ST. LOUIS – A new report suggests NFL owners may share at least part of the anger St. Louis football fans have for Los Angeles Rams owner, Stan Kroenke.
He was reportedly just told to “leave the room” at a recent owners meeting when fellow owners addressed the legal mess Kroenke has left for them in St. Louis.
St. Louis did its part to keep the Rams, securing property and financing with plans for a new stadium on the north riverfront. The Rams would have started playing there two years ago in 2019. That plan died when Kroenke moved the team moved back to Los Angeles.
A report from ESPN reporter Seth Wickersham said Kroenke “indemnified” his fellow owners against legal costs that might arise from the move, meaning Kroenke would pick up the tab.
With legal fees from the St. Louis lawsuit claiming Kroenke and the NFL violated their relocation guidelines, defrauding the City of St. Louis and the stadium authority at the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority, now in the tens of millions of dollars, and talk of a potential billion-dollar judgement “for” St. Louis, Kroenke reportedly told fellow owners that it was no longer fair for him to have to cover all of the costs.
Owners wanted to discuss it without Kroenke.
“Then, (NFL Commissioner) Roger Goodell took a very unusual step and he asked Kroenke to leave the room,” Wickersham said on the Bernie Miklasz radio show.
“When do you think the last time Stan Kroenke was sent from a room was?” said St. Louis sports radio host, Randy Karraker of 101 ESPN. “You think it was when he wouldn’t eat his vegetables when he was six or something like that?”
Karraker said the Rams/Kroenke legal show had been dominating his morning show.
Karraker, who spoke passionately at an NFL hearing for fans in St. Louis before the vote to move the team, has followed the case intensely.
There have also been recent reports that league officials are floating the idea of a new league-funded team and stadium in St. Louis to settle the lawsuit.
Karraker doubts the case ends with a new team in St. Louis.
“I’ve been told consistently there is no appetite to do business with the NFL on the part of corporate St. Louis because corporate St. Louis looks at the NFL as scoundrels, as liars,” Karraker said.
“They would need a new practice facility. They would need an owner and they would need corporate support. I just don’t know if the typical corporate support for an NFL franchise exists in St. Louis now.”
Goodell, and league official Eric Grubman, pushed St. Louis officials to secure the north riverfront property and funding for the stadium, knowing Kroenke was already committed to moving but thinking St. Louis officials would not follow through, Karraker said.
“You had Roger Goodell at a Super Bowl press conference saying St. Louis just needs to keep doing what they’re doing. Their fans just need to keep buying tickets … Eric Grubman coming to town and meeting with the St. Louis task force, Dave Peacock and Bob Blitz, and saying here’s what you need to do.
“You need to spend money on this, you need to develop this…and then once the goal was met, the goalposts were moved. (In the lawsuit) The St. Louis interests just want to show St. Louis didn’t do anything wrong (and) the NFL did everything wrong … to have the NFL thinking about them and be worried about what might be forthcoming is really satisfying,” Karraker said as he smiled.