Omigod omigod the owner of the St. Louis Rams bought a parking lot! A parking lot in Los Angeles! You know what this must mean!
Los Angeles has been without an NFL franchise since the Rams and Raiders left after the 1994 season. Although relocating a franchise would be fraught with challenges, and the L.A. market repeatedly has been used as leverage to get stadium deals done in other cities, this is the first time an NFL owner has bought a piece of land in the L.A. area capable of accommodating a stadium.
“Fraught with challenges” is a bit of an understatement. First off, getting land in L.A. isn’t a problem — at this point L.A. has more proposed stadium locations than you can shake a stick at
— but rather the money to build a stadium, which has been a bit of a sticking point
. Second, as the L.A. Times notes way down in its article (which is headlined, “A return of L.A. Rams? Owner is said to buy possible stadium site”), the 60-acre site that Kroenke bought “is probably too small to fit a stadium and the required parking.”
So what’s going on here? Kroenke, don’t forget, is now on a year-to-year lease in St. Louis
after opting out of his old deal when it was ruled that the city wasn’t keeping the stadium state-of-the-art enough; the only reason to be on a year-to-year lease is to try to extort money for a new stadium by threatening to leave town, and buying land in another city is certainly a good way to rattle sabers. Or, it could just be that Kroenke, whose wife is a Wal-Mart heiress, saw that Wal-Mart was putting up some land for sale in an area that is hot (the L.A. Forum is on one side and wants to expand, and the old Hollywood Park racetrack site, marked for redevelopment, is on the other) and saw a chance to make a killing at an insider price. Or both. Or it could be omigod omigod the Rams are coming back to L.A.
, but don’t hold your breath on that one just yet.