The last home game of the season could also have been, if owner Stan Kroenke gets his way, the last Rams game in St. Louis. Kroenke desperately wants to move to Los Angeles, and while it’s far from a done deal—Oakland and San Diego want out too—the fans who attended the 31-23 win over the Buccaneers made sure to let the NFL and local politicians know how they feel.
It certainly wasn’t a big crowd, but it was a boisterous one. And today’s a big step in the Rams’ future. This afternoon the St. Louis Board of Aldermen will vote on a financing package for a new $1.1 billion riverfront stadium, a proposal that so far has not impressed Kroenke.
The newest version of financing is full of wishful thinking—a whole bunch of private investment from somewhere, and just $250 million from Kroenke himself. It also counts on $300 million from the NFL, well above the league’s standard contribution of $200 million for a new stadium. And yesterday, in a letter to the chairman of Missouri’s stadium task force, commissioner Roger Goodell made it quite plain that the NFL has no intentions of ponying up that much.
The NFL provides a maximum of $200 million to help teams build new stadiums, Goodell wrote. The premise that the league has committed $300 million to the Mississippi River stadium proposal “is fundamentally inconsistent with the NFL’s program of stadium financing,” he said.
If things seem grim for St. Louis, Rams fans can take solace in the fact that of the three teams trying to move, theirs is the only one with anything resembling a stadium plan. Sure, it’ll fuck taxpayers for decades to come, but that’s exactly what the NFL wants to see.
For the fans that did make it to the game (attendance was announced at a generous 51,295), is was one final chance this year—maybe ever—to make their feelings known. Fans brought signs, chanted, and one man with a Rams flag even ran on the field during a break in play. A few shots from the night: