In 1990, St. Louis decided it was time to have a football team back. Bill Bidwell had packed up his team and moved to the sunny climes of Phoenix many years earlier, where they continue to loose to this day still. The sports nuts decided that we needed a football franchise. So, they got together and convinced the voters of the City and County of St. Louis, and the State of Missouri to fork over $280 million dollars for a "state of the art" football stadium and "Convention Center." The new stadium would be attached to the new convention center just completed a few months earlier. In order to sell it to the public, the Stadium would be a "Multi-Purpose" facility in that it could be used for other events other than football. Unforunately the football season coencides with most of the major conventions in the year, a fact that was apparently lost on many of the supporters. That however, did not stop the steamroller.
A business man with no money came up with the idea. The rich elite of the city decided that the public coffers would be raided again for a project of dubious need to the public. Ignorant of the fact that the city of St. Louis has some of the most underfuned schools in the nation, one of the oldest sewer systems in the nation and a whole host of other problems, they decided that funding a stadium would bring business to a city that needed it. Why the rich elite could not come up with the money of their own was ignored in the best interest of scaming the NFL out of a new franchise for the fair city that apparently need football more then it needed education.
So, the project was steamrollered throught he various public entities and coucils and the stadium was built and ready for occupancy by the expected team, tentatively named the "St. Louis Stallions." When the NFL owners met in Chicago to award a franchise, in their infinate wisdom to Charlotte, North Carolina a city that did not have a stadium even ready for such a venture. St. Louis backers told their supporters to patiently wait as another expected franshise was to be awarded It was then awarded to Jacksonville, Florida. St. Louis fans who had spent millions of dollars on so-called "Permanant Seat Licences" for the ownership group lost all their money to the either.
So, St. Louis fans, angered by the betrayal by the NFL then looked for a team to steal from another city. Then came the New England Patriots. James Orthwein purchased the team with the intention of moving the team to St. Louis. However, the Patriots were eventually sold to another owner and nothing came of the idea. Again the fans were betrayed. Then they found the Rams.
Georgia Frontiere had inherited ownership of the team when her husband died. She had grew up in St. Louis and found time to visit from time to time. A golden opprotunity presented itself. The Rams were known to be disatified with their stadium in Aniheim. Through a complex contract thery were lured to St. Louis.
The sports nuts finally had a team and it started winning games and eventually went to the Super Bowl.
Enter the present day. A clause in the contract which lured the team here apparently gives them the right to leave if "the stadium is not among the top 5% in the league." The team came to the Stadium owners, (the aforementioned City of St. Louis) and asked that $300 million be invested in the stadium in renovations. The best the cash strapped city could come up with was $30 million after being raped by the owners of the baseball Cardinals to build their $365 million stadium.
So, now there is talk of the Rams packing up and leaving. I say good riddance. The ammount of money invested in this dubious enterprise, when there are more pressing concerns in the world and in the city is idiotic to say the least. Now we are in an economic recession and it costs the better part of $100 for a single person to attend a game after spending all the money for tickets, concession and parking. I am all for spending a nice afternoon watching a game, but its starting to become like gladitorial games where the pampered atheletes (who can seem to get away with murder whenever they commit a crime) play before crowds of equally pampered rich sychophants. The underclass either has to sit in a seat high in the statosphere, or cannot afford a seat at all on his salary which seems to get even more megar every year. The idiocy of public support for this has got to stop and soon. Our priorities in this country are more mesed up than ever. if we can find money for this rather than money to solve the problems that directly affect millions of people across our city.
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