As the NFL leaves St. Louis once again, the city’s mayor has thrown up his hands and announced that the city has no further interest in pursuing the football league.
On Tuesday League owners voted to allow the Rams to move half a country away to Los Angeles for next season. The river city already lost an NFL franchise when the Cardinals left in 1988 and now St. Louis will again be without football.
The city had hoped that the promised one-billion dollar riverfront stadium deal would be enough to save their franchise, but it seems that it was all to no avail.
“At this point I’m so frustrated and disappointed with the NFL,” Mayor Slay said on Wednesday. “Why would anybody want to, in any way, even entertain any suggestions from the NFL after the way they dealt with St. Louis here? I mean, it was dishonest. They were not being truthful with us. There’s no appetite that I have to take another run at an NFL team.”
Dave Peacock, co-chairman of the St. Louis stadium task force, was also perplexed by the whole situation calling his dealings with the league “a head-scratcher.”
Only three months ago NFL officials visited St. Louis to guide the community on the debate of the stadium deal but also ominously for “evaluating potential franchise relocations.”
But there were warning sings aplenty. As far back as the beginning of last year, despite the hopes of St, Louis fans and city officials, NFL Commissioner Roger Gooddell had already said he would not commit to insisting that the Rams should stay in the Gateway Arch City.
Fans and even some Show Me State politicians have already voiced their disgust at the NFL and Rams owner Stan Kroenke for abandoning the city.
“The NFL ignored the facts, the loyalty of St. Louis fans, who supported the team through far more downs than ups, and the NFL ignored a strong market and viable plan for a new stadium,” Mayor Francis Slay said on Tuesday.
“Tonight’s decision is disappointing, and a clear deviation from the NFL’s guidelines,” Governor Jay Nixon added. “It is troubling that the league would allow for the relocation of a team when a home market has worked in good faith and presented a strong and viable proposal. This sets a terrible precedent not only for St. Louis, but for all communities that have loyally supported their NFL franchises.”
Several sports pages in the city also displayed ample amounts of anger. “Money walks,” read a sports page headline in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. A piece in the St. Louis-based Riverfront Times is more direct, charging, “F**k you, Stan Kroenke, and the Toupee You Rode in Under.”
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Daily News trumpets, “Sorry, St. Louis, but Stan Kroenke is just not that into you.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com