The path from St. Louis to Los Angeles is beginning to take shape for the St. Louis Rams, and if you’re a conspiracy theorist like me – or if you just like playing connect the dots – then it’s relatively easy to identify their escape route.
Things began chronologically on Jan. 18 when a photo was posted to the Facebook page for a group called “Bring Back the Los Angeles Rams” featuring Rams rookie wideout Tavon Austin. That piece of evidence actually originated from Austin’s Instagram account where he wrote the caption: “I got there (sic) front they got my back.”
Another photo obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch featured Austin with a member of the group attempting to bring the Rams back to L.A. holding a t-shirt that says “Future L.A. Rams season ticket holder.” Though Rams PR people tried to brush some dirt over the incident and pretend it never happened, this next piece of evidence takes the theory to a whole new level.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke recently purchased a 60-acre parking lot between the Los Angeles Forum and Hollywood Park. This is either a substantial investment for something non-football related or it’s exactly what it looks like: An attempt to hijack the Rams from St. Louis.
If you recall, the Rams have had an ongoing spat with the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission over renovations the Edward Jones Dome would need to make it fulfill the criteria outlined in the team’s expiring lease. Those terms dictate that the building must be in the top-tier of facilities to require the Rams to extend said agreement after it expires in 2015. Arbitration yielded no results between the two parties as the commission proposed spending $124 million on overhauls while the Rams insist the necessary renovations would cost about $700 million.
Needless to say this stalemate has caused some justifiable unrest in the city of St. Louis with fans just awaiting the announcement of the Rams packing up and leaving town. The team has struggled to fill its current building as-is, and that lack of support could inevitably pave the move back to city where the franchise resided until 1994.
There’s no doubt Tavon Austin would enjoy the bright lights of L.A. and all of the attention his exploits would receive in a city so desperate for pigskin to return. Likewise, there’s no denying the fact that Kroenke sees dollar signs in the football starved city where new merchandise sales could really ramp up his bank account.
Stay tuned on this one, but it certainly seems like this game of connect the dots is hinting at a move to L.A. in the near future for the Rams.