EARTH CITY, MO (KTVI) – Like an ex who keeps popping up on your Facebook wall, news involving the Rams and their former home has reared its head once again. This time, the Stan Kroenke-owned franchise claims it negotiated a sweetheart deal to buy its old Earth City practice facility, leaving millions of dollars on the table for the current property owners.
The Edward Jones Dome authority, which owns the 27-acre Rams Park, leased the facility to the Rams for $25,000 a year. But with the Rams now in Los Angeles, the authority wants to sell the land. According to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the land previously appraised for just under $19 million. Any money acquired from the sale or rent of that land could be put towards the $16 million price tag the authority spent trying to keep the Rams in town.
However, a clause in the Rams lease gives the team an option to buy the land for a dollar in 2024, the 29th anniversary of the stadium. This is the same lease that allowed the Rams to leave St. Louis in the first place.
“He's a terrible human being. There’s really no other way about it. Greed is his bottom line,” said Tim Meyer, a former Rams fan.
It’s not hard to find a fuming ex-Rams fan. Walk into any sport bar in the St. Louis area. They’ve had enough of what they term Kroenke’s cheap shots. But now it’s another jab to sore wounds.
“Why is he constantly trying to kick us when we're down,” said Robert Aebel, a former Rams season ticket holder.
Lawyers for the dome authority filed suit Thursday to block the team from buying the property and training facility. Both sides are arguing if the language in the lease allows for the purchase. Attorneys for the Rams claim the team’s relocation does not cancel the franchise’s ability to buy the land for a song.
Kroenke already owns the chunk of land right across from Rams Park. Jim Thomas with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has his suspicions what’ll happen once Kroenke owns the building.
“That’s where people would park in the field for training camp and he owns this … it would be a super center for Walmart.”
And others said Kroenke can take his dollar and put it where the sun doesn’t shine.
“I’ll give him a dollar. I’ll give it right out of my pocket. You can have my dollar. Just go away. We’ve had enough of Stan,” Aebel said.