The twenty year absence of NFL Football in Los Angeles is about to come to an end. Three teams filed papers with the League on Monday asking for permission to relocate their franchises to Los Angeles. The Rams, Chargers, and Raiders have formally stated their intention to move.
The Rams are intending to build a new stadium on an Inglewood site, the Chargers and Raiders as co-tenants in a stadium in Carson. The owners will vote later this month to approve a plan for Los Angeles football. I think that the Rams and Chargers as joint tenants in Inglewood is the most likely scenario.
But regardless of what I think, Stan Kroenke, the owner of the Rams has made it clear he is moving his team out of St. Louis notwithstanding their eventual relocation site. He reportedly has the votes needed to move the team. But if not LA, where will Kronke go?
The Chargers, who have played in San Diego for 55 seasons, announced the filing Monday night.
In a video posted on the team’s web site, chairman Dean Spanos blamed “the inability of the city at the political level to get any kind of public funding or any kind of vote to help subsidize a stadium.”
The Chargers walked away from negotiations with the city and county in mid-June.
The Chargers may prefer their own site in Carson, but I believe the League will push them to become the second tenant in the Inglewood stadium. Their fan base extends into Orange County and the Inland Empire. They have loyal fans in San Diego who have followed them through thick and thin, but the relationship between ownership and the city is nonfunctional.
The Raiders were popular in Los Angeles, but the environment inside the Coliseum was often toxic. There were more fights perpetually breaking out in the stands than on the field. They have a passionate following in the Bay Area but a substandard stadium that neither works for baseball or football. But the city of Oakland is not going to come up with the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to build a new stadium in Oakland. Which is why I expect the Raiders to once again become the LA Raiders. Except this time they will share a state of the art stadium with the Chargers.
What do you think of the three NFL teams wanting to move to LA?