Monday, August 17, 2015

Broncos Scenario Still In Play

I was reminded after my most recent post about the Rams/stadium situation that I had written about a possible "franchise trade" scenario back in January. While it will take some doing, and the facts have changed somewhat since, it still seems like the cleanest option from a St. Louis perspective.

In doing a little nosing around on the net, I find that the NFL is asking the decision makers in the Denver Broncos ownership situation (three trustees) to come up with a lead owner from Pat Bowlen's children in 2016 or sell the team. Whether any of the kids is interested, or has the wherewithal to actually step into the lead owner role is the question. This was the thrust, with many details, of a Denver Post story published last September.

So...The NFL could propose to Silent Stan Kroenke that he back off of his efforts in Inglewood, or just be a landlord, to satisfy the league's cross-ownership rules by agreeing to a trade of franchises...the Rams for the Broncos. In this scenario the Rams would stay in St. Louis to play in the new stadium (assuming it gets done) and the "mysterious one" would take over the Broncos to complete his holdings in Denver. He already owns the NBA-Nuggets and NHL-Avalanche there. Then the NFL would give the go-ahead to the Chargers and Raiders to build their new digs in Carson, or force a reasonable lease agreement for them from Stan in Inglewood.

Obviously, if the Rams stay in St. Louis this plan would require a new owner/owners for the team. Who might that be? My instinct here is that the Dave Peacock/Bob Blitz/Jay Nixon brain-trust has already been coached by the NFL brass to come up with an answer to that question.

Would Mr. Peacock have some friends with the necessary available funds to step up to that plate? Peacock himself has considerable wealth and benefited greatly in recent years as CEO of the AB part of AB-InBev. At least one estimate of his worth (who knows how accurate?) that I found puts him somewhere in the $27 million range. So he would need to put together several extremely-moneyed friends to be able to operate an NFL team. Are there people in St. Louis, or the region, who could do that? Sure. The Blues operate now with such a consortium of the area's wealthy.

The ticket is much pricier in NFL ownership though, so Mr. Peacock had better be talking to the big-time heavy hitters if that is going to happen. I'm sure that all of these scenarios have been put out there in the high-level meetings we keep hearing about, not to mention the scads of video conferences and phone meetings that no doubt are happening every day on this front. It's what people of money do..conduct and participate in meetings. For those of us who care about the future of the NFL in St. Louis, we're counting on Mr. Peacock to be the most persuasive participant in them.

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