SBD/Issue 88/Franchises

Rams Owners Closing In On Decision To Sell Or Keep Team

Rams Owners Reportedly Have
Three Offers To Buy The Team
Rams co-Owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez are "closing in on a decision to accept one of three offers to purchase the team or walk away from the bidders and keep the franchise," according to NFL sources cited by Jim Thomas of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. A decision "could be reached before the NFL draft in late April, not because of any kind of firm deadline, but simply to avoid uncertainty surrounding the team and its future entering the 2010 season." All three offers, which the sources described as "acceptable," are "comparable to what the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise recently sold for" -- $720-800M. The "only known bid for the team is from a group of investors headed by" SCP Worldwide Chair Dave Checketts. The three bidding groups are "committed in varying degrees to keeping the franchise in St. Louis, and that may have an impact on any sale decision." Thomas notes "at least one of the bids is for the full 100[%] of the team, in which case" Stan Kroenke's 40% share "would be bought out as well." But if Rosenbloom and Rodriguez "end up selling only their 60[%] of the team, Kroenke could potentially scuttle the deal by saying he wants to 'cash out.'" Sources said that Rosenbloom has "yet to get any indication from Kroenke on what he will do." Kroenke has "matching rights on any outside offers for the team," but under current NFL cross-ownership rules, he "would not be allowed to exercise that right as long as he owns majority shares" of the Nuggets and Avalanche. Some "clarity could be added to the issue this week," as Rams execs are meeting in L.A. today and tomorrow for the team's annual end-of-season summit meeting. Kroenke is "expected to attend at least one day's worth of the meetings." If he indicates that he is "on board with any sale decision," an agreement "could be signed relatively quickly" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/20).

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