According to reports in the Los Angeles Times and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, by way of an affiliated holding company, recently purchased a 60-acre tract of land in Inglewood, Calif.
The reports indicate that the land is located between the Forum and Hollywood Park and could serve as a possible spot for development of a new NFL stadium according to the Times’ sources.
Kroenke has made much of his fortune by way of land development and has long owned large amounts of land in California and elsewhere. Whether this move is simply adding to his land or being used for other means related to his football team remains to be seen.
What is known is that a clause in the Rams’ lease at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis is set to kick in at the end of the 2014 season. So long as the stadium hasn’t been upgraded to one of the eight best venues in the NFL before that time, the Rams’ lease will then become a year-to-year proposition beginning in 2015.
Discussions about how to bring the current stadium up to that standard have been ongoing for the past couple of years but no resolution was reached.
In 2012, the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission proposed a $124 million upgrade to help the Edward Jones Dome reach the “first tier” standard.
The Rams countered with a more elaborate proposal which was estimated to cost somewhere in the range of $700 million.
In February of last year, an arbitrator heard both proposals and ruled in favor of the Rams. Soon after, the commission made it clear it does not intend to follow through with the plan, meaning the lease will almost certainly expire after next season.
Los Angeles has been without a professional football franchise since the Rams and Raiders departed for St. Louis and Oakland, respectively, in 1995.
Following those departures, Los Angeles has often been bandied about as a possible relocation site for a number of franchises but in each case, the city has been used as leverage more than anything.
For any team looking to move to Los Angeles or any other city, there would still be substantial hurdles to clear including the blessing of the NFL. The league currently has a strict and expensive set of guidelines for a team to meet before relocation would even be put to a vote before the league’s 32 owners.
Kroenke has not publicly discussed the stadium situation.