At the end of the day, not really. Unless Kroenke can substantially improve his team's on the field performance, it's pretty much irrelevant from a national perspective. I feel badly for the fans that have stayed loyal to a team that with the exception of the greatest show on turf that resulted in a couple of Super Bowl appearances and one victory, that hasn't really been all that competitive since 1991. The Rams' move was not sudden at all and has been the source of a lot of speculation over the past several months. It's no secret that Kroenke has wanted an updated stadium and despite efforts by the community to make that a reality, the potential development situation in L.A. just proved to be too attractive for St. Louis to compete with.
There are several questions that will probably forever go unanswered. If Kroenke was willing to fork over at least $2.0 billion to make the move, why not spend maybe half that much and fund a stadium in St. Louis? Considering the dismal record of the team, why is there so much outcry about them leaving, except that fans won't get to see what real football teams play like when the visiting teams repeatedly bash the Rams? And finally, given that this is now the second owner in twenty-eight years to leave the city, is St. Louis really a strong football city, especially considering the success of the baseball Cardinals?
There are some aspects of this move that are attractive to me. First, I am a strong opponent of publicly financed stadiums for a business that pays its employees millions of dollars and has yet to produce a positive business case for communities to raise taxes and spend enormous sums of money to appease rich owners. This deal, as far as I understand, is being financed with private funds. So beyond the slap in the face for St. Louis, they'll probably be better off financially than to have been held hostage by Kroenke. Secondly, it will actually put all of the teams in the NFC West in, believe it or not, the west. I know St. Louis is west of the Mississippi, but it's crazy for them to make the trips they need to in order to play divisional games. The next step is to have a serious discussion about math and geography with the Big Ten, Big Twelve and Sun Belt conferences. I guess the same could be said for Dallas, but I don't see the Cowboys changing divisions anytime soon, even if it would make sense to see one more round of realignment for geographic reasons. Thirdly, it's been a bit absurd that the second largest market in the nation has been without a football team for so long. There is a unique amount of glitz and glamour associated with the L.A. scene that has been missing from the league for a couple of decades. And lastly, it gives San Diego and Oakland another year to work out deals to stay where they are. And even though I'm not that upset with the Rams' leaving St. Louis, I don't like to see too many fan bases, especially loyal ones like the Raiders have, disenfranchised by rich owners.