The Rams are to return to California after spending 21 years in St. Louis
Los Angeles is to have its own team next year for the first time in 21 years after NFL owners voted to relocate the St. Louis Rams to California.
The Rams were based in LA for almost 50 years, before relocating to St. Louis for the start of the 1995 season. It is the first time a franchise has relocated since the Houston Oilers became the Tennessee Oilers in 1997. Two years later that team was renamed the Tennessee Titans.
Stan Kroenke, the owner of the Rams (and Arsenal's largest shareholder) was instrumental in bringing the team back to California. "This has been multi-years in the making," Kroenke said last night. "I spent a lot of time on the Los Angeles committee. It's a difficult market. It's a difficult place to permit a stadium and build something we as a league can all be proud of."
"We understand the emotions involved with our fans. It's not easy to do these things. They are purposely hard. We tried to get something done on various alternatives (in St. Louis). When they didn't succeed, we worked this one out."
The relocation is expected to cost $500million and that is before a new stadium is even built. The Rams are expected to build a stadium in the city in time for the 2019 season and will play in the LA Coliseum next year.
The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders were also looking to move to Los Angeles. The Chargers have been given the option of moving to the city and have been given a year to strike a deal that will see them share the new stadium with the Rams.