The Rams are headed back to Los Angeles for the 2016 season, and the Inglewood and St. Louis mayors predictably had quite different reactions to Tuesday’s big announcement. As Martin Rogers of USA Today details, Inglewood mayor James T. Butts was “justifiably jubilant,” calling it a “transformative moment in our history.” St. Louis mayor Francis Slay, on the other hand, responded by ripping the NFL, per Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz of USA Today.
“The NFL ignored the facts, the loyalty of St. Louis fans, who supported the team through far more downs than ups, and the NFL ignored a strong market and viable plan for a new stadium,” Slay said. “I am proud of our effort and what St. Louis was able to accomplish in an extraordinarily short period of time. I thank everyone who worked so diligently on this project, especially the Governor’s Task Force.”
There’s plenty to digest when it comes to the Rams’ move to the West Coast, so we’ll be breaking down the news in multiple posts today, starting with the Rams’ perspective and checking in on the Raiders and Chargers a little later. Here’s the latest on Stan Kroenke‘s team:
- Kroenke will have the option of paying the $550MM relocation fee up front or at a rate of about $64MM annually for 10 years, tweets Jim Trotter of ESPN. The Rams owner is expected to pay the fee up front. Meanwhile, Trotter adds (via Twitter) that Kroenke is expected to write a check worth $1.05 billion to put toward the cost of the Inglewood stadium.
- Cowboys owner and Inglewood native Jerry Jones, never one to shy away from hyperbole, called Kroenke’s stadium plan “absolutely the greatest plan ever conceived in sports, as far as how to put the show on,” as Tom Pelissero of USA Today details. That’s high praise coming from the owner whose team plays in the extravagant AT&T Stadium in Dallas.
- Jones also said that he had never been in an NFL meeting where so many people voted for what a committee didn’t recommend, says Peter King of TheMMQB.com. One source tells King that the key to the vote was changing from public to secret ballots — the support for the Carson plan “evaporated in a flash” at that point. “The surprise of the day was getting the 21 votes right off the bat,” a source said. “That set the tone. This is the league’s biggest asset, and it’s significant that they awarded it to Stan. They trust him.”
- A high-ranking club source tells King that the quality of Kroenke’s proposal and the amenities the stadium will feature will major factors — the inclusion of a new campus for NFL media helped sway many owners to the Inglewood plan.
- The NFL’s move back to Los Angeles was a long time coming, but to see why the league’s owners were willing to go all-in on Kroenke’s Inglewood stadium plan, one just needs to follow the money, writes Andrew Brandt of TheMMQB.com.
- Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wonders if Kroenke will want to share the Los Angeles market with another team, or if he’ll play hardball in an effort to keep it for himself.