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From Farmers Fields to an old Chrysler plant, thinking about the Rams future home

For now, the St. Louis Rams call the Ed Jones Dome home, but the forces of economics are expected to change that by the year 2015. 

At issue is whether or not the Rams will stay in St. Louis, be it the city or metro area. A yet-to-be-built stadium development in downtown Los Angeles owned by AEG will announce today that they've agreed to a naming rights deal with Farmers Insurance, a 30-year deal worth $700 million.

The downtown stadium and a suburban LA sports complex being developed by Ed Roski are expected to lure an NFL team back to Los Angeles (again) in the near future. Whether or not that team is the St. Louis Rams remains to be seen; there are other teams that could relocate as well, including Jacksonville, San Diego and even Minnesota (though that seems least likely). In 2014, the Rams reach an out clause in their lease with the Ed Jones Dome, in which they're freed from the agreement if the stadium is not among the top quarter of facilities, which it won't be. 

Rams owner Stan Kroenke knows a thing or two about real estate, having made his billion dollar fortune that way with a heavy emphasis on Wal-Mart Supercenters and the accompanying strip malls. Stadiums are where the real money is with NFL ownership, just ask Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones. Kroenke knows that and bought a wonderful opportunity to develop a stadium of his own with the Rams. 

LA isn't the only possibility for the Rams circa 2015. Kroenke was once in the bidding for a huge tract of land in Fenton, MO, once the home of a Chrysler plant, a recent casualty of imperial decay. A recent arrangement with Fenton and the state of MO created an enterprise zone (i.e. favorable tax deals to spur development), a tool used by Kroenke on numerous occasions from developing Supercenters to the Pepsi Center in Denver. 

One way or another, Farmers Field or some rusted hulk of a monument to Lee Iacocca, the Rams will have a new home in 2015.