UPDATE: 10:45 p.m. EST -- Following the news that NFL’s owners had approved a plan that would allow the St. Louis Rams to move to Los Angeles while giving the San Diego Chargers a one-year option to join, officials responded with statements noting how hard a change might be for fans. Rams owner Stan Kroenke called the decision “bitter sweet,” while saying the move was not about his love for Missouri but rather the future of the organization.
The Rams have released the following statement on their return to Los Angeles. pic.twitter.com/MDpz2CX1KK
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 13, 2016
“I will be working over the next several weeks to explore the options that we have now created for ourselves to determine the best path forward for the Chargers,” Chargers chairman Dean Spanos said.
Spanos statement pic.twitter.com/LAfwMRDkwu
— Ben Higgins (@BenHigginsSD) January 13, 2016
The NFL approved the plan Tuesday, which differed from initial proposals. The Rams had originally proposed moving to its planned stadium in Inglewood, California, alone, while the Chargers proposed a joint venue with the Oakland Raiders in Carson, California. Both the Raiders and Rams left L.A. after the 1994 season. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged fans of the Rams were likely upset by the decision.
"Relocation is a painful process. It's painful for the fans, for the communities, for the league in general," Goodell said, via ESPN. "In some ways [this is] a bittersweet moment because we were unable to get the kind of facilities done we wanted in their markets."
Following a day of talks among NFL owners, the league announced Tuesday that the St. Louis Rams would pack up and move to Los Angeles for a planned stadium in Inglewood, California, according to multiple reports. The San Diego Chargers would reportedly also have the option to join them in a joint venture.
— NFL Total Access (@NFLTotalAccess) January 13, 2016
The Rams will move to L.A. next season but will not move into their planned new stadium until 2019. Three teams had vied to move to Los Angeles: the St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers. L.A., the second-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. after New York City, has not had an NFL franchise since the Rams and Raiders left the area after the 1994 season.
The Rams initially proposed moving to the $1.86 billion stadium in Inglewood alone and the Raiders and Chargers proposed a joint venue in Carson, California. But the NFL owners voted Tuesday for a new joint plan that would send the Rams to L.A. and give the Chargers one year to decide if the franchise would join. Should San Diego decide not to join, Oakland would have the opportunity to move to L.A, according to reports.
The NFL owners met to discuss the Los Angeles situation in Houston on Tuesday. The meetings began in the morning with owners filing into a closed room to discuss the issue. The go-ahead from 24 of 32 owners was needed to approve an L.A. plan.
A first vote ended 21-8 and was followed by a reported meeting between owners and Commissioner Roger Goodell. The vote ultimately passed 30-2, according to multiple reports.
The vote is done. 30-2.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 13, 2016
It was left to San Diego to decide if it would join the Inglewood venture. The Chargers had previously said the team wasn't interested in the project, but the teams were reportedly in talks Tuesday.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Twitter the Chargers had "first crack" at L.A. for one year, then the Raiders had preference. Both teams would get $100 million from the NFL for stadiums in their current hometowns, should the teams decide to stay put.
Rams to LA, with Chargers getting first crack through Jan 16, 2017, then Raiders have preference, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 13, 2016
Rams and Chargers meeting shortly. Devil in details of course. Lots of bad blood to overcome, but cash thicker apparently
— daniel kaplan (@dkaplanSBJ) January 13, 2016
Leading up to the owners meeting in Houston, Goodell sent a report to the league over the weekend that deemed the stadium proposals put forth by the home markets -- St. Louis, San Diego and St. Louis -- were not viable. Goodell did not make a recommendation but did note that market research indicated L.A. could be a two-team market.