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Rams owner's company buys Inglewood land, fueling speculation of LA stadium plans

A company tied to St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke purchased a 60-acre piece of land between the newly renovated Forum concert venue and Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood, Calif., amid speculation the NFL franchise is considering a return to Los Angeles.
January 31, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
A company connected to the owner of the St. Louis Rams football team, Stan Kroenke, has purchased prime real estate three miles east of Los Angeles International Airport, fueling speculation of NFL stadium plans in L.A.

The Kroenke Organizations bought 60 acres in Inglewood near the Forum and the now-closed Hollywood Park racetrack. Rams officials provided a written statement Friday confirming the land purchase.

A spokesman for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the purchase of the Inglewood parking lot was "a commercial property deal that we aren't going to speculate on."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league was informed of the Kroenke purchase. He said a franchise relocation to Los Angeles would require approval of three-fourths of team owners.

The Rams can break their 30-year lease in St. Louis after the 2014 season. The Rams are in negotiations to upgrade their St. Louis stadium as required by their lease.

The Inglewood real estate was previously owned by Wal-Mart, which was unable to get voter approval to build a superstore there. Kroenke is a former board member of the company and is married to the daughter of the Wal-Mart's co-founder.

Los Angeles has been without a professional football team since 1994, when the Rams and the Raiders left the city. Various proposals for NFL stadiums have been made since.

"A football team, unless we add a whole bunch of Super Bowls, really doesn't add a lot to the local economy," Mayor Garcetti said. "The work really is between owners and within the NFL to see whether there's somebody who wants to bring a team here."

The latest proposal was to build a stadium downtown next to Staples Center and the L.A. Convention Center. Other sites proposed include locations in Carson, Irwindale and Industry. There have also been calls to move a team to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, or into a remodeled L.A. Memorial Coliseum.

"Downtown L.A. is the best place for the NFL geographically, but if a team comes to any nearby city, it will be a win for Los Angeles," said Garcetti.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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