LOS ANGELES CA - FEBRUARY 01: Tim Leiweke President and CEO of AEG holds a football after he announced naming rights for the new football stadium Farmers Field at Los Angeles Convention Center on February 1 2011 in Los Angeles California. AEG has reportedly sold the naming rights for the proposed stadium to Farmers Insurance Exchange for $650,000 calling the stadium "Farmers Field." (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
The St. Louis Rams are not for sale, according to owner Stan Kroenke who purchased 100 percent of the franchise not even a year ago. Kroenke's unwillingness to sell is notable on a day when reports revealed that sports and entertainment company AEG approached five NFL teams, including the Rams, about purchasing a majority stake and relocating to Los Angeles.
Kroenke wasn't responding specifically to the AEG news today, but, according to the Post-Dispatch, he has said that he is unwilling to sell. He also continues to remain adamant about keeping the team in St. Louis, notable in and of itself.
If accurate, the idea that AEG is approaching these five teams about buying a majority share strikes me as a little odd. Obviously, I'm most familiar with the Rams, and given that Kroenke has owned it less than a year, it doesn't take Warren Buffet (that sums up my rich guy knowledge) to tell you that it wouldn't make much sense for him to sell now. Of course, from AEG's perspective, the real money is in owning the team and the venue, so why not try.
Farrar has an interesting take at Yahoo, noting that the NFL could recoup some of the money likely to be lost in the new CBA, from the initial extra $1 billion owners were seeking. The money would come from the fees from the sale of a team. He also raises the specter of an expansion team in LA as a way to bring in that bacon. (Is there enough talent for an expansion?)
Then again, having an NFL-less LA gives the league some leverage in stadium fights in other cities too.
For now, we know that the Rams aren't a likely candidate to be sold, and, as I pointed out this morning, likely to be moved by Kroenke into a new home that he doesn't own.