“More money please . . .”
That is what everyone in business is thinking about (even if they don’t say it) when they want to close a deal. Everyone, with the possible exception of Bill Gates, would like more money and that definitely includes Stan Kroenke. Even though he is a billionaire, I am positive that Mr. Kroenke would like a new stadium for his NFL team and the más dinero that would come with it. I think we all know that if St. Louis is to keep the Rams, a new stadium needs to be built and there is absolutely no chance that any public funds would be used in such an endeavor. So, if the team is to remain the “St. Louis Rams,” then Stan Kroenke will have to build a new stadium with his own personal fortune. Could he do it? You bet. Does he want to? Don’t count on it.
Why would he possibly want to build his own stadium in the 21st largest media market when there are two groups in the second largest market in the country squabbling over who gets to build a billion dollar palace for the first team that moves here. As a matter of fact, an old buddy of Stan Kroenke (Phil Anschutz) is helping develop and finance one of those stadiums. Let’s see, there are two options here: 1) spend a billion dollars building a new stadium in the 21st largest market in the United States for a franchise that is worth less than 800 million or 2) have someone else spend a billion dollars building a new stadium in the 2nd largest market in the United States for a franchise that, if moved to L.A., would double in value from 800 million to 1.6 billion dollars. Seems like a no-brainer, right? For rational people, yes. For those who are in as much denial as we were in 1990, they think the first option is better because of the other events that can be held at the venue. Now, don’t misunderstand what I am saying, football stadiums can be used for a plethora of different events from concerts to Final Fours. However, are those events alone, motivation enough for Kroenke to turn his back on a possible 800 million dollar increase in franchise value along with a billion dollar stadium? Did I mention that those people in L.A. are probably willing to pay for the relocation fee? The Rams return to L.A. is a no-brainer. Period.