Welcoming Back the LA Rams
After twenty years in St. Louis, the Rams are finally returning to Los Angeles. This is huge news for the team, with the future looking bright and exciting for owner Stan Kroenke. However, the journey that had to be made and battles that had to be won for Kroenke and the Rams to get to this point have been very interesting. So today, we’ll take a look back at just how the whole thing happened.
This move is one of the biggest the NFL has seen in quite some time, with fans and analysts spending weeks and months debating which team would make the switch to LA, with the Raiders and Chargers having also been in contention. Let’s look at how the Rams move began.
Building up Inglewood
What really set the Rams apart from the other challengers for a potential LA relocation was the team’s plans for the future. Rams owner Stan Kroenke intends to build an incredible stadium complex around Inglewood, and he decided to prepare some renders of his project to share with the other owners who make up the NFL stadium committee. To put it simply, Kroenke’s presentation blew them away. In fact, it barely took any time at all for the committee members to accept Kroenke’s proposal and go back on their previous agreement to recommend that the Chargers and Raiders be granted a move to Carson.
President and co-owner of the New York Giants, John Mara, has spoken publicly about how impressed he was by the presentation. Mara, like many of his fellow owners, instantly felt that the proposal simply couldn’t fail. The NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, quickly noticed that much of the committee seemed to be feeling very positive about Kroenke’s proposition. Goodell had been given the unenviable task of controlling the whole situation regarding the three teams who hoped to make the move to LA. He swiftly took action and, in order to prevent any disputes from erupting, decided to call for an anonymous vote.
The anonymous vote is quite regularly used by the committee, allowing individual owners to make their opinions known without running the risk of influencing or being influenced by others. When the committee has to decide on Super Bowl locations, for example, anonymous voting is standard procedure. The first round of voting concluded with 21 owners in favor of Kroenke’s plans. A second vote produced an almost identical result, but 24 votes were needed to pass the plan.
Goodell could therefore see that most of the owners were in agreement about the idea, so he decided to open communications with the owners of the teams. Dean Spanos and Mark Davis, owners of the Chargers and Raiders, respectively, decided to relent. They agreed that Kroenke should be granted permission to pursue his plan, but Goodell managed to work out a clever compromise. The Chargers have been given a year-long period in which they can also develop a plan to move into Kroenke’s new stadium. If the plan is unsuccessful, the Raiders will also be given an opportunity.
The Future of the Chargers and Raiders
The plan also included sizeable donations of $100 million from the NFL to both the Chargers and Raiders, should they decide to build new stadiums in their current locations of San Diego and Oakland. Time will tell how these teams respond, but we can probably expect Spanos to try and forge a deal with Kroenke to share the new stadium. Davis, meanwhile, seems to be planning a new move away from Oakland.
So how will things proceed from here? Well, the likely relocation scenario is that the Rams will immediately make their move over to Los Angeles, playing at the Los Angeles Coliseum while they await construction of the new Inglewood stadium. Experts estimate that the brand new, multi-billion dollar stadium will be ready for 2019. In the meantime, the Chargers will begin talks with Stan Kroenke regarding the idea of sharing the new stadium. If these talks are successful, the Chargers could also move to LA this year. Should the deal not work out, the Chargers will have to devise a different plan and the Raiders can finally begin their stadium-sharing talks with Kroenke.
Clearly, this decision works out better for the Chargers than it does for the Raiders, with the San Diego team having the first shot at speaking with the Rams. However, most owners have agreed that Goodell was able to develop a very reasonable compromise. There were always going to be winners and losers in this scenario and not everyone could get what they wanted. This way, both the Raiders and Chargers have an opportunity to make the move or could also accept the generous offer of $100 million to improve their current locations.
Meanwhile, it will be very interesting and exciting for NFL fans and Los Angeles citizens to observe as Kroenke’s plans come to fruition. The renders for his complex are stunning, with the Inglewood stadium set to become a true landmark for the area. The complex will also include an NFL Network campus, media locations, business development and even residential buildings too. In the end, it was Kroenke’s overwhelming proposition that helped his Rams make the move to Los Angeles.