Fox Sports is reporting the Rams have notified the St. Louis stadium authority(CVC) that they want to exercise their right to convert the current lease to a year to year arrangement.
"While the lease will now run year-to-year, all other lease terms remain the same," CVC president Kitty Ratcliffe said in a statement. We look forward to working with Rams' management in preparation for the 2015 football season in the Edward Jones Dome."
This thicken the plot, as St. Louis tries to keep the NFL who has called the Edward Jones Dome home for the last 20 years. Loads of info is starting to trickle out about team owner Stan Kroenke's efforts to build a new stadium in Los Angeles, the #2 TV market in the U.S.
It seems his original offer to foot the entire bill to construct an 80,000 seat stadium may not be what it seems. AP is reporting there may be a few HUGE hidden costs for Inglewood residents:
Last week, St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke and the developers of the huge mixed-use project underway at Inglewood's Hollywood Park site announced a plan to build an 80,000-seat NFL stadium and 6,000-seat performance venue along with the rest of the megaproject. The developers promised at the time that the project that wouldn't suck millions of dollars from taxpayer pockets, but it turns out that claim was a generous spin on the actual truth. While the group is not requesting any taxpayer money up front, they want to recoup $100 million in reimbursements or tax breaks in the stadium's first five years, according to the AP.
The developers claim that Inglewood stands to benefit a lot from the stadium, saying the city could generate more than $1 billion in taxes over 25 years. But the developers only want to promise the first $25 million a year to the city, after which they'd like to be reimbursed for "eligible costs," and then any surplus would go back to the city. "Eligible costs" could include infrastructure around the stadium site, such as sidewalks, roads, and utilities, and landscaping. The reimbursements would not be limited to infrastructure and other sunk costs, though: "developers can be reimbursed by the city for costs on event days for police, emergency medical crews and shuttle bus services from off-site parking." Those payments could end being as high as "$8 million annually, or $40 million for a five-year period." The developer group has good reason to downplay the reimbursement scheme, as Inglewood residents could petition to vote on the proposal, fast-tracking the entire process. - Associated Press
Turf Show Times will keep you posted as this story develops. In the mean time, I wonder how Rams season ticket holders are feeling right now? Plus, how can this go on much longer without a comment from Stan Kroenke? He's probably hoping the ballot initiative in Inglewood is passes before voters discover they had their pockets picked? The reimbursements he's asking for could very well amount more than ANYONE previously thought. So Inglewood would be helping to build a stadium, without receiving any kind of ownership interest... Note to self: Never play poker with Stan Kroenke, and if I do, don't let him deal...
[UPDATE 6:51 PM 1/26/2015] In addition to the lease modification, Albert Breer of NFL.com is reporting that a petition (signed by a reported 20,000 individuals) for re-zoning of the Inglewood property to allow for a stadium was turned in today.