A closer look at the Rams’ move to Los Angeles

Sam Bernardi, Staff Writer

After 21 years in St. Louis, the Rams are headed back to their home from 1946-1994, Los Angeles. In a long, complicated, and messy process, Rams owner Stan Kroenke got what he wanted, despite breaking the hearts of St. Louis football fans in the process. So, how exactly did the Rams get the approval to relocate to L.A.? And will the other franchises vying for a place in Los Angeles (Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers) get their wish?

Moving plans began with the Chargers, Raiders, and Rams all expressing dissatisfaction with their current cities’ plans to maintain the wellbeing of their respective franchises, so each organization fled for a move to Los Angeles. The frst to act was Chargers’ owner Dean Spanos, whose deal would send both the Chargers and Raiders to a new stadium in Carson, CA, but leave the Rams in St. Louis. The consensus amongst NFL owners was that this deal would go through with ease, but then Rams owner Stan Kroenke stepped into the conversation. He conceived a different plan that would both move the Rams to L.A. and have a new stadium built in Inglewood by 2019. The deal also contained a clause that would give the Chargers one year to decide whether or not they would join the Rams in L.A.; should they decline, the Raiders then would be given the same offer. A meeting was then called in New York City during which Rams COO Kevin Demoff pitched the Inglewood deal to 17 NFL owners. The momentum shifted from the Carson plan to the Inglewood idea after this, and in a Houston meeting, owners voted 30-2 in favor of Kroenke’s deal.

There was then the possibility of a three-team move to L.A. However, with two powerhouse college football schools (USC and UCLA) as well as the highly competitive L.A. market already, it was decided that only two teams could go. Another factor was TV broadcasting slots, as there was no possible way for three NFL teams to share the network. The Los Angeles sports market already boasts two NBA and MLB franchises, as well as NHL and MLS teams. It does raise the question as to why the Rams would be so eager to move to L.A, being one of only three St. Louis professional sports teams and having built a strong fan base over the years. However, Los Angeles is the second biggest market in the country behind New York City, and running a professional sports team in a larger market is merely more desirable than a smaller market like that of St. Louis.

The three billion dollar project orchestrated by Kroenke will not be prepared until 2019. USC was cooperative with the process and had agreed to let the Rams play in their Los Angeles Coliseum stadium for the next three seasons until the Inglewood stadium is completed.

The return of the Rams has excited Los Angeles but in the process has left St. Louis with only two professional teams and heartbroken football fans. Now it remains to be seen what will happen with the requests of the Chargers and Raiders.