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.
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.