The political process in this country is a entaglement of well-funded cross-fellating impresarios and corporate shills. It's just how we do things.
St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke spent $1.7 million to bankroll the ballot initiative for his stadium proposal in Inglewood, according to recently filed campaign finance reports...
[Kroenke's plan and the joint Chargers/Raiders plan in Carson] used local ballot initiatives to skirt months of time-consuming environmental reviews that used to be standard in major development projects in California. After collecting enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, both cities gained approval from their local city councils and won full entitlements in a matter of weeks.
It gave both a decided advantage over the cities trying to keep the footloose franchises from fleeing for Los Angeles. The NFL could take relocation applications as soon as this fall.
It's a pretty simple ploy that has two benefits for Kroenke and his stadium plan.
First, projects that aren't proposed via ballot initiative have to provide an environmental impact study. The Farmer's Field effort spent $27m, more than half the project's ultimate overall cost, on such a study. Coincidentally
, and I'm sure this is completely unrelated in anyway whatsoever to the stadium effort and instead a completely rational reversal of prior policy meant to service the needs of the people so governed, the state recently passed a law allowing projects proposed via ballot initiative to be exempt from requiring the environmental impact study. So just compared to the Farmer's study, that's roughly $25m saved.
Second, it speeds up the timeline to begin construction. What would have taken months to put together a time- and labor-intensive study project (the final study for Farmer's Field was more than 10,000 pages...) was converted into just a few weeks of getting the stadium proposal on the ballot.
It's a simple business decision when presented with the opportunity, and a clear example of how willing the Los Angeles metro is to amend normal processes despite policy and budgetary reasons. It's also a clear indication of the size of the LA plans juxtaposed against the St. Louis riverfront plan. Where Kroenke spent $1.7m to avoid upwards of $25m, the entire St. Louis stadium task force has spent less than a million dollars thus far.
It's clear Kroenke wants to move the team. Los Angeles will be happy to accept them. As has always been the case, it's left to St. Louis to convince the NFL and the other franchises that they'd be better served keeping NFL football, Rams or otherwise, in the Lou.