadium.
It's not too hard to believe Kroenke is eyeing a new soccer team. He owns Arsenal Football Club, an English Premier League team, and the Colorado Rapids in the MLS.
The L.A. Gunners would be a sister-team of sorts to Arsenal. But Los Angeles already has a culture-crossover soccer team, and it's not going well.
Chivas USA, the American sister club to Mexico's popular Chivas de Guadalajara, struggles to attract fans to games or land a television deal. The team's crowning achievement was reaching the conference semifinals in 2007. When David Beckham played for Los Angeles' other MLS team, the Galaxy, his $4 million salary was larger than the payroll for all Chivas' players combined.
The stadium wouldn't be the first football-soccer combo. The Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Sounders share Centurylink Field. Atlanta is redesigning their football stadium to include soccer, and they don't even have an MLS team yet. On the flip side, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club in England wants to build a stadium to attract an NFL team.
The Sun's report says plans for a football/football stadium in L.A. are in their infancy, but the tipster said the name L.A. Gunners was a "tip of the hat" to Arsenal's nickname. (British media are more liberal with using unnamed sources than the typical American news outlet.)