June 01, 2009
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the St. Louis Rams will soon be officially for sale, and that the sale of the team would include no preconditions. That means that if a guy wanted to buy the Rams and, say, move them back to Los Angeles, a guy could do that, as long as he had the required $939 million.
The chances of someone buying the Rams and keeping them in St. Louis? Miklasz doesn't paint a promising picture.
Until now, [Chip] Rosenbloom, the franchise's managing partner, has said he was open to the idea of selling the Rams as long as the new owner agreed to keep the team in St. Louis, long-term. Rosenbloom hoped that his pledge would entice a buyer from the St. Louis community.
According to a source familiar with Rosenbloom's thinking, Rosenbloom is discouraged by the apparent lack of local ownership interest. Rosenbloom, the source said, has been waiting for more than a year for a St. Louis-area bidder to step forward, to no avail.
The source said Rosenbloom's strong preference is to sell to St. Louis representatives. But with nothing happening on the St. Louis front, Rosenbloom has reluctantly concluded that the only way to expedite a sale is to make the Rams available to any party, near or far. And that includes Los Angeles, the Rams' home until moving to St. Louis in 1995.
That's rather bleak for a team that's won a Super Bowl in the last ten years. I understand that the Rams aren't worldbeaters at the moment, but it's not like we're talking about the Lions here. It's not a franchise with a permanent stain of failure.
Their attendance numbers aren't terrible, though they aren't great, either. They sold 91.8% of their tickets for home games last year, which is right in line with what you'd expect from a bad NFL team.
Hopefully, someone from St. Louis can step up and keep the team in place (come on, Nelly!), but if not ... well, someone's probably going to end up in L.A. Giving them the Rams would at least make geographic sense.
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