Will there be a homecoming between the St. Louis Rams and Los Angeles (well, Inglewood, actually)? Rams owner Stan Kroenke has bought a 60-acre plot of land between now-closed Hollywood Park and the Forum.
“We have yet to decide what we are going to do with the property but we will look at all options,” a spokesman for the Rams said in confirming the deal.
Wal-Mart was hoping to build a super-store there but the city rejected the idea 10 years ago, and the site has languished ever since. That Kroenke was able to buy the land from the mega-discounter should not be surprising; Kroenke’s wife is the daughter of one of the company’s co-founders.
Unlike other NFL-to-Los Angeles schemes, this one could actually happen. And soon. The Rams have a 30-year lease at the Edward Jones Dome that was signed in 1995. But a stipulation calls for the team to break the lease 10 years early if the stadium is not deemed to be among the top 25% in the league. For you non-math majors, that would be after the 2014 season.
The Rams have proposed a $700 million renovation to bring the stadium up to date. The company that runs the Dome countered with a $124 million plan. An arbitration panel ruled for the Rams, which means the lease is now breakable.
The NFL, busy with that Super Bowl thing, has not commented. Even during negotiations for Downtown’s Farmer’s Field, there was word the league preferred a football stadium in Chavez Ravine, next to Dodger Stadium. Then there is the City of Industry plan. Inglewood was never really mentioned. Until now, that is. And it seems more real than any of those other proposals.