NFL Executive Vice President Eric Grubman stopped by the Lou this week to speak with Dave Peacock and Bob Blitz, the two heads of the task force set up by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon who recently revealed their stadium proposal to keep NFL football in St. Louis.
While he was in town, The Rams-covering pair of Jim Thomas and Bernie Miklasz along with Post-Dispatch reporter David Hunn (who covers "public projects and tax-supported cultural institutions") got to speak with Grubman, and it's well worth a read. I'm not going to copy and paste the whole thing because it's good work and it deserves the reward of however many pageviews we can send it even if someone stupid in the building continues to put those stupid survey questions in front of their content. (I wholeheartedly support you lying in response to every question. Feel free to tweet TST with screengrabs of your best answers...)
Here's the bottom line takeaway: there's too much up in the air right now.
There is no definitive reality to lean on except that St. Louis has to build a new stadium to (a) have any real shot at keeping the Rams and (b) have any real shot at keeping the league's conceptual support of NFL football in St. Louis in general.
Grubman was asked if it was a must have:
Yes, but I don't know what kind of stadium other than to say that a team healthy in its market is the prescription. And how to fill that prescription, there's not one way to do that. The way it was pursued over the past couple of years (at the Edward Jones Dome) has failed. The probability that that gets resurrected is zero. Therefore we have to look at a new solution. There is no other stadium to be renovated or retrofitted, ergo the solution set involves a new stadium
And that's the bottom line.
For St. Louis fans who want to keep the Rams, the stadium has to happen. It doesn't have to fit every line item from the task force's proposal, but something has to get done. Something has to get built. And the plan has to take shape with tons of details that haven't been worked out yet. That doesn't necessarily mean Los Angeles is ahead of St. Louis there, but it does mean the task force and everyone involved has to continue to push ahead (Grubman again):
I look at the scenario here in St. Louis, and those controllables that can be controlled by St. Louis. Can you assemble the site, can you assemble the financing, and can a business plan be put together collectively by all of us that's attactive. Those things are generally in our collective control. And we just have to get that done.
In the end, it's Larry the Cable Guy with the jam. Git-R-Done.