The St. Louis Rams are moving back to Tinsel Town 21 years after originally leaving the area. Owners voted 30-2 for uprooting the franchise from a strong, hard-nosed fan base to a city that already has six professional teams over three major sports (Lakers, Clippers, Dodgers, Angels, Ducks and Kings).
On top of those six big named teams, two big colleges also reside there, UCLA and USC, as well as an MLS team (but who really cares about that part?). Either way, over the three bigger sports, there are two teams per sport there, with another two teams and another big sport possibly moving there.
The Rams have locked up a spot to play in Inglewood and the San Diego Chargers have until the NFL league meetings, which are held March 20-23, to negotiate a deal to also move there. However, if they cannot reach a deal, then the Raiders will take their spot and have the “preference” to move there.
The Raiders are still looking for other options themselves according to owner Mark Davis. They share the Coliseum with the Oakland Athletics, whose owner Leo Wolff stated that they are still looking to build a baseball-only facility for their own usage.
The Raiders and the Chargers had a proposed deal to move to Carson; however it didn’t draw as much attention because, well, it’s the Raiders. According to Sports Illustrated, the Rams-Chargers deal was put forth by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (Big Shocker) at a special meeting held in Houston over the past two days.
The biggest draw for the Rams moving to LA is the TV market, the second largest in the nation. They will be able to bring in a ton of revenue and in the end the NFL is just a big business and they are showing that here.
They uprooted a team, although somewhat unsuccessful, from an honest fan base to one where they couldn’t really care less. LA isn’t a sports city, it’s a business city, a movie city; it’s almost every city-type except for sports. It makes no sense from a fans’ perspective and is all backed by the pursuit of money.
However, in a statement from the Rams owner, Stan Kroenke, he did not seem too happy about leaving his home state.
“I am a Missouri native named after two St. Louis sports legends who I was fortunate enough to know on a personal level,” said Kroenke. “This move isn’t about whether I love St. Louis or Missouri. I do and always will. No matter what anyone says, that will never change.
This decision is about what is in the best long-term interests of the Rams organization and the National Football League. We have negotiated in good faith with the Regional Sports Authority for more than a decade trying to find a viable and sustainable solution. When it became apparent that we might not be able to reach an agreement, it was then and only then that we looked at alternatives.”
The next piece of business that needs to be taken care of is where exactly they’re going to be playing their home games. The proposed stadium is named “City of Champions Stadium” a working title that I’m sure will be rebranded.
This stadium is not going to open until 2019, but it will host over 70,000 seats and cost over 2 Billion (with a b) dollars to construct. It is also scheduled to have a retractable roof and will be hosting the Super bowl in years to come and will become the new host of the NFL Combine.
I understand trying to make a splash right off the bat and build this gigantic fancy new stadium, but they’re going to have to play a lot of football and bring in a lot of other events to cover that $2 billion construction bill. That’s what really blows my mind, just how much money it’s going to take to build that friggin' thing.
Either way, the Rams will play in the Coliseum until their new stadium is finished and will be joined by either the Chargers or Raiders.
I understand that it’s a business, but you hate to see a legit fan base be stripped of its team just for them to go make more money somewhere else. I haven’t experienced it yet, but shout out to any Rams fans out there who are losing their team, not very fair to them.
By Cole McNanna