If Kroenke hasn't convinced you that he genuinely wants to stay in St Louis barring a shafting by the CVC/City/State, I don't know what will. It's not his fault that the current lease is borderline retarded. It's not his fault that the Dome sucks so bad that it needs hundreds of millions in upgrades to even be considered as a Super Bowl site.
We all know that he's not going to come out and say it, that'd be a terrible business decision, but all the signs are there. Plus if I'm wrong, all you LA Ram fans will have this post to rub in my face for years to come.
Okay good, I've gotten your attention enough to give me at least a few more lines to explain myself. Here is the evidence:
- I completely agree with this post about how the Rams submitted a serious, mostly plausible plan to upgrade The Ed to acceptable standards. The CVC "plan" was a joke. After being insulted with such drivel I would have had half a mind to ask for the whole damn thing to be suspended in the air a la Cloud City from Star Wars.
- Based on the current ballpark figures, we can assume that through negotiations the final cost will be in the $300-$500 million range. Perfectly acceptable, Arrowhead was redone for almost $400 million, and new stadiums are going for a billion. Even on the high side, the League's grant system would kick in a significant chunk (they just agreed to $200 million for the forty whiners' new stadium) leaving the Rams, city, and state to fight over the remaining $200-$400 million. It feels so wrong to type it, but $250 million after the NFL's contribution doesn't sound all that bad. The taxpayers may end up only footing $50-$150 million.
- Dollars and cents are all fine and good you say, but there's no way taxpayers will pony up that kind of dough for a 15-65 team. Exactly! Football must improve first. Call me crazy, but it's pretty well known that Fish wasn't too happy with the Oilers/Titans move - why on earth would he subject himself voluntarily to that again? I think that getting Fisher was a strong indication of Kroenke's desire to stay. Look at how much we are all drooling over this season, knowing full well that 6 wins is reasonable and any more than that is icing on the cake.
If Kroenke really wanted to move here's what he would have done: ask either for an entirely new stadium or one with more bells and whistles than the Enterprise, hire another promoted coordinator as head coach, and picked RGIII with the 2nd pick, wasting all the extra picks we could (and did) get out of that spot.
No, nothing's set in stone. I'd still give them at best a 70%/30% chance at staying (this coming from an unabashed homer). Even if LA falls through, those idiots running the show want to move some sucker team to London. Hell, it'd be perfect for the Rams if they want to remain at the bottom of the barrel, fighting jet lag along with the "top 5" 9ers in 2015 (please go away, ESPN).
Goodell has stated clearly that he wants the Rams to stay in STL. He has been clear that expansion teams are not out of the question for either LA or London. Kroenke has done everything he can reasonably do aside from shooting himself in the foot on the negotiations to show that he wants to stay. Lastly, and sorry for this my LA Rams brothers, but the NFL will make way more money if there is no NFL team there - and it looks like Goodell will be more than happy to drag his feet until such time as he sees real profit there, which could be a while.