While those of us not in Los Angeles or in St. Louis are watching other things, the preparations for a potential relocation of the St. Louis Rams is growing by the day.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke has been quietly (no longer) gobbling up chunks of property in Inglewood, California around the old Hollywood Park Horse Track. He now owns the 60 acres around it...and according to reports, is trying to buy the 300 occupied by the former track.
Which not-so-coincidentally would be more than enough property to, say, build a football stadium.
The Rams are in still in somewhat contentious negotiations over getting either a new stadium or major renovations to their current home, the "Edward Jones Dome". But that lease expires...at the end of the season. And despite Missouri Governor Jay Nixon stepping in to help, the negotiations are not going well.
Here's a summary report from the San Diego Union-Times
Granted, this could be a leverage move by Kroenke, owners are known to do such things. And he could easily redevelop or flip the Inglewood property if he so chose. But nobody really thinks he is bluffing here.
The NFL has been adamant about getting a team back in Los Angeles despite the fact two teams have come and gone over the past 15 years. And the issue was support. Much like other mega-cities with little or no lengthy history of an NFL team and lots to do, getting people to come to games was a challenge. And it will be if a team comes too.
But the NFL is persistent and Stan Kroenke has the pockets to make it happen. And while there have been discussions that the Raiders "Might" be the team coming and the Chargers "could" come, it's likely the Rams that would be first. And they'd be back where they started.
We would not be surprised to see the Raiders follow.
Any team, including the Rams have a short window to announce their intentions right after the Super Bowl in 2015. That would allow them to potentially make the move and play in, say the Rose Bowl or the L.A Coliseum in the interim while their new park gets built.
Time is getting short, the February window will be here before you know it. Let's see if or who will be the first one's to flinch.
KSDK-TV in St. Louis has more on the Governors attempt to help keep the Rams in StL: