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Rams Fans Criticize Team's Move From St. Louis To Los Angeles

Jan 13, 2016
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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

This is a good day to be a football fan in Los Angeles. Last night, the NFL approved the relocation of the Rams back to LA. That vote came more than 20 years after the team moved to St. Louis. And for fans in Missouri, it's still sinking in that the Rams are leaving. This marks the second time St. Louis has lost an NFL team since 1988. St. Louis Public Radio's Jason Rosenbaum reports on the reaction there.

JASON ROSENBAUM, BYLINE: James Lindsey was outside the home of St. Louis's hockey team when news of Rams' departure became official. Even though the team hadn't had a winning season since 2003, Lindsey gained an affinity for a squad once labeled The Greatest Show on Turf. So it's no surprise Lindsey is mad at Rams owner Stan Kroenke's decision to bolt St. Louis.

JAMES LINDSEY: They screwed us. You know what I'm saying? They straight screwed us.

ROSENBAUM: State and local officials tried to keep the Rams by offering to build a $1.1 billion stadium on St. Louis's riverfront. The Rams trashed the project and said it would lead to financial ruin. That wrinkled Gary Kreie. He purchased a personal seat license when the Rams moved here in the mid-1990s.

GARY KREIE: So I don't think St. Louis ever had a chance. So I wish they would've told us this before they went through this whole pretend process.

ROSENBAUM: Keeping the Rams was not without its critics. A new stadium would've required hundreds of millions of dollars of public money. St. Louis resident Andrew Arkills says the city has more pressing matters to deal with, like chronic homelessness and crime.

ANDREW ARKILLS: And it kind of gives you pause as to why we're addressing football, but not some of these other things with the same level of energy and effort.

ROSENBAUM: It's unlikely St. Louis will get another NFL team in the near future, so that may be why even the most ardent Rams fans will probably move on after the anger subsides, especially when baseball season begins later this spring. For NPR News, I'm Jason Rosenbaum in St. Louis. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.