The Mayor of Ferguson tells TMZ Sports the St. Louis Rams could play a HUGE role in helping the city heal in the wake of the recent civil unrest ... and it all starts with a playground.
Here's the deal ... each year the Rams provide money and manpower to build a brand new state-of-the-art jungle gym for one lucky community in the area.
This year, Rams legend Aeneas Williams -- a community leader in Ferguson -- is lobbying for the team to choose his city ... claiming it could be the catalyst for positive change the area so desperately needs.
We spoke with Mayor James Knowles who says, "To have the Rams take an interest, for them to potentially come build this for us, it's not just some construction group. It's our local football team. It would mean so much."
He adds, "It would have a huge psychological and emotional impact."
The Mayor says he likes the city's chances of being selected by the NFL team -- and praises Williams for leading the charge.
"To have one of the best players to ever play the game. a high profile person like Pastor Aeneas Williams, who's done so much for the community, take an interest in Ferguson ... it means a lot."