The Rams may not be for sale, but there's certainly no lack of interest in kicking the tires on the team. Managing partner Chip Rosenbloom's getting so many calls that the team hired a sports investment firm to field them. Moag & Co., as reported in the Post Dispatch today has been hired to "field the many inquiries" of investors looking to get in on the NFL game.
I suspect there's always investors looking to buy into an NFL franchise. With a national television deal and revenue sharing, it's money in the bank, unlike baseball where teams are so heavily dependent on the regional market for TV and ad revenue. Just last week reports of the Jacksonville Jaguars being sold made the rounds.
Don't think the "for sale" saga ended with Rosenbloom's pronouncement that the Rams aren't for sale though. That same New Jersey businessman, C. Dean Metropoulos, who was linked to the Jags last week is reportedly on a short list of "potential outright buyers" for the Rams. That's according to an interview with Sam Farmer of the LA Times on Jacksonville sports radio.
The ideal solution, the one where everyone comes out a winner, would be a buyer offering to buy a majority stake in the Rams AND finance, at least partially, a new stadium in St. Louis. And since we're in dream land, this mysterious new owner would send us all on a trip to visit the world's classiest nude beaches. Ain't happening. An NFL stadium is essentially a billion dollar proposition, and taxpayers will be top among the list of investors asked to finance such a facility. Now, that's not to say a privately financed stadium isn't a possibility; the league has several of them. However, a buyer building one themselves isn't realistic.
The for sale talk isn't going away any time soon. And don't think just because the team's "not for sale" it's not for sale. Said Rosenbloom:
"If we get a phone call today from somebody who says the right things, we would listen."
They'd have to. Eventually, someone is going to say the right things. When that happens, we'll have a whole new element to the guessing game that is the future of the Rams. Until then, though, the rumors will fly.