Rams Move to Los Angeles Approved; Are Chargers Next?
On January 12, 2016, owners of the 32 NFL teams met and approved a plan that moves the St. Louis Rams out of St. Louis and to Inglewood, California. Also, during this meeting, the San Diego Chargers were granted a “stadium-sharing deal” to join the Rams in Inglewood—a city just a few miles south of downtown Los Angeles.
Both the St. Louis Rams and the San Diego Chargers have been persistently working to find stadium alternatives in order to keep their franchises but have come up short in working out deals in their respective cities. Earlier this month the Rams, Chargers, and also the Oakland Raiders, filed applications to relocate to Los Angeles for the 2016 season. Although the Chargers and Raiders have been tied to a stadium proposal in Carson, California, the Rams were able to pursue the stadium project in Inglewood, which was approved by Inglewood City Council in February.
On Tuesday, owners representing each of the 32 NFL teams met in Houston to vote on the proposed stadium projects. The owners voted an overwhelming 30-2 in favor of the Inglewood proposal. There did not seem to be much support for the move to Carson and the relocation request was dropped later in the proceeding. In granting the Inglewood proposal, the Chargers were given the option to share the Inglewood stadium with the Rams, but they have to execute the option before January 2017. If the Chargers fail to exercise the option before the start of 2017, then the Raiders will have the option to join the Rams in Inglewood.
The league has reported that the Chargers and Raiders are eligible to receive $100 million in NFL support to use toward a new stadium in their respective cities if either decides not to move to Inglewood.
Whether or not the Chargers plan on moving seems unclear at this point. However, Chargers owner Dean Spanos will have a big decision to make in the coming year as to whether the team will continue to try and make a deal to stay in San Diego, move to Inglewood, or move elsewhere.
The Inglewood stadium is not projected to be completed until at least 2018. Until the stadium is completed, the Rams will be playing home games at the Los Angeles Coliseum, which has reportedly agreed to act as the home for two teams while the stadium is in construction.
Although San Diego’s fate is yet to be determined at this point, one thing is for certain, the Rams will be returning home to Los Angeles for the first time since 1994 when they relocated to St. Louis.