Kroenke: Rams lack 'true home-field advantage'
Stan Kroenke cannot wait for the Los Angeles Rams to move into their new stadium.
The Rams owner said his team lacks a "true home-field advantage" after watching Saturday's 26-13 wild-card loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
"In two years we'll be in a new stadium, and I think we can have a true home-field advantage like a lot of the teams do," Kroenke told USA Today. "We don't really have it now."
Kroenke said the team's temporary home, the L.A. Coliseum, is not "a good facility." Including Saturday's playoff loss, the Rams were just 3-5 at home this season.
"It's the Coliseum," he said. "This place is cavernous. It'll swallow up 65,000, 70,000 people."
The Rams announced a crowd of 74,300 fans in the stadium that seats nearly 94,000 people. Kroenke, a Missouri native who ended the team's 21-year stay in St. Louis by moving the team back to Los Angeles in 2016, said L.A. fans will come around when the team moves into its new Inglewood stadium in 2020.
Kroenke used St. Louis, who are suing Kroenke and the NFL to recoup money spent in its failed attempt to keep the team, as an example to prove his point. He said the team won over fans in St. Louis in 1999 during the run to a Super Bowl title and the same can happen in Los Angeles.
"Absolutely," he said. "I believe that strong. We've won them before, so let's go do that again. How soon? I don't know."
Kroenke said the excitement in Los Angeles can be similar to what the Minnesota Vikings have experienced since moving into U.S. Bank Stadium in 2016.
"Have you been up there?" Kroenke said of the Vikings' new venue, which will be the site of Super Bowl LII. "That is a true home-field advantage because it's so loud, it's packed, it's new."
Kroenke's fancy new digs will host Super Bowl LVI following the 2021 season.
"I’ve been around L.A. a long time, and I know L.A. loves the Rams," Kroenke said. "I know the fans embrace the team, and I go around this town and people talk to me about it.
"We have a good young team. Everybody's really excited, I think, because they know that we're young and we improved a lot and we can get better yet. I know our guys believe that. It's exciting. And the city's a wonderful place. They truly have embraced the team."