The Rams’ recent move to Los Angeles is a tough blow for St. Louis, but their recent departure, perhaps, leaves a vacancy the Chiefs can try to fill.
Chiefs president Mark Donovan realizes that, but said the club will be sensitive to the feelings of St. Louis football fans, many of whom may feel spurned by the departure of the Rams.
“I’ve gotten texts and emails from fans saying I’m now a Chiefs fan, and we appreciate all that,” Donovan said. “But we’re going to take a strategic approach to that — we’re going to be respectful. They’ve been through a really tough process.
“We’re going to continue to do what we do, and we think with the success we’re having on the field and the success we’re having off the field, it creates a great opportunity for us.”
Donovan said the Chiefs could have the opportunity to market themselves in St. Louis in the future.
“The way the league rules work, there are differences with tickets, broadcast, television and radio (and) what you can and can’t do,” Donovan said. “Because it’s in the state we’re in, we have some rights there from a marketing perspective, but you’ve seen other teams reach out already. Indianapolis put a little campaign together to welcome fans over to Indy, and like I said, we’ll be strategic about it but we’ll be respectful about it.”
Donovan was then asked if Chiefs games will be broadcast regularly in St. Louis going forward.
“We’ll see what happens,” Donovan said. “We’re in conversations right now with the league on how the league’s going to look at that, and we’ll make our case there.”
Clark Hunt’s role in the Rams move
Donovan was also asked to elaborate on chairman Clark Hunt’s position on the Rams’ move to Los Angeles.
According to Sports Illustrated, Hunt — who was a member of the six-man Committee on Los Angeles opportunities — voted for the Rams, and the Rams only, to move to Los Angeles during the league meeting about the matter on Jan. 12.
According to SI.com, Hunt was skeptical about the Raiders-Chargers plan in Carson, Calif. because he wasn’t sure the market would embrace two teams immediately. Hunt was the only member of the committee who voted against recommending the Carson project to the rest of the league — he was outvoted 5-1 — but deep-pocketed Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s bold and expensive LA project eventually won out when the vote went out to the rest of the owners.
“I think he’s publicly said that in his belief, when he made the vote, he truly believed that No. 1, our teams should stay in the markets they’re in if at all possible,” Donovan said. “And No. 2, he felt like if you’re going to vote on LA, that one team in LA is the most advantageous approach. And that’s really what he was voting on.”