St. Louis Stallions

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The St. Louis Stallions was the name of a proposed National Football League franchise which was to have been located in St. Louis, Missouri. There were two attempts to get a team with that name in St. Louis, which had been without football since the end of the 1987 season when the Cardinals left the city to move to Arizona.

Expansion attempt[edit]

The first attempt to get a team back in St. Louis came in 1991, when the city submitted a package to the NFL. The NFL was looking to add two teams in time for the 1994 season (later pushing this idea back one year), and St. Louis was one of the finalists. The others were Baltimore, which like St. Louis had seen its team leave town in 1983; Charlotte, which had been seeking a team since 1987 and had already seen an expansion NBA team awarded to the city; Jacksonville, which had seen several aborted attempts at relocation in recent years; and Memphis, who had been trying to get an NFL team following the folding of the United States Football League. St. Louis was to have placed the Stallions in Busch Stadium, where the football and baseball Cardinals played, for a brief period while a new domed stadium was constructed. Although St. Louis had been considered a favorite to land a team, the NFL instead announced in 1993 that the Charlotte and Jacksonville groups were declared the winners and that the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars would begin play in 1995.

Relocation attempt[edit]

After St. Louis came up short in its expansion bid, the city appeared that it was going to get a new team anyway. Advertising executive James Orthwein, a St. Louis native and member of the Busch family, bought the New England Patriots in 1992 from Victor Kiam to resolve a debt between the two men. Immediately upon purchase, Orthwein made it clear that he wanted to relocate the team from its Foxborough, Massachusetts home to the Midwest. With the city of St. Louis having begun construction on the new domed stadium that they had discussed in their expansion bid, Orthwein was set to leave New England at the end of the 1993 season. However, the owner of the team's stadium, Robert Kraft, refused to let Orthwein out of his lease. Orthwein did not want to own the team if he could not move it, and Kraft initiated a hostile takeover that resulted in his purchase of the Patriots in 1994.

St. Louis finally gets a team[edit]

During the 1994 season Georgia Frontiere, the owner of the Los Angeles Rams, was having trouble finding a new stadium for her team as the city of Los Angeles and the surrounding area was not willing to have taxpayer money pay for it. At the time, the Rams were playing in Anaheim Stadium, to which the team had moved in 1980 and which had required a massive reconstruction in order for the Rams to play in what was originally only intended to be a home for the California Angels. Frontiere, who inherited the team following the death of her husband Carroll Rosenbloom in 1979, began looking for other options and initially considered Baltimore, the city where her husband originally owned the Colts before he traded ownership of the team with Robert Irsay, before deciding on St. Louis. The NFL initially was unwilling to allow the move out of Los Angeles, and in fact had voted to reject it, but acquiesced after Frontiere threatened to sue the league. The Rams played their first few home games in Busch Stadium until their new home, which became known as the Trans World Dome, opened on November 12 with a game against the expansion Panthers.

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