The Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority took the City of Saint Louis to court in an attempt to block the city from using tax dollars to fund a new stadium.
The city has been working diligently to build a new stadium to either keep the Rams in town, or create a new home for another team. The stadium would be compatible to host different events and - sort of - morph into different venues. The idea is to generate more revenue while keeping St. Louis as an NFL town.
Well the city cleared a major hurdle in their plans. Judge Thomas Frawley ruled in favor of the city noting that the ordinance being used as the primary point of emphasis in the proceedings was "too vague to be enforced" and defining the "uncertainties" of the ordinance would be "guesswork".
What does this mean?
It means the city now has a huge chunk of its funding covered. While they are not out of the woods just yet, this was believed to be the biggest hurdle to jump for quite some time now. But they may now face their biggest test yet. That test is getting the very man that wants to move the team to chip in.
The tax dollars that will be used are only expected to cover $187 million. The city hopes to receive funding from five sources - tax dollars, NFL loan, bonds, seat licensing, and ownership - and with this ruling they appear to have secured four of those sources. But the source they are counting on to chip in the most - $250 million - is from ownership.
In April of 2010 Stan Kroenke was looking to become the majority owner of the St. Louis Rams. In the process Stan The Man did something that he very rarely does, he spoke and he spoke to the people of St. Louis.
"I'm going to attempt to do everything that I can to keep the Rams in St. Louis. Just as I did everything that I could to bring the team to St. Louis in 1995. I believe my actions speak for themselves."
- Stan Kroenke
Kroenke was actually instrumental in the Rams move to St. Louis. He was an investor and a voice. And became a minority owner. He was basically Dave Peacock - except for the ownership part - before Peacock. Similar to the role you see Dave playing to keep the Rams in St. Louis, Kroenke played to get them to St. Louis.
But now 20 years later, one has to ask if Stan Kroenke followed through on his word to do everything in his power to keep the team in St. Louis?
With the team needing ownership to back up their plan for a stadium and take part in the funding, this is Stan Kroenke's greatest opportunity to show that he meant what he said.
Kroenke's exact words was "I'll do my damnedest to keep the Rams in St. Louis".
He was adamant that this is where he wants the team to be and to stay, for a reason that made a lot of sense;
"I'm born and raised in Missouri. I've been a Missourian for 60 years. People in our state know me. People know I can be trusted. People know I am an honorable guy."
- Stan Kroenke
Now, Mr. Kroenke, after looking for the city to take initiative the ball is in your court. The city has leaped each hurdle placed in front of them thus far. Recent studies have shown that even with the Rams losing ways, St. Louis has continued to support the franchise more than other cities with a losing franchise. Those same studies showed Los Angeles is more likely to not support a team that is not producing wins.
So you now have every reason to show you meant what you said and it was not just a ploy to invest in your future as a majority owner in the NFL. So will you keep your promise?