For the first time in 21 years, Los Angeles will have an NFL team to call its own.
The St Louis Rams, who were previously based in L.A. for 48 years before moving to St Louis in 1995, will return to America’s second biggest market next season after NFL team owners voted 30-2 in favor of the move yesterday.
It is part of the NFL’s renewed attempts to ensure all teams play at facilities properly equipped for the expectations of the modern game with Rams owner Stan Kroenke also funding a new futuristic US$1.9 billion stadium to be built in the L.A. suburb of Inglewood by 2019.
The San Diego Chargers could also be moving to L.A. with a final decision to be made in March, while earlier plans for the Oakland Raiders to make the same move have been put on hold.
St Louis will become the first NFL team since the Houston Oilers (now known as the Titans) moved to Tennessee in 1997 to relocate.
While the news was met with disappointment in St Louis, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said, “Relocation is a painful process. It’s painful for the fans, the communities, the teams, for the league in general. Stability is something that we’ve taken a great deal of pride in and in some ways a bittersweet moment because we were unsuccessful in being able to get the kind of facilities that we wanted to get done in their home markets.”