Rams Fans Rally At Hearing

A recent public hearing with NFL executives in St. Louis drew a crowd of roughly 1,500 fans who appeared set on keeping the Rams in Missouri.

Photo: AP Photo / Gregory Bull
A fan dressed as “Sponge Bolt” Squarepants walks by the entrance to Spreckels Theatre in San Diego where the NFL hosts a town hall meeting Oct. 28 to discuss the possible move of the Chargers to Los Angeles.

The meeting was the first of three by the NFL to determine which team or teams might relocate to the Los Angeles area. Other teams up for a move include the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders in California.

Rams owner Stan Kroenke is pushing to relocate the team to a new $1.8 billion stadium in suburban L.A. in light of the Rams’ longtime losing seasons and low attendance numbers at home.

Kroenke took some heat from fans during the hearing including Al Simpson, a season ticket holder who questioned the claim that the St. Louis market isn’t viable.

“If this market was that bad, why did Kroenke exercise an option to buy the Rams in 2010?” Simpson asked. “Don’t feed me the line that he can’t make it here.” Others suggested that constructing a proposed $1 billion stadium in St. Louis would help renew interest in the team. Plans for such a stadium call for it to be funded through a combination of public money, which has yet to be approved, and money from the owner and the NFL.

As part of the deal, the city would pay $6 million a year toward a new stadium and rebate a portion of game-day taxes to the team, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.