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Civic leaders blast NFL over vote to allow Rams move back to LA

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – St. Louis city leaders fought hard to keep the Rams in town. But Tuesday evening, they received the crushing news.

The NFL announced the Rams would return to Los Angeles. The owners voted to approve Stan Kroenke's application to leave St. Louis.

The response was swift. Mayor Francis Slay released a statement critical of how the whole process was handled.

“The NFL ignored the facts, the loyalty of St. Louis fans, who supported the team through far more downs than ups, and the NFL ignored a strong market and viable plan for a new stadium," Slay said. "I am proud of our effort and what St. Louis was able to accomplish in an extraordinarily short period of time."

Slay thanked the Governor’s Task Force for its effort to maintain the city's NFL status.

Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed described the announcement as a "serious blow" to the city and Rams fans. Reed said while Kroenke's position was clear, there was hope the team would remain in town. The Board of Alderman recently passed a new stadium package proposal promising more jobs, development, and tourism.

"We need to explore our options," he said, referring to the possibility of other teams re-locating to St. Louis. He said for now, though, the stadium proposal is dead.

In his statement released Tuesday evening, Slay said the city should focus on its growing hospitality industry, including conventions, tourism, and amateur sports.

"St. Louis is a great place to live a build a business - with or without NFL football," he said.

Mayor Slay Issues Statement on Rams Move to Los Angeles

ST. LOUIS – At the conclusion of the NFL owners’ vote to approve Stan Kroenke’s request to move the Rams to Los Angeles, Mayor Francis Slay issued the following statement:

“The NFL ignored the facts, the loyalty of St. Louis fans, who supported the team through far more downs than ups, and the NFL ignored a strong market and viable plan for a new stadium. I am proud of our effort and what St. Louis was able to accomplish in an extraordinarily short period of time. I thank everyone who worked so diligently on this project, especially the Governor’s Task Force.

“In the meantime, we need to increase our focus on the region's hospitality industry— conventions, tourism and amateur sports. These events and the hotels and restaurants that support them put thousands of City and County residents to work in good jobs. St. Louis is great place to live and build a business— with or without NFL football.”

Gov. Nixon statement on vote by NFL owners

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Gov. Jay Nixon issued the following statement regarding tonight’s vote by NFL owners.

“Tonight’s decision is disappointing, and a clear deviation from the NFL’s guidelines.  It is troubling that the league would allow for the relocation of a team when a home market has worked in good faith and presented a strong and viable proposal. This sets a terrible precedent not only for St. Louis, but for all communities that have loyally supported their NFL franchises.

“Regardless of tonight’s action, the fact remains that St. Louis is a world-class city deserving of a world-class NFL team.  We will review the NFL’s decision thoroughly before determining what next steps to take. In particular, we are interested in their justification for departing so significantly from the NFL’s guidelines after St. Louis had – in record time – presented a proposal for a first-class stadium.”

St. Louis County Executive’s Statement on Rams

Clayton, Mo- St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger has issued the following statement regarding the Rams pending move to Los Angeles:

“As a football fan and a lifetime resident of the St. Louis area, I am bitterly disappointed in tonight’s news. This region deserves an NFL team. This region is fully capable of supporting an NFL team. That team should have been the Rams. The NFL and Stan Kroenke have displayed a callous disregard for the St. Louis area and its loyal football fans.”

STATEMENT, STLNFL STADIUM TASK FORCE

Today’s decision by the NFL concludes a flawed process that ends with the unthinkable result of St. Louis losing the Rams. Over the past 15 months, our stadium task force has delivered in every respect to what the NFL demanded of St. Louis to keep our team.  More important, over the past 21 seasons, most of them dire, St. Louis has been remarkably supportive of and faithful to the Rams.  We will leave it to the NFL to explain how this could happen and hope the next city that may experience what St. Louis has endured will enjoy a happier and more appropriate outcome.

Here in St. Louis and throughout our region, we are incredibly grateful for the energy and support we received during this journey. What St. Louis was able to accomplish in a very, very short time was, and is, amazing.  That our collective efforts will not be rewarded, or recognized, is very unfortunate.  We all deserve better, but never forget that we just showed everyone and ourselves what St. Louis is capable of achieving.  The best days for St. Louis are not far away.