The St. Louis Rams, emphasis on St. Louis, are one of five teams that have been approached by sports and entertainment giant AEG about a potential purchase and relocation to Los Angeles. AEG is leading the charge to build Farmer's Field next to the Staples Center, owned by AEG, in downtown LA. Nabbing a team would go along way toward making that stadium project a reality. The other four teams are the Chargers, Jaguars, Raiders and Vikings.
So how likely is a Rams move under this scenario?
If AEG is interested in purchasing a majority stake in a franchise, as suggested by the report, that would almost have to rule out the St. Louis Rams, purchased less than a year ago by billionaire developer Stan Kroenke. Kroenke already owned a minority stake in the Rams and jumped at the chance after Illinois auto parts magnate Shahid Kahn made an initial offer for the share owned by George Frontier's children. Kroenke selling a majority of the franchise he just purchased seems unlikely, very unlikely. The CBA issue is going to be settled, sooner or later, and the league is on the verge of at least $11 billion in revenues this season. Kroenke isn't going to sell with franchise valuations set to rise exponentially in the coming years. Another reason Silent Stan may be less apt to sell: owning a stadium is big money.
The real money is in owning a stadium, something Kroenke is well aware of as a real estate developer and the fact that he owns the Pepsi Center where his, er, his son's pro teams, the NBA Nuggets and the NHL Avalanche, play in Denver. Buying the Rams when he did, Kroenke also bought a chance to develop his own stadium for the team, something that's been very profitable for owners like Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder.
None of this is to rule out the possibility of the Rams moving to LA. However, if owning a venue is a central as it would seem to be for Kroenke's plans, LA might be a tough market to crack for the Rams since other developers are building the stadiums. Like I said, anything can happen though.
Right now, if AEG is trying to angle in as a majority stake holder, the Vikings, with their stadium issues, or the Chargers, who also want a new home, make much more sense. The Jacksonville Jaguars seem like much more realistic possibility than the Rams at this point too, though I'm not as familiar with their issues, other than the struggles of being a small market team.