Rumors that the St. Louis Rams are moving back to Southern California are “bogus,” several sources say. The report arrived just one day after one media outlet claimed that the deal was set in stone.
Glen Walker of KTLA in Los Angeles reported on Thursday that the team will be moving to Inglewood, where owner Stan Kroenke plans to build a new football complex. The report claimed that the NFL would be announcing the move in August and that Inglewood Mayor James Butts seemed to confirm the deal.
But within the day the report was shot down by multiple sources, including Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times who tweeted, “You might hear some reports that the NFL has already decided the LA site/team(s). There is a scientific word for reports like these: Bogus.”
Pro Football Talk noted that the timing of the report suggested it was false.
“Even if the Rams will eventually be returning to L.A., the NFL surely won’t be announcing that in August. As of August, the Rams would still have a full season to play in St. Louis. After the mess than unfolded in Cleveland when the Browns announced in November a plan to move to Baltimore, the NFL learned that these issues can’t come to a head when a team still has games left to play in its current town.”
August would be too soon for the league’s strict relocation process to even set into motion, PFT noted. There would be no way everything could be completed by such an early date.
But even though it may not be on the immediate horizon, there have long been rumors that the St. Louis Rams will eventually be moving to Los Angeles. Kroenke has plans for a 60-acre site that would include both an 80,000-seat NFL stadium and a 6,000-seat performance venue along with retail, office, hotel, and even residential space.
There had been others trying to keep the team in St. Louis. A working group was assembled by the city to study the idea of putting a new stadium in to keep the team, and the co-chair even suggested an ownership change so Kroenke can bring a team to Los Angeles without having to move the Rams.
“It’s possible we have different ownership of the [Rams] because I think [Kroenke] is really committed to Los Angeles,” said task force co-chair Dave Peacock this week, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I’m not against Stan going to Los Angeles, I just don’t want our team there. This is why we’re spending most of our time with the league — we think this is an NFL issue.”
But until either a new stadium in Missouri is announced or Kroenke officially announces a move to Los Angeles, the St. Louis Rams will likely continue to face relocation rumors.
[Image via Getty Images/Michael B. Thomas]