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SBD/January 31, 2014/Facilities
Goodell Says No Plans In Place To Build Stadium On L.A. Land Bought By Kroenke
Published January 31, 2014
WHAT'S THE ANGLE? In St. Louis, Hunn, Logan & Burwell note in a front-page piece that whether Kroenke "plans to move the Rams there, use the site as leverage in his negotiations over improvements to the Edward Jones Dome, turn it into a retail development or simply flip it to a new owner is unclear." But with the pro football world gathered for the Super Bowl, the news "adds at least a little pressure to state and local officials in St. Louis who are working to keep Kroenke’s Rams here." A clause in the team’s contract with the Edward Jones Dome "requires it be a 'first-tier' stadium -- in the top eight of 32 NFL stadiums -- by 2015." If it is not, the franchise "would be free to leave St. Louis, or go on a year-to-year lease." While Kroenke’s intentions for the land "are unclear, the 60-acre site would appear to be large enough for a stadium." Extra parking could be "available across the street at the 17,500-seat Forum, and in new development just south." The 49ers’ new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara "sits on 40 acres," and the Lucas Oil Stadium site in Indianapolis is "about the same size" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/31).
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE: In L.A., David Nusbaum noted Kroenke could "try to build a retail center or seek some use other than a stadium," but if he "wants to build a stadium for a football team, he’d need to make decisions soon." Once redevelopment begins on the site that belonged to Hollywood Park, "perhaps as soon as March, any opportunity to build an NFL stadium at the Wal-Mart site could start to diminish." Hollywood Park developers have "planned a ceremonial groundbreaking for the project this week." Nusbaum: "What's more, teams must apply to the league for relocation between Jan. 1 and Feb. 15." If that window "closes and a team has to wait until next year to apply, the prospect of hundreds of new homes adjacent to the Wal-Mart site will make it harder to gain approvals for the stadium project" (LABUSINESSJOURNAL.com, 1/30).
RAISING THE STAKES: In St. Louis, Bryan Burwell writes under the header, "Rams Owner Ups The Ante." L.A. is "officially back in play as a potential future home for your NFL football team." Burwell: "I just want to know if St. Louis still is." Kroenke is "changing the game, and changing it dramatically." Sources yesterday "made it clear that the purchase of this land doesn’t automatically mean Kroenke will be rolling the moving vans" when the Rams' lease in St. Louis expires. Kroenke "likes to buy land, and build stuff on it, or re-sell it to other exceedingly rich guys." But this move "wafts with the scent of the sort of muscle-flexing economic power that most of us can’t begin to fathom" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/31).