INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The owner of the St. Louis Rams has purchased 60 acres of land in Inglewood, Calif., the Los Angeles Times reports.
The Times says Stan Kroenke bought the lot, originally owned by Walmart, after it failed to get approval to build a store between the Forum and Hollywood Park. They say the purchase was made within the last month.
The Rams and the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission are hundreds of millions of dollars apart on their proposals to build a new stadium, replacing the 18-year-old Edward Jones Dome.
"If he were to build his own stadium in Los Angeles the potential increase in franchise value would be much greater, much more affluent corporate dollar there, so if I'm a Rams fan I'd be a little concerned about this development," said Patrick Rishe, professor of economics at Webster University.
A contract with the Rams says an upgrade to the Dome is required to keep the team playing in St. Louis after the 2014-2015 season. The Dome must be upgraded to a first-tier stadium, which means ranking in the top 25 percent of NFL stadiums. The team is free to walk in 2015 if an agreement is not made between the Rams and the CVC.
The Rams could also go year-to-year on their lease if they want to continue negotiating a deal.
"The pro-football business is ultimately about corporate suites and corporate advertising. And we don't have the ability to compete with a city like Los Angeles if it ever gets its act together. Our best hope is that it won't get its act together," Ray Hartmann of St. Louis Magazine.
NewsChannel 5's Rene Knott reached out to the team, and Rams COO Kevin Demoff says they have no comment at this time. The entire Rams delegation, including Kroenke, is in New York preparing for the Super Bowl.
On Friday, the Kroenke Organizations released the following statement: "As real estate developers, the Kroenke Organizations are involved in numerous real estate deals across the country and North America. While we can confirm media reports that we recently purchased land in Inglewood, as a private company we don't typically discuss our plans for commercial or residential investments. We have yet to decide what we are going to do with the property but we will look at all options, as we do with all of our properties."