Is anyone else bothered by the national media reporting a new, 'SOME TEAM WILL PROBABLY END UP IN LA AT SOME POINT IN THE NEAR OR DISTANT FUTURE AND IT MIGHT BE THE RAMS, RAIDERS, OR CHARGERS OR IT MIGHT BE SOMEONE ELSE!!' report every other week?
Two examples of journalism:
Jay Glazer's 'report' of the Rams being frontrunners:http://www.foxsports.com/nfl/story/st-l ... ers-122114
FOX Sports 1 Insider Jay Glazer reports the NFL is waiting to get better offers for stadium sites around Los Angeles, with St. Louis Rams clear front-runner to come to city.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said Saturday there will not be a team relocating to Los Angeles for 2015 season, but the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers have also been rumored to be candidates for a potential relocation.
Meanwhile, Bernie Miklasz gets a lot of info about the behind-the-scenes work of the group tasked with keeping the Rams here.http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/ ... baece.html
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon had a prime seat at the Scottrade Center for Saturday’s annual Braggin’ Rights basketball game between Mizzou and Illinois. Nixon’s favorite team lost a heartbreaker, 62-59, on a 3-point shot that beat the buzzer and the Tigers. It was a stunning way for the Tigers to go down and it left Nixon and his fellow MU loyalists deflated.
That’s sports. You win some, you lose some, and you try again. And Nixon, the impassioned sports fan, is striving for a major victory on another front: keeping the Rams in St. Louis.
I asked Nixon what he’d say to Rams fans that will walk into the Edward Jones Dome for Sunday’s game against the Giants, worried that the team will be moving to Los Angeles.
The Rams can jump from their dome lease after the season, and owner Stan Kroenke has been eyeing the Los Angeles market. But it appears increasingly unlikely the league will allow any team to move to LA for the 2015 season. ESPN reported Saturday that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has already told the Rams, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers that no team will be in LA next year.
Nixon, however, still wanted to offer assurances to Rams fans.
“We’ll be as competitive to keep the Rams and make sure this is a top-quality NFL city as the Rams were in Atlanta when they won the Super Bowl,” Nixon said in an interview during halftime of the basketball game. “We’re really focused on the task at hand.”
Nixon is awaiting a report on a new-stadium proposal from his two-man task force, former Anheuser-Busch executive Dave Peacock and St. Louis attorney Bob Blitz.
Peacock and Blitz have a Jan. 28 deadline, but sources familiar with the process say the report almost certainly will be delivered much sooner, perhaps early January. At that point some details — including venue location and an artist’s rendering — will be shared with the public.
Peacock and Blitz have made swift and significant progress in their difficult mission to come up with a long-term stadium plan to secure the Rams’ future here.
Late last month Peacock traveled to New York to meet with NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman to get the league up to speed on the urgency of the St. Louis effort. Peacock showed Grubman preliminary plans for a stadium near the Mississippi River north of the Gateway Arch.
Peacock has also reached out to MLS commissioner Don Garber to lay the groundwork for obtaining a soccer franchise for St. Louis during a future round of MLS expansion. The soccer team would play in the Rams’ stadium.
I can add something else: the proposed stadium will be one part of a major development of the northern St. Louis riverfront, which is loaded with mostly unoccupied buildings.
While Nixon declined to confirm those details, he shared his primary objectives in this stadium drive.
Nixon referred to them as “the core principles,” that must be fulfilled for the project to go forward. Here are Nixon’s six priorities, presented verbatim. And I included my comments where appropriate.
1. “The project’s got to be sited on land that will result in the eradication of existing blight as well as establish a location that wouldn’t be developed in the foreseeable future but for the stadium project,” Nixon said.
Comment: This sure sounds like a description of the northern riverfront.
2. “The tract needs to be certified, as required in an environmental cleanup,” Nixon said. “In order to get this thing done that’s important.”
3. “The construction phase is going to have to provide jobs that pay competitive wages, and we’re going to try and source as many materials here to get the major economic benefit,” Nixon said.
4. “The project has to also incorporate a plan to maximize the ongoing economic value of the current dome, so that we can continue to show a benefit, long range.”
Comment: Sources familiar with Nixon’s thinking said the goal is to “repurpose” the Edward Jones Dome to make it a more viable lucrative facility for hosting conventions and other major events.
5. “The stadium will be held as a public asset, not as a private asset,” Nixon said. “So we’ll have more flexibility.”
Comment: In other words, Kroenke and the Rams won’t own the stadium.
6. “There’s going to be no new tax burden on taxpayers in the local region or the state of Missouri,” Nixon said. “And that includes no proposals submitted to the voters for the purpose of increasing taxes for this.”
Comment: That’s a crucial aspect to this attempted project. But without new taxes, where’s the funding source? The parameters presumably will be included in the Peacock-Blitz report. According to sources familiar with the basic plan, much of the funding will come from the existing bonds that are paying off the Edward Jones Dome.
The bonds are due to run out in 2021, and apparently an attempt will be made to refinance and extend the bonds and roll them over to a new stadium/riverfront development. Moreover, the NFL and the Rams would contribute as much as $400 million to $450 million (combined) to the project. That’s in accordance with the NFL’s “G-4” stadium fund.
“That’s the frame of where we are,” Nixon said of the core principles. “How does that frame play out? That’s what Dave and Bob are working on, to try and put together a proposal for me to look at.”
Nixon reiterated that plan must be big on development. He isn’t interested in a stadium-only concept. And he is confident that Peacock and Blitz will present something more sweeping and substantial in scope.
“We’re working with the right people to make sure that there’s not only a benefit to sports fans, but much more importantly an economic benefit to the region, both in the short run and long run,” Nixon said. “And this assists in the continued transformation of the area downtown. And continues to add value to the region and our state.
“What we’re looking at here is solid economic development to keep the Rams here. While you want to have the basic underlying piece of this make sure that you’re an NFL city. What that means for us is — we want to keep the Rams. But there’s much more to it than that.”
Peacock and Blitz have received positive feedback from Grubman and Goodell. League officials like the tentative plans and have encouraged the St. Louis task force to keep moving forward on the stadium pursuit.
“I think it’s fair to say the NFL has appreciated their relationship with St. Louis,” Nixon said. “They see it as a good place. Now they’re looking for concrete, positive action by public and private interests here that we want to compete (for the Rams). And in my view we will do that before the mid to late part of January.
“It’s important to both Rams fans as well as St. Louisans to know we’re a major-league city. And to know that the Rams are a team that we support.”
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