Ray Hartmann of St. Louis Magazine and Donnybrook, who for several months was prophetic in predicting Stan Kroenke would not play in St. Louis’ riverfront stadium, came in studio for The Ryan Kelley Morning After on Friday to give his thoughts on the Rams leaving for Los Angeles.
Hartmann also talked about the St. Louis area as a whole and what the region should do going forward after losing its NFL team.
We typed up a couple quotes from the interview. You can listen to the whole thing below:
Initial thoughts on the Rams leaving?
“I wasn’t surprised. But as I’ve said…there’s no solace for me as a Rams fan saying, ‘I told you so.’ It’s about this…I don’t feel bad about St. Louis at all. You have to understand this was not about football and fans. This is a big, big, big real estate business deal. Our fans should keep their heads held high.”
On chances St. Louis gets another NFL team:
“I am assuming the NFL is gone. We need to move on. If you look at the cities, you can take Orlando, San Antonio, Sacramento and Portland, and arguably Austin, Texas….All of them were half our size (population-wise) when the Rams came to St. Louis in 1995. And all of them are on pace to pass us in population in the next 10 years.”
On the Governor’s stadium task force’s efforts:
“The big mystery to me going forward…is whether they really thought they had a chance of keeping the Rams. They had to know Stan Kroenke was not going to play in (that riverfront stadium). There was no way Kroenke was going (to give up his free agency and lock himself into a 30-year lease). And they knew it. I think they thought if they kept the ball in play, they’d get lucky. Maybe they thought (Raiders owner Mark Davis) was in play.”
On the corporations that have left St. Louis:
“If the Rams had been gentlemens about this, they could have said, ‘St. Louis is a great midwestern city that was good to them’ and pointed out that since they were here, they lost (TWA, who was on the sponsor on the dome). Not only did they go out of business, but we lost our hub, which is a big deal. We lost our headquarters for Anheuser-Busch, McDonnell Douglas, The May Company, Boatmen’s Bank, I could go on and on. The biggest companies, we lost our corporate headquarters base.”
“The NFL doesn’t want to acknowledge that, but they’re leeches. They’re in the business of getting that money and it’s not about our fans.”
Listen to the complete segment here: