The St. Louis Rams ownership pointed to a weak economy and a new stadium plan put forth by the city that "no NFL club would be interested in" as part of its pitch in the relocation application it submitted to the league Tuesday.
In the 26-page assessment on the proposed move to Los Angeles, where the Rams played from 1946 to1994, the team cited a study that claims St. Louis ranks 61st out of 64 major cities in economic growth and last in population growth among that same group.
The Rams’ statements on the stadium plan proposed by Missouri governor Jay Nixon and the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority (RSA) were even more scathing.
“Any NFL Club that signs on to this proposal in St. Louis will be well on the road to financial ruin, and the League will be harmed,” the report says of the proposed $1.1 billion stadium.
The St. Louis task force released a statement after the Rams’ application was made public, saying that the team’s assessment is inaccurate.
“We’ve reviewed the Rams’ relocation application to the NFL and its team owners. The Rams’ assessment of their experience in St. Louis after 21 seasons of remarkable support by fans, businesses and the community is inaccurate and extremely disappointing. We will remain in contact with league officials and team owners, as appropriate, in the days ahead of the meeting in Houston. Otherwise, nothing has changed. We have a spectacular stadium proposal that delivers the certainty the NFL has asked for, and we are and will continue to be an excellent home for the St. Louis Rams.”
The Rams are hoping to develop a $1.9 billion, three-million-square-foot stadium complex in Inglewood that would be the largest in the league. The stadium plan could include space for the NFL to replace its current Los Angeles media center and a performance venue that could host NFL events, such as the NFL Draft.
The team also took shots at its two competitors attempting to make the same move, the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers. Among other things, the application cited an active Los Angeles Times poll, in which 62% of the over 36,000 voters indicated that they wanted the Rams to move to Los Angeles, as compared to 33% for the Raiders and 6% for the Chargers.
- Alex Nieves