The National Football League has pondered many possible franchise relocations over the course of a few years, but none felt as warranted as this. As each franchise owner met for the official vote tally, the buzz around the city of Los Angeles began to build.
When the Cleveland Rams and owner Dan Reeves insisted on a relocation to Los Angeles in 1946, he would have never guessed the turmoil the franchise had to deal with. The Los Angeles Rams were a staple in southern California until the 1995 season, when league officials were approached by a difficult decision.
While the Rams resided in St. Louis, Missouri, for the past 20 seasons, football has finally returned to Los Angeles.
The official tally ended with 30 of the 32 owners approving owner Stan Kroenke’s move to the old stomping grounds of the Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood, California. However, the move may not be a singular one.
Both the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders can also attempt to negotiate a transfer to the city of angels. The Chargers have the first say in the matter, as they can take up to a year to negotiate a potential relocation. The Raiders can only attempt to relocate if the Chargers decide against the move to Los Angeles.
The decision to relocate will not come at a bargain for Kroenke. The process of moving a franchise involves a $550 million fee, or it can be done via planned installments of $64 million.
While the owners for the Chargers and Raiders have remained hesitant on any commitments, the Rams have taken the next step forward.
This departure will mark the second time a franchise has left St. Louis, as the St. Louis Cardinals departed for Arizona in 1988. In their final season in their former city, the Rams went 7-9, third in the NFC West.
The Rams will likely play at the Los Angeles Coliseum, until the plans for the Inglewood stadium can be completed by the 2019 timeline.
For the city of Los Angeles and southern California, football will be returning for the first time in 21 seasons.