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Dave Checketts Wants To Buy The Rams

At a time when folks in St. Louis are fretting regarding the possibility of the Rams fleeing for Los Angeles, the guy who stirred up the ruckus has now ridden in on a proverbial white horse. Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who reported two days ago that no local buyer has come forward to express an interest in buying the team, now reports that St. Louis Blues owner Dave Checketts has done so. But Checketts didn’t enter the fray in the wake of Miklasz’s report -- Checketts already was in the mix. “We have the ability to get this done and we have communicated this to the Rams,” Checketts told Miklasz via e-mail. “We approached this with the Rams months ago and have since that time put together a partnership of both concerned St. Louisans and outside capital. “Last week, we communicated to Chip Rosenbloom in no uncertain terms, that he now has a clear St. Louis buyer. We are that buyer.” Though we don’t yet have a chapter-and-verse understanding of the NFL’s ownership rules, it might be a challenge for Checketts to acquire control of the team unless he personally holds at least 40 percent, since Stan Kroenke already owns 40 percent. League rules require the controlling partner to hold at least 30 percent of the team. And we suspect that the person with the 30-percent share also must own more of the team than anyone else. Also, the more accurate description of Chip Rosenbloom’s frustration would be not that no local buyer has emerged, but that two of them haven’t. Absent a second bidder, Rosenbloom has no leverage, especially since he previously has indicated a commitment to keeping the team in St. Louis. So now the question becomes whether Rosenbloom would be willing to change his mind if the best offer from an L.A. group exceeds significantly the package that Checketts puts together. Then there’s Kroenke, who reportedly wants to purchase controlling interest in the team. Perhaps with a firm and binding commitment to keep the team in St. Louis, Kroenke could marshall sufficient support from his colleagues to alter the cross-ownership rules. Regardless, Checketts’ involvement is a good sign for those in St. Louis who would like to see the Rams remain there. After all, one interested local buyer is a lot better than none.