ST. LOUIS -- Radio personality Rush Limbaugh has joined forces with St. Louis Blues owner Dave Checketts in a bid to buy the St. Louis Rams football team, NFL sources confirmed Monday.
The Checketts group has made its bid on the team and plans to keep the team in St. Louis.
According to league sources, there are multiple bidders for the Rams as the potential sale of the team has advanced to a second stage -- from looking for potential buyers to evaluating the merits of bidders. It is not known who the other bidders are.
"I certainly think individual bidders have the right to discuss their interest in the club," said Kevin Demoff, the Rams' executive vice president of football operations. "There's really nothing for us to say. It's really not fair to anybody involved in the process.
"There is no inevitability for the team to wind up being for sale anyway. There may be bidders, but that doesn't mean there will be a sale. Ownership has said all along it would go through this process and evaluate its options. They are under no pressure to sell the team."
Checketts, the founder and chief executive officer of SCP Worldwide, a New York-based firm that owns and operates the Blues, would be the frontman for a group of investors that would purchase at minimum the 60 percent share of the Rams owned by Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez, the son and daughter of the Rams' late owner, Georgia Frontiere.
Sources with the Checketts group say there is no timetable for the Rams to respond to bids.
Limbaugh, a conservative political commentator, first mentioned his interest in the Rams last May. He was unavailable to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for comment but in a statement sent to KMOX radio, Limbaugh said: "Dave and I are part of a bid to buy the Rams, and we are continuing the process. But I can say no more because of a confidentiality clause in our agreement with Goldman Sachs. We cannot and will not talk about our partners. But if we prevail we will be the operators of the team."
Limbaugh, originally from Cape Girardeau, Mo., worked briefly as a commentator for ESPN's NFL pregame show in 2003 but resigned amid controversy over his remarks about media coverage of Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb.
Forbes magazine recently valued the Rams' franchise at more than $900 million, but it's believed the Rams' sale might fetch $800 million or less given the state of the economy and the state of the team, which in recent years has been in the bottom third of NFL franchises in terms of revenue.
By NFL rule, the Checketts group would have no other choice but to keep the team in St. Louis because of its ties to the Blues. NFL cross-ownership rules prohibit owners from also owning Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, or National Basketball Association teams in different markets.
At midnight, the Rams released this statement by Rosenbloom: "Our strategic review of our ownership of the Rams continues. We will make an announcement upon the completion of the process."