Rams owner Stan Kroenke plans to build a stadium in a Los Angeles suburb in attempts to possibly move the franchise to the area as soon as 2016

By SI Wire
January 05, 2015

St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke plans to build a stadium in a Los Angeles suburb in an attempt to possibly move the franchise to the area as soon as 2016, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Kroenke bought 60 acres of land adjacent to the Forum in Inglewood last year and teamed up with Stockbridge Capital Group on plans to build an 80,000-seat NFL stadium, a 6,000-seat performance venue as well as retail, office, hotel and residential space to the Hollywood Park site.

Los Angeles has not had an NFL team since the Rams and Raiders moved out of town after the 1994 season. Any move or relocation must be approved by the league’s owners.

The Rams can terminate their lease with the city of St. Louis because they haven’t reached a deal to help fund renovations for the 19-year-old Edward Jones Dome. The team is expected to lease the stadium on a year-to-year agreement.

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The Times also reported Monday that the Rams franchise still owns trademarks for the "Los Angeles Rams" name, one for “entertainment services, namely professional football exhibitions," and one for rights to use the name on various commercial products. The Raiders also still own similar trademarks.

But the significance of those trademarks is unclear. From the Times:

Christopher Larkin, a longtime Los Angeles intellectual property lawyer who once represented the NFL, said that franchises typically maintain such trademarks after relocating.

A batch of fresh trademark filings by an NFL team interested in relocating to Los Angeles to cover a broader range of merchandise could indicate a potential relocation is moving forward, Larkin said.

Teams that want to relocate have to apply between Jan. 1 and Feb. 15 of the year they want to move.

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“No team has applied for relocation and there will be no team relocations for the 2015 season,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email to Pro Football Talk. “We are committed to working towards having franchises that are strong and successful in their existing markets. Any decision on relocation in 2016 or later is subject to approval by the 32 clubs. An affirmative vote by 24 of 32 clubs (three-fourths) is required.”

Kroenke is the NFL’s second richest owner, worth $5.8 billion, according to Forbes Magazine. His family also owns the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, and is a significant shareholder of the English soccer club Arsenal.

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