After more than two decades away and years of rumors, the NFL is returning to Los Angeles and in a big way. Both the St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers have been approved to move to Los Angeles, thanks to a vote from the NFL team owners on Tuesday. The Rams will move immediately while the Chargers are still not 100 percent definitely going and if they don’t, it could lead to the Oakland Raiders moving back to L.A.
ESPN reported that the Rams are indeed heading to Inglewood, California, by an approval vote of 30-2. They needed just 24 voted from the league’s 32 owners in order to get approved.
The Rams will be able to begin playing in Los Angeles immediately for the 2016 season, but it won’t be a full-on “welcome home” event until 2019. That is when their brand new Inglewood stadium is going to be completed.
As for the Chargers, they may end up moving to Los Angeles with the Rams, but have to agree to the lease terms with them by January 16, 2017. Should the Chargers no come to terms or decide not to move at all, then the Oakland Raiders could end up partnering with the Rams on the lease.
The Raiders are another team that ended up leaving Los Angeles in the mid-’90s.
The San Diego Tribune reported that the Chargers are staying put “for now,” but there is still a real big chance they could leave. Right now, they are staying in San Diego to try and have a new stadium built.
Their relocation relies on whether or not they can get approved for a new stadium in San Diego or not. If not, they are then expected to head to Los Angeles and join the Rams in the new stadium being built by their owner Stan Kroenke.
Right before the final vote on Tuesday, the Raiders withdrew their relocation request. The Chargers and Raiders had a proposition out to share a stadium in Carson, California, but that ended up falling through.
If the Chargers get to January of 2017 and don’t choose to move with the Rams, the Raiders will get another opportunity. Oakland will have a one-year window from January of 2017 through January of 2018 to make the move.
The Chargers and Raiders proposal was for a $1.7 billion stadium to be built in Carson. It was a worthy push, but not one that ended up beating out the proposal of the Rams which ended up being approved by the owners.
Stan Kroenke proposed the building of a $1.86 billion stadium in Inglewood, California. An earlier vote on Tuesday was denied by the owners, but that was for a sole venture by the Rams. That denial ultimately led to the Rams and Chargers making the proposal together.
Chargers’ owner Dean Spanos did say that negotiations for the move are ongoing, but he refused to give many details.
“I’m going to look at all our options. It’s very difficult to say ‘I’m going to do this or do that.'”
The last NFL team to relocate was the Houston Oilers who moved to Tennessee and became the Titans right before the 1997 season.
For now, the Rams are expected to play in the L.A. Coliseum and then move to their new stadium which should be ready for the 2019 season.
The rumors are finally over and an NFL team is heading back to Los Angeles, but when all is said and done, it will likely be two. Already, the St. Louis Rams are heading there, but now only time will tell if the other team ends up being the San Diego Chargers or Oakland Raiders.
[Image by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Imaes]