According to media accounts, a majority share of the St. Louis Rams is being offered for sale. How likely is a sale?
Only five NFL teams have sold in the past decade, and two other teams (the Steelers and the Jaguars) are also being shopped around. But, the current Rams owners, who inherited their shares of the team and are struggling with estate issues, have said they will consider buyers from anywhere.
Should there be such a buyer, I hope that she (he?) keeps the team in St. Louis. One key to that decision is certainly going to be the playing venue. Most NFL teams are playing — or will soon be playing — in stadiums newer and more versatile than the Edward Jones Dome.
Five years ago, St. Louis County voters approved a ballot measure requiring a public vote there on the use of public funding to build professional sports venues. I cannot predict what they — or City taxpayers — will say about any major public support for a new venue. Nor can I predict right now how the negotiations with the Rams over the changes necessary to the Dome to satisfy the terms of their lease will turn out.
Me? I’d like to see the current owners stay on. They are nice people, who seem to like St. Louis. If the team sells, I’d like to see the deep-pocketed Stan Kroenke, who already owns 40 percent of the Rams, divest himself of his other pro sports franchises and buy the rest of the stay-in-St. Louis Rams.
Or, maybe, the sports-savvy Dave Checketts really would like to add some linebackers to his growing St. Louis portfolio?