NFL says Rams not moving, but also not staying without new stadium, so snap to it, mister

The NFL has finally spoken about the St. Louis Rams stadium situation, and by “the NFL” I mean designated stadium grubber Eric Grubman, and by “spoken” I mean “issued ultimatums that without a new stadium, the Rams will move somewhere else, though the league doesn’t plan on them moving, because they expect to get a new stadium, capisce?

League officials are not considering such a move [of the Rams to Los Angeles], Grubman said.

“We’re looking for a solution to the St. Louis Rams to be the St. Louis Rams, not for some other team to be the St. Louis Rams,” he said.

Is a stadium necessary for that solution?

“Yes,” Grubman said.

And a stadium, Grubman made clear, means a fully signed, sealed, and delivered stadium, not just a plan for one:

The NFL’s role, he said, is to help give the St. Louis effort “the best chance possible.”

The north riverfront proposal, he said, isn’t yet real.

“A real plan means that the steps are all actionable,” he said. “If you need authorities, you’ve assembled those authorities. If you need land, you’ve assembled that land.” …

“I don’t want to put any lines in the sand,” he said. “… But what we’ve talked about is we really ought to be assembling this plan this calendar year. Which doesn’t mean Dec. 31.”

So the NFL is clear: Unless a St. Louis stadium is approved this year, and not late this year, but not that there’s a firm deadline or anything, then the Rams are totally moving somewhere, but the league isn’t thinking about that. Yet.

Once again, this is a non-threat threat that it’s impossible to know whether to take seriously, because Grubman would be saying the exact same thing in each of several scenarios:

  1. Rams owner Stan Kroenke wants to go to L.A., the league doesn’t want him to, and Grubman has been sent out to shake loose a St. Louis stadium offer that Kroenke can’t refuse so that both sides can go away happy.
  2. Kroenke wants to go to L.A. and the league is fine with it, but Grubman has been sent to shake loose a St. Louis stadium because more options are always good, if only to turn up the heat on Inglewood voters to stop asking questions about the stadium plan there and just approve it in a referendum already.
  3. Kroenke’s Inglewood stadium plan is a bluff, and Grubman is trying to make it an effective bluff by telling St. Louis, “We’ll pull the trigger, don’t test us.”

Each of these is completely plausible, given what we know now. The only way to tell which is true will be if Missouri officials (or voters) reject stadium deal, and we’ll see whether Kroenke and Grubman really shoot the dog, or slink back to St. Louis with their tail between their legs, as we’ve seen happen before.

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8 comments on “NFL says Rams not moving, but also not staying without new stadium, so snap to it, mister

  1. Well well well, it’s amazing how things change within a short period of time. So, apparently, the only way the rams stay in st louis is if st louis builds the rams a new stadium before the end of this calendar year? Did I understand that correctly? Also, what is the probability of that happening? Isn’t the city still paying off the debt for the edward jones dome?

  2. Well, approve a new stadium before the end of this calendar year, which is slightly more doable. Assuming Grubman is serious, and that they don’t just move the goalposts if it gets to be November and nothing is approved yet.

    We’re still back to the same old question: Are Kroenke and the NFL ready to pull the trigger and move to L.A. if St. Louis doesn’t meet their demands? And we won’t find out unless St. Louis says no and asks to see their cards.

  3. I agree, this is a ruse. At first I thought the needle on the meter had drifted left and (in STL’s POV) out of the red, but after consideration, I think it’s a cynical attempt to make STL the carrier of its own coffin. Can this stadium pass the scrutiny of the STL voter? If no, then it’s a done deal and not the NFL’s fault. Can’t buy all the land, secure all the permits, finalize all the plans prior to Dec. 31? Well, then, you’ve dropped the ball, STL and the NFL has no recourse but to allow the Rams to return to LA. I’m an LA guy, I would love to see the Rams return, but it sickens me that what happened to us twenty years ago may be happening to you, and using the same methods, and with the same cynical lack of concern for Rams fans who, after all, just want to root for their team.

  4. I’ve always believed that Stan Kroenke has been leveraging his purchase of the St. Louis Rams to eventually sell them and takeover the Denver Broncos, and I think it’ll happen. They’ll play this game and if St. Louis takes the deal to build them a new stadium, the Rams will be sold. Eventually I think Kroenke will be the owner of the Broncos and sell the Rams whether that be to St. Louis interests or Los Angeles interests. I also believe that the San Diego Chargers will be able to get a new stadium as well. The only real targets is the Oakland Raiders, and they have competition from San Antonio.

  5. Neil, so knowing what we know so far(I’m aware we have a long ways to go), what do you think the probability is that St Louis(taxpayers) approve another stadium for the rams before the year is out? Just curious to know your thoughts on the matter.

  6. Depends on whether a referendum is required or just a legislative vote. It’s really impossible to say until we know how Peacock is proposing to pay for this.

  7. Like I said last week, the game’s afoot! And that means our enforcer Grubman will appear sooner or later. Sooner it seems. The standard script is being followed. The confusion on the part of analysts and the public is palpable as always – no one knows what our real intentions are. You’d think they would after 20 years of running the same extortion racket, but then that’s why they call it a field of schemes, I guess. As I said, Stan’s land purchase was a master stroke that puts a new twist on an old con and makes it shine.

    I love the smell of public stadium cash in the morning!

  8. 9 times out of 10 I would agree with you. However, I just don’t see anyone(regardless of how rich they are) investing that kind of $$ into a lot unless they had a motive! Yes yes yes, I know Kroenke is a developer but my trick knee tells me there’s a lot more to it than that….. Personally, I believe he really does want to move to L.A. If, though, it is just a ploy to fleece st louis, then my hat goes off to Kroenke and his mega-elaborate field of schemes(pun intended)!

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