five metal detectors and an explosive-sniffing dog at the door of the theater,” the Los Angeles Times’ Sam Farmer reported.The NFL has decided to have town hall meetings in each of the three cities that have NFL teams rumored to be possibly moving to Los Angeles. The first one, in St. Louis, had “
The crowd didn’t create a ruckus, but these meetings are likely to bring out some passionate fans. The Rams fans booed every mention of team owner Stan Kroenke, who smartly was not at the meeting.
The point of these town meetings is unclear. It could be that the NFL really wants to hear from the fans whose teams are supposedly in danger of moving. Maybe it’s an elaborate part of the bluff the NFL runs to extort cities for stadium tax money, as they’ve done for two decades with the Los Angeles situation. Maybe, strangely, it’s just a formality to placate the fans before their teams are taken away.
“I know they have to do it in every city and they’re just checking off the boxes,” Rob Audrain of St. Louis told the Los Angeles Times.
The fans who showed up might have been fired up (fans were allowed to make comments, and Farmer reported they were “alternately angry and mournful, many speaking with a tremble in their voice“), but it’s hard to say if they represent a majority of the people of St. Louis. Attendance hasn’t been great in St. Louis this season. When Fox showed the lower bowl of the Edward Jones Dome after kickoff of last Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns, it seemed about half full. That makes sense though, considering the possible relocation cloud hanging over the franchise.
Details of the city’s plan to help pay for the stadium have been trickling out, including the city committing to pay $150 million of the $1 billion construction and planning cost, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said. Fans who showed up Wednesday want to keep the Rams in St. Louis. Whether that has any effect on the plans of Kroenke and the Rams — or if the future town hall meetings in Oakland and San Diego will really matter — is anyone’s guess.
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