A New “Frontiere” In St. Louis, A “Kroenke” Ending

Georgia Frontiere and Stan Kroenke

@DerekKingSports

After the failed expansion attempts in STL for a new a NFL franchise, city leaders were pushing hard for a reward after piling millions into the nearly open TWA Dome.

Georgia Frontiere was looking for greener pastures out of LA because she couldn’t get a stadium deal done. During the ’94 season the Rams became a lame duck in LA. Attendance tanked, fans tuned out, they saw the writing on the wall. They all knew what was coming and they didn’t even put up a fight (except for a slight few) to try and keep the team. The Rams made an initial attempt to move out of LA which was disapproved by the NFL owners. Then when STL officials were given the go ahead by city leadership to everything necessary to land a franchise in STL they went all out and sold their soul in the process.

Sad thing is and this is just my opinion, St. Louis already had the Rams if they had made a better attempt at negotiating the lease with the Rams, instead they gave up the farm in order to land a team that could’ve been theirs for a lot less than the sweetheart deal that was given. St. Louis payed $15 million in relocation fees, The Rams got a $260 million dollar stadium, a $15 million dollar practice facility in Earth City and a $250,000 yearly lease, St. Louis also ate the Rams’ $30 million debt to LA and all this to land a team in the Lou.

As you can see everybody’s good old buddy Georgia that so desperately wanted to come home to STL to save Football was a farce. She made millions in the process of coming “home” the Rams went from operating at a $9 million dollar loss a year in LA to a $20 million dollar profit a year in STL. Say it ain’t so Georgia! Oh, it be so! So after the slam dunk of expansion just kissed off the rim, officials gave away the farm for magic beans that barely grew and were half rotten.

Enter Kroenke

In ’95 when the team moved Georgia sold a 40% stake in the team to Stanley Enos Kroenke the wealthy real estate tycoon hailing from Columbia, Mo.

He bought the 40% stake for, get this, $60 million. That’s right, you read that correctly. Then when the unfortunate passing of majority owner Georgia Frontiere passed away from cancer in 2008 the Rosenbloom children became de facto owners of a team they didn’t want. They started shopping the team and Shahid Khan places the winning bid to buy the team, but OUTTA NOWHERE COMES STAN KROENKE!!! He put the kibosh on Khan’s attempt to buy the team and exercised his right of first refusal which was in his contract when he bought his 40% share. He purchased the remainder of the Rams for $450 million. If you do the math he’s in to the tune of $510 million on a franchise value at the time in 2010 of $750 million. He knew he was going to move then if not planning contingencies before the fact.

Kroenke was in this for the long haul. He was in this like an investment property, knowing it would triple in value if he moved it to LA LA Land and then he be rolling in it.

Just think of it this way, if it wasn’t for all those untold millions and millions that the Rams made off of the backs of taxpayers they probably wouldn’t have ever sniffed a Super Bowl, let alone make it to the playoffs. That influx of ministry support is what made it float, and when the lake dried up, they pulled anchor and sailed out of town back to LA.

So who was Frontiere? Savior? Money grabber?

What was Kroenke? The Grinch That Stole Football? Ebenezer Scrooge? That piece of food stuck between your teeth?

Frontiere did bring football back to St. Louis albeit selling her soul, or 40% to the devil to get it, well, maybe devil is a little harsh…..then again, no it isn’t.

Thanks for reading.

Derek King

N The Zone Network contributor

The Legends Of The Dome

Greatest Show On TurfST. LOUIS, MO

@thelegendkil

Despite the fact that the Rams left St.Louis for Los Angeles there will be at least one football game played downtown inside The Dome At America’s Center (formerly Edward Jones Dome). Former St.Louis Rams wide receiver Isaac Bruce is hosting a flag football game featuring members from the “Greatest Show On Turf” era like Kurt Warner, Orlando Pace, Ernie Conwell and as well as coaches Dick Vermeil and Mike Martz.

The event takes place on July 23rd with the kickoff at 2:00 PM with the gates opening up at 12:30 PM. There will be a pre-game autograph session for premium ticket holders from 11:00 AM-noon. Tickets go on sale on April 21st at 10:00 AM at www.ticketmaster.com. Individual tickets are priced at $15 and $20. Premium tickets which includes on field autograph sessions limited to 1,000 tickets are going for $100.

I’m glad that this event is taking place because, despite everything that has transpired over the last year and some change. And it’s always good to see when an athlete of any sport comes back to St.Louis and continues to contribute to the community. But this isn’t anything new about Isaac Bruce. He has always made it a point to give back to the St.Louis community. And that’s just as commendable as his Hall Of Fame career as member of the Rams while they were in St.Louis. Bruce started his foundation in 2006 which put an emphasis on health, wellness, nutrition, fitness and education. This is what else Bruce had to say in a released statement: “We’re excited about being able to bring together a bunch of the Greatest Show on Turf guys and other Rams greats to be able to thank the incredible support over the years,” said Bruce. “We want to fill the dome up one more time and really show what an incredible sports city St.Louis is. We have the opportunity to raise a lot of money for the Isaac Bruce Foundation which we can then pour back into this great city and it’s real exciting.”

And there is excitement already on Twitter from Rams fans that still remain. One fan by the name Lezlie is planning on driving all the way up from Springfield, Missouri and bringing herself and four others along for the ride. Another fan Terry said,”I’ll be there! Last chance to tailgate and see our St.Louis Ram heroes.”

For more information about this upcoming event you can contact Tiffani Burris tiffani@isaacbruce.org. And for more on Isaac Bruce Foundation visit www.isaacbruce.org. Information on the Legends of the Dome event including confirmed players and coaches can be found at http://www.legendsofthedome.com.

Follow me on Twitter @thelegendkil

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