The St. Louis Rams were once rumored to be moving to Los Angeles for the 2015 season, but even after the NFL announced that no teams would be moving to the City of Angels next year, the prospect of the Rams eventually returning to their former home reportedly remains high.
On Monday, the team notified the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission they intended to shift to a year-to-year lease for the Edward Jones Dome. The team’s lease was up this year, and negotiations appeared to be stalled, leading to more speculation that the team was moving to Los Angeles.
In early September, St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bryan Burwell wrote that the lease stalemate pointed toward a relocation.
“Stop looking at this as a stadium issue and instead envision it as a larger plan that will revitalize the entire region. The most troubling part of the political heel dragging that St. Louis is infamous for is that it plays right into Los Angeles’ hands. The more St. Louis waits, the more Gov. Jay Nixon proceeds with trepidation, the more incentive it gives Kroenke to find a way to put LA in play.”
The Rams played in Los Angeles until 1994, when the team was moved to St. Louis.
Back in October, a report from ESPN Radio in St. Louis claimed that the team had already planned its move and was set to announce it publicly after Super Bowl XLIX. Though the NFL would later announce that no teams are moving to Los Angeles for the 2015 season, rumors remained high that the St. Louis Rams would be moving.
Those rumors appeared to be verified when Rams owner Stan Kroenke announced plans to build an NFL stadium in Inglewood, California. Kroenke reportedly plans to team up with Stockbridge Capital Group, owners of the 238 acre Hollywood Park site, and together they will build an 80,000-seat NFL stadium and a 6,000-seat performance venue.
With the new year-to-year lease, the rumors that the St. Louis Rams are gaining even more steam. The new arrangement means that the team will be able to up and relocate at any time, without paying a penalty that would have come with breaking a longer term lease.