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Added January 18th, 2016 by Ian
NFL

NFL’s Rams heading back to Los Angeles

After 21 years in St. Louis, the NFL’s Rams are making their way back to the west coast and returning to Los Angeles. And in an odd twist of fate, the city may actually end up with two franchises, since the San Diego Chargers or Oakland Raiders may also ending up joining them in Tinseltown. The NFL owners recently voted on allowing the Rams to move back to L.A. and approved the move by 30-2. The NFL should also cash in on the deal since Los Angeles is the nation’s second-largest television market.

The Chargers were also given one year to decide if they want to join the Rams and share a stadium with them in Inglewood, California close to the airport. The move is possible if the club can come to an agreement with Rams’ owner Stan Kroenke. If the Chargers decide to pass on the option, there’s a chance the Oakland Raiders could take up the offer as they’re the third NFL club that has asked for permission to relocate. If both the Chargers and Raiders decide to stay where they are, the NFL will reportedly provide them with $100 million to help build a new stadium.

Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, said he’s excited that Los Angeles will once again be home to an NFL team, but at the same time he’s disappointed that things didn’t work out in St. Louis and they may not work out in Oakland and San Diego. The Raiders and Chargers had originally agreed to join forces and build a new stadium in Carson, California, but the club owners now prefer the proposed site in Inglewood. At the moment, Dean Spanos, the chairman of the Chargers, said he isn’t sure what the future plans for his team are.

However, people close to the team believe the Chargers will eventually decide to team up with Kroenke and move to Inglewood, leaving San Diego behind after playing there since 1961. The NFL originally felt it was a good idea for the Raiders and Chargers to share a home in Carson, but they then felt the Inglewood location was better and that the Chargers would make an ideal partner for the Rams. The Chargers said they weren’t interested in a move to Inglewood but that may soon change. The Inglewood location will reportedly be home to offices and entertainment venues and will take up a 300-acre parcel of land near Los Angeles Airport where the old Hollywood Park racetrack used to be.

The total cost has been pegged at about $2 billion while the Carson project would have been on 168 acres at an expected cost of $1.7 billion with both stadiums being funded privately. The NFL didn’t want to end up with three clubs in Los Angeles and didn’t want to have two new stadiums built in the same area. Therefore, the league is happy with two teams sharing one new venue. However, St. Louis will now be home to an old NFL stadium without a team to play in it. This doesn’t sit well with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon as he feels St. Louis has done an excellent job of supporting the Rams for the past two decades.

On the west coast though, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is ecstatic that the Rams are heading back to his city after playing there between 1946 and 1994. The franchise played in Cleveland first between 1937 and 1945. It will cost Kroenke $550 million to relocate to L.A., but he’s reportedly worth more than $7 billion. He can pay the entire fee in one shot or has the choice of paying it off $64 million at a time in 10 annual payments. As for the Chargers, they currently play at Qualcomm Stadium, which is just over 100 miles to the south of Inglewood. Meanwhile, the Raiders, who played in L. A. between 1982 and 1994, are sharing a stadium with the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball.

St. Louis wanted to build a new stadium worth $1.1 billion by the Mississippi River, but Kroenke didn’t seem to be interested in it since the local economy appears to be struggling. St. Louis fans have now seen two NFL franchises leave town as the St. Louis Cardinals headed to the Arizona desert back in 1988. The last team to relocate was the Houston Oilers when they moved to Tennessee back in 1997.

 
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