Los Angeles has been without an NFL team for two full decades. Stadium start-ups and renovations have been blueprinted over and over, teams have announced interest, and yet no team has called LA home since the Rams and Raiders both fled following the 1994 season.
The NFL told Los Angeles icon Peter O’Malley to shove his interest, and his proposed stadium, up his behind, which eventually lead to his selling the Dodgers and the ultimate horrors of Fox and McCourt ownership. Over the last five-plus years, billionaires Philip Anschutz and Ed Roski have had stadium plans in the works, in downtown LA across from Staples Centers (which is owned by Anschutz) and in the suburb of Industry, 20 miles to the east, respectively.
|And now, the giant ego of one Stan Kroenke steps into the picture, an ego matched perhaps by no other NFL owner, except for San Diego Chargers’ mouthpiece Dean Spanos, who speaks with|
authority for the organization due to his highly qualified position as the son of the actual owner, Alex Spanos. More on him later on.
As to Kroenke and the Rams, everyone should remember the Rams as the very first “major” sports franchise to abandon an eastern or midwestern home to make its way west, opening up the sports marketplace to that vast 2/3 of the country. That occurred in 1946, more that a decade before the Dodgers, Giants, and Lakers all forged their respective ways west. After years of quality ownership, the team fell into the hands of black widow Georgie Frontiere, after she literally got away with the murder of her sixth (or was it seventh?) husband, Carroll Rosenbloom. Her successful plan was to run the team into the ground, and use declining revenues as an excuse to move the franchise to St. Louis. Following her death, the team ultimately was acquired by Kroenke.
Kroenke is an opportunist and manipulator of the first order. Besides the Rams, he also owns several other major sports franchises. How, one is compelled to ask, as the NFL has a
Lacrosse League all in the name of his son, Josh. THAT, the commish and the NFL look the other way at. Kroenke also owns all sorts of other stuff, including media companies and part of Dick’s Sporting Goods.
A billionaire in his own right, he infinity expanded his family’s wealth when he married one of the country’s richest women, Walmart heiress Ann Walton, who brought in excess of $6 B on board.
So, out of the blue, it came to light the other day that Kroenke may be stepping all over the toes of Anschutz and Roski, when the NFL was informed that he had purchased a giant parcel of land in between now defunct Hollywood Park and the iconic and recently renovated Forum, in Inglewood, a hop, step and jump from downtown LA. Though the denials are spewing forth, with even the Commissioner saying it means nothing, it’s just one of many Kroenke-owned parcels of land. But then, why would he notify the league of such a purchase, if he did not have plans that could, just maybe, include returning the Rams to SoCal?
An additional point about this land purchase that most people have ignored. The land was purchased from ….. Walmart!
|As a lifelong Angelino who would really like to see the NFL back in LA County, I doubt that I could ever root for Kroenke’s Rams, especially after he had the audacity to bring BountyGate architect Greg Williams back into NFL coaching. But, it is not just me that is not too happy with the idea of the Rams moving in – neither is Spanos, Jr.
The little spoiled brat is having a hissy fit that if
the Rams move within 120 miles of his little football haven of San Diego, the team will steal away its LA-area fan base, reducing Charger profits. Time for another history lesson: Remember the LOS ANGELES Chargers? The Chargers were born in Los Angeles and played their maiden season in the LA Coliseum. They were then moved to San Diego in 1961 for their second season, and there they have since remained. It seems to some clearer thinking people that the Chargers’ franchise gave up any legal or moral claim to Los Angeles when they voluntarily left town for greener and more profitable pastures.
After more than five years of planning, neither stadiums that has been given the names LA Stadium (though in the City of Industry) and Farmers’ Field (after the insurance company, not guys who plant stuff) have seen the light of day, or even a shovel-full of dirt turned, so any plans that Kroenke may have today are also years away from any semblance of reality. Roski and Anschutz won’t be quiet in the meantime.