Are the St. Louis Rams taking the first step to return to Los Angeles?
Rams owner Stan Kroenke has bought a large tract of land in Inglewood, Calif. — about 12 miles from downtown L.A. — that could be used for an NFL stadium, the Los Angeles Times' Sam Farmer is reporting.
Kroenke purchased a 60-acre parking lot located between the soon-to-be-shuttered Hollywood Park racetrack and The Forum that originally was owned by Wal-Mart but was sold when the superstore it wanted to build was not publicly approved. Madison Square Garden Co., which owns The Forum, had wanted to buy it but didn't act fast enough. Interestingly, Kroenke is a former Wal-Mart board member as the son-in-law of former Wal-Mart co-founder Bud Walton.
A return to L.A. has been rumored for years, and the Rams' inability to work out a stadium deal with St. Louis has kept them as one of the frontrunners to relocate. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for years has said the NFL remains interested in placing a franchise again in the league's No. 2-ranked market but said that expansion of the league's 32 teams was not the most likely route toward achieving that.
It is possible that Kroenke is leveraging St. Louis for a new stadium? Absolutely, and the Post-Dispatch's Bryan Burwell examines the city's path for the foreseeable future. There will be hurdles for the team to move, but it's not something we can rule out yet.
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