With the vigor of a coach pumping up players for a big game, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon addressed the NFL world yesterday and let everyone know the first major stadium hurdle has been cleared. Ameren and Terminal Railroad Association have agreed to move power lines and railroad tracks to allow the STLNFL Stadium to perch perfectly on the Mississippi River.
This news leaves no doubt of the seriousness of Nixon’s task force led by Dave Peacock and Bob Blitz. It’s been barely one month from the official stadium announcement, and the wheels are clearly spinning productively fast. In fact, even NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is “extremely pleased and happy” with the latest obstacle that was overcome, according to Tim McKernan of InsideSTL.
Speed and effectiveness are keys for stadium success in St. Louis, as Stan Kroenke is quickly doing everything he can to make a stadium in Inglewood a reality. Weekly, we are learning of new accomplishments or actions being taken by the owner of the Rams to make his mark in Los Angeles.
As I’ve written and said before, this process will be long, arduous and unfair to St. Louis football fans. Nevertheless, a strong show of support will be needed to keep the NFL, and not necessarily the Rams, in the Gateway To The West. Fans should take comfort in knowing they have power brokers on their side who are making progress. We also need to remember that we can make a difference and defend St. Louis, especially against false national narratives, despite the actions of Kroenke.
The NFL has set up a Los Angeles Opportunities Committee and reminded its owners of the relocation guidelines. The committee members include Art Rooney (Steelers), Bob McNair (Texans), Robert Kraft (Patriots), Clark Hunt (Chiefs), John Mara (Giants) and Jerry Richardson (Panthers). These men may be the most powerful of all the thirty-two owners during the next twelve months.
For now, I think they will provide St. Louis a level playing ground… For now…
Rooney, in particular, is on record stating the NFL can legally stop Kroenke from moving unilaterally. In the end, this committee and the owners will do what makes the most money for the NFL. However, the Rams leaving St. Louis or the city being left without any franchise isn’t necessarily the answer.