It is looking more and more likely that NFL football be back in the City of Angels in 2016 for the first time in over two decades. The San Diego Chargers, St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders all filed applications for relocation to Los Angeles on Monday, the first day NFL rules allow franchises to petition the league.
The NFL later said each organization had the "appropriate documentation in support of its application.”
“The applications will be reviewed this week by league staff and three league committees that will meet in New York on Wednesday and Thursday -- the Los Angeles Opportunities, Stadium, and Finance committees,” a statement from the NFL read.
The NFL has said only one stadium will be approved but there are currently two proposals.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke originally proposed a $1.86 billion stadium project in Inglewood but was opposed by the city of St. Louis, which countered with a $1.1 billion stadium proposal on the city's north riverfront. St. Louis' plan, already submitted to the NFL on Dec. 29, includes a partially public-funded stadium.
The Chargers and Raiders have teamed up to propose a $1.75 billion NFL stadium in Carson. The two AFC West teams currently play in the two oldest stadiums in the league and after years or fruitless endeavors toward new venues in their current markets, they have set their sights on a new one. San Diego and Oakland made submissions to the NFL before the Dec. 30 deadline, but neither plan is considered to be "actionable" by the NFL currently. San Diego's plan calls for a public vote later this year and Oakland had no formal proposal but sent a letter expressing a desire to keep the Raiders.
All three teams released statements of their own, beginning with Chargers owner Dean Spanos explaining the decision to the San Diego fans. "We have tried for more than 14 years, through nine separate proposals and seven different mayors, to create a world-class stadium experience for fans in San Diego. Despite these efforts, there is still no certain, actionable solution to the stadium problem. We are sad to have reached this point."
The Rams offered no explanation but did confirm their application, saying the team “informed the National Football League today that the Rams propose to relocate to the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area.” Oakland was the last team to release a statement, which read "in accordance with the relocation policies, the Oakland Raiders submitted a relocation package to the NFL. The matter is now in the hands of the NFL's owners.” The Rams and Raiders each played their final seasons in Los Angeles in 1994.
There remain obstacles for each of the teams to move to Los Angeles, the No. 2 market in the nation. In order for relocation to be approved, at least 24 of 32 owners must vote in favor of the move. A new development could come as early as next week when NFL owners meet in Houston on Jan. 12 and 13.