NFL owners have overwhelmingly voted for the St Louis Rams to relocate to Los Angeles. The 30-2 vote means that the NFL will return to LA in California following a 21-year absence. Rams owner Stan Kroenke will now press ahead with plans to build a new stadium at Inglewood, with the team expected to play its first game in its new home in 2019.
The San Diego Chargers, which had also lodged plans to relocate, will be given a one-year option to consider a move to LA and share the Inglewood site with the Rams. The Chargers have until the end of March’s scheduled NFL owners meeting to decide between relocation or remaining in San Diego. Should the team not opt to make the move, then the third team which proposed an LA relocation, the Oakland Raiders, will be given the chance to take up a similar stadium-share option.
However, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has stated that the league will offer the Chargers and the Raiders US$100m to remain in their current home markets.
The announcement of the Rams’ relocation means that St Louis will now be without an NFL team. The news does mean, however, that the team will be returning to the LA area, where they played for 48 years before moving to St Louis ahead of the 1995 season. It also signifies the end of the city of St Louis’s plans to keep the team – a plan was submitted for a US$1.1bn stadium located on the city’s waterfront, but was ultimately rejected by the NFL owners.
January 14, 2016