Updated: Aug 3
Ever since the Rams left St. Louis on January 12th 2016, the St. Louis government has not worried about whether they need to upgrade the Dome at America’s Center, or worry about taxpayer funding to finance such a project. However, should the plaintiffs prevail in St. Louis v. NFL et. al., Mayor Tishaura Jones may need to make a decision about an expansion franchise. She and city council would need to see if the Dome at America’s Center is suitable for an NFL franchise. It has not hosted an NFL game since December 23, 2015, when the Rams beat the Buccaneers 31-23 in what was dubbed the “Ketchup and Mustard Bowl,” due to the teams’ Color Rush uniforms. It is not suitable for an NFL franchise, just ask Reggie Bush and others that slipped on the concrete ring surrounding the playing surface (Bush sued St. Louis and won on a negligence theory). The Dome needs massive upgrades, or even better, St. Louis would need a new stadium.
Randy Karraker, co-host of “Karraker & Smallmon” from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Central Time on 101ESPN Radio, tweeted out today that Mayor Jones is non-committal to an expansion franchise, should that be the settlement offer or judgment from the aforementioned lawsuit. The Dome needs massive upgrades, or even better, St. Louis would need a new stadium. The plaintiffs have leverage due to every motion brought by the NFL, but one, being denied by Judge Christopher McGraugh. That one motion granted was to exclude Bob Blitz, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, because he was deemed to be a necessary witness, as reported by Joel Currier from the St. Louis Post and Dispatch. Blitz’s work on the case can be used by the plaintiffs. (I will write another article on this motion and its impact)
Dan Wallach, co-host of “Conduct Detrimental,” reported on Karraker & Smallmon that an expansion team is a possible settlement option. When Mayor Jones was asked by Mr. Karraker about the possibility of the NFL building a stadium, told him “I’m not building any stadiums.” She wants questions to be answered first, for example, the expansion team’s owner. Mr. Karraker tweeted that Ms. Jones’ father, former St. Louis comptroller Virvus Jones, voted against building the Dome back in the early 1990s. Mayor Jones voted against financing to keep the Rams in St. Louis.
Mr. Karraker spoke to a source with close ties to NFL ownership, and they told him the NFL “not in a million years” would offer an expansion franchise as a settlement offer for this lawsuit. These are not the signs pro-NFL fans in St. Louis want to hear, then again, it is only November 4th. The trial does not begin or fans wanting the NFL back in St. Louis, it is not looking great until January 10th, sixty-seven days away.