By Cole Weinstein
After 21 long years, the NFL is finally back in Los Angeles. On Tuesday January 12th, the NFL owners voted 30-2 to send the Rams back to the city in where they played for 48 years . This marks the end of a suspenseful few weeks in which the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, and the former St. Louis Rams all applied for relocation to Los Angeles.
Leaving St. Louis for Los Angeles is something that Rams owner Stan Kroenke called “bittersweet.” The Los Angeles move, however, did not happen overnight. It began when Kroenke, who also owns the Colorado Rapids (MLS), the Colorado Avalanche (NHL), and the Denver Nuggets (NBA), bought 60 acres of land in Inglewood back in early 2014.
Kroenke is building a new stadium on a 300-acre property for the NFL team that is being called the “NFL Disney World.” Along with a possibly $3 billion stadium, the development will include a 25-acre park, a 6,000 seat concert venue, 2,500 houses, 1.5 million square feet of shopping, and a hotel. This stadium was one of two plans originally pitched to host an LA team. The other was a stadium connected to Disney CEO Bob Iger in Carson, California, that would have likely housed the Chargers and Raiders. With the new stadium in Inglewood set to be finished in 2019, the Rams will play out their first few years in the USC Coliseum.
While the Rams’ future is set in the City of Angels, the futures of the Chargers and Raiders are still murky. The Chargers still have a chance to join the Rams in Los Angeles and have to notify the league by March 23rd if they want to go to LA for the upcoming season. If they elect to stay in San Diego for the 2016-2017 season, they can still go to Los Angeles but must inform the league by early next year. As far as the Raiders go, Los Angeles is off the table unless the Chargers decide not to go. Probable choices for the Raiders at this point include staying in Oakland, moving to San Antonio, or moving to San Diego (if the Chargers go to LA). The future of the NFL in LA is still unclear, but one thing is for sure: the Rams have come home.
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