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Turn Left at Georgia’s Way (aka 6th Street)

February 24, 2020 Featured No Comments

Until recently we used to rename streets to honor people. Every person/business on that street suddenly had a new address. Since its founding in 1764, St. Louis street names have changed over the years.

For example, Morgan became Delmar, of which 9 blocks became Convention Plaza (Broadway to 14th). The early 90s expansion of the 1977 Cervantes Convention Center occupied two blocks, 7th to 9th. That same expansion built a new indoor football stadium, but not a football team.

A team arrived when Georgia Frontiere (1927-2010), a St. Louis native, decided to move the Rams from Los Angeles.

Lured by incentives like $20 million in annual profits from guaranteed season-ticket sales, personal seat licenses and a favorable lease at the $280-million Trans World Dome that was already in the process of being built, Frontiere transplanted the team to St. Louis in 1995. During the deal, Frontiere also agreed to give up 40% of her ownership to Stan Kroenke, who became a minority owner in the team. (She had bought the 30% of the team she didn’t own from Carroll’s children in 1980). The NFL, which had decided that the city was unsuitable as a football market, initially voted to block the Rams’ move to St. Louis. However, when Frontiere threatened to sue the league under antitrust laws, the league relented and approved the move with Frontiere casting the deciding vote in a 23-6 decision (The Giants, Jets, Steelers, Cardinals, Bills and Redskins remained no votes, while the Raiders abstained).

Though fans in Southern California felt scorned, the city of St. Louis welcomed her after losing the Cardinals franchise to Phoenix, Arizona in 1988. After the announced move, the city hosted a rally downtown and thousands of fans chanted “Georgia, Georgia!” Later Frontiere said, “St. Louis is my home, and I brought my team here to start a new dynasty.” (Wikipedia)

Frontiere was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, she died in January 2008 in Los Angeles. She was 80. Her late husband’s two children inherited her 60% share of the St. Louis Rams, they hoped minority owner Stan Kroenke would buy their stake.

The NFL gave approval for the sale in August 2010, Kroenke bought half of their interest in the team — giving him controlling interest.

A month later a portion of 6th Street immediately south of the dome was honorarily designated Georgia’s Way. This would’ve been started before Kroenke obtained controlling interest in the team.

In 2005 Frontiere had waived the team’s right to get out of the dome lease if it wasn’t top-tier. It wasn’t, the team got cash instead.

By the time Stan Kroenke became the majority owner it was time to begin preparing for the 2015 lease negotiations. As you likely know, the team left as soon as they could exit the lease. Their 2015 season  was played in California.

 

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