London Stanley’s

The St. Louis Rams announced today that they would play one home game a year in London for the next three years. Is it water under the bridge?

Don’t read too much into this. Stan Kroenke owns Arsenal, the stout soccer club based in London.

Stan Kroenke (Image via WilliamGreenblattPhotography.com)

Understand Kroenke is a businessman. He sees a market where he is already a “player” and can make his image larger. Which is what a smart businessman does: globalize the product.

I don’t see any cons here other than losing one home game. Really, that’s ok though because NFL Redzone kicks ass and beers are free.

The Rams could leave St. Louis after the 2014 season. Realistically, the NFL will never have a permanent team in Europe. The travel would be way too arduous and the NFLPA certainly would not approve--unless of course they each got approximately $1 billion. Rich bastards.

Los Angeles is probably the most likely destination if the Rams fail to reach a new lease agreement. Los Angeles’ reputation for sports is a bit of a misconception. Rams attendance was off 30 percent from 1990 to 1995 (In LA). The Rams had a 9-year playoff lull between 1990-1998. Losing football games=poor fan support. I don’t care if you’re based in St. Louis, Los Angeles, or London. The fact is this: nobody shows up to watch losers.

Sure, there would be a grace period if they moved back to L.A. They could struggle and fans would still attend, for a while at least.

One thing I know about Stan Kroenke: he is a shrewd S.O.B. Fact. But that’s the cold hard business attitude. There’s a reason why he is worth over $3 billion. Oh yeah, and he married into the Wal-Mart family…Ann Walton is worth $3 billion herself. The business model is not about making people feel good. I’ve heard from local businessmen trying to get Kroenke to pay up for chump change is difficult. When you have the type of power Kroenke endures, its pretty much free will.

Finally, if you fans are so worried, why don’t you go buy season tickets? Or support your team? It’s a two-way street. Keep in mind Kroenke was born and raised in Columbia, so his roots are in Missouri. He doesn’t want to move anything, but rather make more dough. 

On Dome Lease/Perceptions of team leaving St. Louis

Check back for a more in-depth Kroenke feature later. More to come.

Thanks for reading.

11 responses to “London Stanley’s

  1. Why do I want to give Stan my money. It’s obvious why he’s taking the Rams to London – he gets all kinds of advantages. Nobody wanted that game. It generally tends to cripple the team that does it. The flight, the jet lag, the change in schedule – it ruins whole seasons. Stan doesn’t care about the team rebounded. He can make more money by having the Rams be horrible, have the fans not show up, and then throw up his hands and say “See!” He’ll get a deal in L.A., and by taking the poison pill games in England, he gets support from the other owners to help him win the move vote.

    • “Cripple the team that does it???” What? 2007 Giants! Super Bowl Champions. Yes, they lost their next game, but it was after the bye week and it was against the division winning Cowboys. Every team that has played at Wembley Stadium has had a bye the following week. I can’t speak to whether teams do or don’t want the game in London, but saying that it “ruins whole seasons” is a bunch of malarkey.

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  3. Good point Justin. But, I do believe Stan is loyal to St. Louis. He was monumental in the team’s move in ’95. Plus, St. Louis has proven they are a football town. Go back to 2010, when the team was 7-9 and made a stunning turnaround from a 1-15 2009 season. Excitement was everywhere leading into 2011…and then 2011 happened. Lets keep in mind there are a ton of other teams (Jacksonville, Minnesota, San Diego, Oakland) that are much more viable options for L.A.

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  5. Seriously for all the people who act upset about this, they are the same people who never went to watch the team play! The NFL has been pushing itself hard in Europe, and I would not be surprised if there are some ulterior motives here.

    INTERESTING FACT: The Rams are scheduled to play the Patriots and Saints in London, why would you want to display your product in the form of an absolute drumming of the team your trying to market?

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