We can start calling them the Los Angeles Rams again.
After decades of endless promises never fulfilled, at long last pro football is returning to L.A. in the form of an old friend.
It all came down at the NFL owners meetings in Houston when by a 30-2 revote that was at first short of the necessary 24-vote approval, the Rams left St. Louis and the options remain for the Chargers to leave San Diego and the Raiders to depart Oakland.
Apparently it was Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who convinced the dissenting voters that a “Jerry’s West” stadium in Inglewood was in the best interests of the NFL. The package is much more than the Rams – there’s the NFL Network, future Super Bowls, the NFL draft and all paid for by Rams owner Stan Kroneke.
Certainly an offer, owners could not refuse. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell proudly made the announcement that was more than 20 years in the making. No more deflated hopes.
The Rams are expected to play their home games next season at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum while the Inglewood stadium, estimated to cost around $2 billion and scheduled to open in 2019, is under construction.
The Chargers were given a one-year option to join the Rams in Inglewood if they choose. The Raiders, who also had applied to relocate to Los Angeles, remain in Oakland. They would inherit the one-year option to move to Inglewood if the Chargers decline theirs.
Los Angeles had been without an NFL franchise since 1994 when Georgia Frontiere moved the Rams to St. Louis. The Rams did win a Super Bowl with Kurt Warner and “the greatest show on turf” but aside from that lacked the energy and popularity they enjoyed in La La Land.
The choices for a stadium in the Los Angeles area came down to Inglewood and Carson. Inglewood won, probably because the Lakers once resided at the Forum and that area can attract more money can Carson. Kroenke also proposed a 300 acre development with shopping, entertainment and housing components.
The Inglewood project originally received 20 votes. Then on a silent vote behind closed doors and with a coach’em up by Jones, 10 more owners said yes to Inglewood and the proposal passed.
The move to Inglewood is to cost the Rams a reported $550 million relocation fee. The Chargers or Raiders would have to pay the same fee if they end up moving to Los Angeles.
The Raiders are to receive $100 million toward a new stadium, and the Chargers would receive an identical amount if they stay in San Diego and get a new stadium there.