Fri June 10, 2011
Los Angeles courting Rams for possible return to California
A sports and entertainment company seeking to build an NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles has spoken to the St. Louis Rams.
AEG President Tim Leiweke told the Orange County Register that he is reaching out to the Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Rams future in St. Louis may hinge on the status of their downtown stadium, The Edward Jones Dome.
The Rams have the option of breaking their lease with the city of St. Louis if the Edward Jones Dome is not ranked in the top 25 percent of NFL venues by 2014.
Webster University Sports Economist Patrick Rishe says that isn’t likely to happen.
“I would say right now that the Edward Jones is probably in the bottom 25 percent of facilities and without a major refurbishment it’s not going to get anywhere close to the top quarter,” says Rishe.
The city has until next January to present its improvement plan to the Rams.
While Rams owner Stan Kroenke isn’t commenting on the discussion with AEG, his team has a long history in LA, which many feel makes them a strong candidate to return.
AEG has proposed building a 72,000-seat stadium at a cost of $1 billion on part of the city's convention center campus.
A rival stadium project has been proposed for eastern Los Angeles County by a company that has also not yet secured a team.