St. Louis Rams fans got the opportunity to voice their displeasure over the ongoing relocation saga on Tuesday night.
Approximately 1,500 fans attended a public hearing with NFL executives at the Peabody Opera House in downtown St. Louis to plead their case for keeping the Rams in St. Louis and not allowing owner Stan Kroenke to move the team to the Los Angeles area.
Fans were offered the opportunity to speak with four NFL officials — executive vice president Eric Grubman, vice president of corporate development Chris Hardart, senior vice president of public policy Cynthia Hogan and NFL attorney Jay Bauman.
After the hearing opened to chants of “Let’s go Rams!,” the NFL officials were introduced, as were St. Louis stadium task force co-leaders Dave Peacock and Bob Blitz and Rams executive vice president Kevin Demoff.
Then fans spent roughly three hours stating their case. Some gave impassioned pleas about what the Rams mean to them and St. Louis, while others pointed out Kroenke’s lack of involvement in the community and the team not meeting the NFL’s relocation guidelines.
“I don’t know how this ends,” Grubman told reporters at the conclusion of the meeting. “If after this (process) ends and the owners have a very, very tough decision, then we’ve done our job.”
The NFL will also hold public hearings with fans in San Diego on Wednesday and Oakland on Thursday.
The Rams moved from Los Angeles to St. Louis in 1995 and the fans who spoke on Tuesday night did everything they could to show the league what the team leaving to return to L.A. would mean to them.
“My assessment based on what I have seen and heard tonight is St. Louis loves its Rams,” Grubman said.
Peacock and Blitz issued a statement after the hearing.
“We thank the sports fans of St. Louis for their passion, support, eloquence and class at tonight’s NFL hearing,” the statement read. “The fans who spoke this evening represented the St Louis community and expressed our love for the Rams in an incredibly powerful and convincing manner. We thank the NFL for the opportunity to be heard and we are extremely humbled and proud to represent St. Louis in this effort.”