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Rams Ownership Update

The news gets worse and worse for the fans of the St. Louis Rams as Howard Balzer is reporting in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat that the current Rams ownership group are considering an offer for 100% of the franchise, not simply the 60% owned by the Rosenbloom/Rodriguez group.  The one great St. Louis hope for the ownership group was and is Dave Checketts, owner of the St. Louis Blues and committed to keeping the Rams in St. Louis.  But, Dave Checketts couldn’t possibly come up with 100% of the money and Balzer cites a report from KTRS radio that the bid that is being considered is not Checketts bid.  The Rams could accept the bid before the league year begins on March 5th.

One of the other potential owners that has been cited before by Charlie Casserly of CBS Sports is been Texas billionaire Gerald Ford (no relation to the former president).  It is not too much of a leap to guess that Ford is the bidder that submitted the bid of $725 million for 100% of the Rams.  He built a new football stadium for his alma mater, Southern Methodist University and certainly has the money to present that bid to the Rams current ownership.  We may not know for certain until the Rams ownership selects a bid as all of the negotiations lie under a non-disclosure agreement and the two other bidders besides Checketts seem more than happy to stay in the background.

More after the jump.

The Rams ownership group of Rosenbloom/Rodriguez has said in the past that they would prefer to sell to a owner that will keep the Rams in St. Louis.  But it is becoming clearer that the potential owner behind the 100% bid will only keep the Rams in St. Louis in the short term until he or she can get out of the St. Louis stadium deal and move the team to a much more lucrative market.

It is possible that Chip Rosenbloom lied to Rams fans, simply telling us what we wanted to hear.  Another very plausible reason is that money talks and the $725 million is far and away the best bid, according to Balzer.  Another, more sinister reason the 100% bid is in the lead is 40% owner Stan Kroenke.  He could have forced the Rodriguez/Rosenblooms to take the only 100% bid because he was cashing out his stake in the franchise.  That would give the Rams current ownership group one very lucrative bid to accept.

Here’s the kicker from Balzer’s article:

Most important, however, is that according to sources, there would only be a short-term commitment for the new owner to keep the team in St. Louis. That dovetails with the clause in the team’s lease with the CVC (Convention and Visitor’s Commission) that mandates the Edward Jones Dome be within the top 25 percent of the league’s stadiums by March, 2015.

The Rams franchise can get out of the stadium deal after the 2014 season and all signs are pointing towards the potential Rams owner taking that out.

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