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Monday, February 6, 2012

So, the Rams Are London Bound?

Posted By on Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Stan Kroenke looks toward London, presumably.
  • Stan Kroenke looks toward London, presumably.
Perhaps you missed it in the run-up to last night's rather big game, but Jim Thomas over at the Post-Dispatch reported late yesterday that the Rams and the Convention and Visitors Commission are very close to an agreement concerning that troubling proviso in the lease. As you may recall, the Rams want to play three home games in London over the next three years, but the lease stipulates that all home games must be played in the Edward Jones Dome.

Quoting Kevin Demoff, the Rams executive vice president of football operations, Thomas reports that, "The agreement must be formally approved by the CVC and the RSA (Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority), but we are optimistic there will be resolution."

CVC tells Daily RFT that it's not commenting on the lease negotiations with the Rams or the team's desire to play in London. This morning the agency released a statement saying: 

"The CVC and the Rams have been discussing a resolution to this issue and are trying to come up with a solution that benefits the St Louis community and the Rams. This will require an amendment to the lease and will need to be approved by the parties when finalized."

Err. Okay. So what to make of the headway between the two groups?

One could surmise that CVC is allowing the Rams to play in London in hopes that the team might be kinder to them when evaluating that feeble proposal to upgrade the Edward Jones Dome.

Or perhaps the deadlock was broken by huge amounts of money exchanging hands. Because that's what this whole kerfuffle boils down to -- Stan Kroenke wants to squeeze as much money as possible out of this team.

English fans already know this about Kroenke, as the Manchester Guardian noted in its financial analysis of Stan's other football team, Arsenal FC. Despite a profit of 56 million pounds at the gates -- the highest ever turnover in the English Premier League, the Guardian notes admiringly -- "Arsenal lost 6 million pounds, and chief executive Ivan Gadzis complained about rising player wages. The club put ticket prices up, but neither the outgoing board members, nor Kroenke, will put any of their own money in."

Yeah, get used to that phrase, St. Louis.

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