The LA Rams: Football Back in the City of Angels
Football is finally returning to the City of Angels. It feels overdue, as Los Angeles has not been home to professional football in over 20 years. The LA football vacancy has remained since 1994 when the Rams and Raiders moved from the city after the conclusion of the 1994 season. Since 1994 a series of teams have threatened to move to LA whenever they were attempting to create leverage for a new stadium. Some franchises made proposals to be moved to Los Angeles. All of the proposals failed.
Things changed when Rams owner Stan Kroenke bought 60 acres of land next to the former Hollywood Park racetrack and a year later in 2015 revealed plans to build a stadium. What set Kroenke’s plan apart from past proposals was a crucial fact: He already owned a team that could be moved. The owners granted the St. Louis Rams, along with the San Diego Chargers, the opportunity to relocate
The NFL created a committee of six owners to evaluate stadium options in L.A. and any possible relocation. NFL owners met repeatedly to hear presentations on the two L.A. projects as well as those in the three home markets trying to keep their teams.
San Diego and St. Louis eventually assembled stadium proposals that included hundreds of millions of dollars in public financing, although San Diego’s hinged on a public vote later this year. Though Oakland city officials said they wanted to keep the Raiders, they did not offer the team any financial incentives or formal plan.
The owners to move back to LA and that the Chargers have the option to join as a 2nd team in the LA market voted the Rams on. COO Kevin Demoff confirmed several other details of the move, saying the Rams would play the upcoming season downtown at the Coliseum, their home from 1946 to ’79. They’ll start selling tickets Monday at prices comparable to last year’s rates in St. Louis.
The Rams will be returning along with addition of a billion dollar facility that will be funded by the Rams organization. The stadium will be located Inglewood. The Rams organization believes that the owner’s committee was persuaded by the potential of having a new stadium already on purchased land. Furthermore, the Rams organization believes the stadium can bring more events to the LA region including a College Basketball Final Four and the Olympics.
The move is an exciting one and the players should relish the fact that they now get to work in one of the biggest markets in all of the country. A move like this will change the public perception of the Rams organization as they have been losing on the field as of late. This move opens up multiple avenues for PR and possible endorsements for players as they will be on television a lot more often.
On the field the LA Rams will be bringing a stout defense led by D-Lineman Arron Donald and an offense that will heavily deploy star rookie Running Back Todd Gurley. Jeff Fisher, who happens to be a California native, coaches the team. He made a statement to the press that he is excited for the new direction of the organization but that he feels for the St. Louis Rams fans that have been supportive in the teams down years and the years they won one Superbowl with back-to-back appearances in the big game.
The San Diego Chargers have the choice to join the Rams in the move to LA. The Chargers have been in embroiled in a public battle with the city for a new stadium and have been using the move to LA without much success. A move from them would seem like a logic choice that LA is a big enough market to support 2 NFL franchises similar to the way that the Southern California area hosts 2 teams in the other major sports.
Update: The San Diego Chargers have come to an agreement with the Rams to join them in the same stadium if they take the NFL up on the option to move to Los Angeles. This would place two NFL teams in one of the top media markets in the country.