The 2015 season is over for the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams, and they have now all turned their attention toward a potential move to Los Angeles.
According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, all three teams filed for relocation Monday. As Kevin Patra of NFL.com noted, Monday was the first day the three franchises could apply for relocation. The NFL confirmed the filings in a statement, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:
Chargers CEO and team president Dean Spanos discussed why his team filed for relocation on the team's official website. Will Brinson of CBSSports.com passed along more from San Diego:
Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com highlighted a key quote from Spanos in his explanation on the team's website:
Over 25 percent of our business comes from Riverside County, Orange County and the Los Angeles County area. Another team or teams going in there would have a huge impact on that. I think that is what really was the catalyst that got this whole thing going because when the Rams decided to make their move there, this was a move to protect our business more than anything, so we find ourselves where we do right now.
But HBO's Bill Simmons expressed doubt that Los Angeles—which already has the Dodgers and Angels in MLB, the Lakers and Clippers in the NBA, the Kings in the NHL, the Galaxy in MLS, USC and UCLA for college sports and plenty of other entertainment options—would be willing to support two NFL teams:
Fan support is an issue any relocating team will have to deal with and gradually build, but the squads must first earn the right to relocate. Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com said an NFL owners' vote is scheduled for Jan. 12-13, while Patra passed along a report from Rapoport that pointed out any owner who moves a team to Los Angeles must pay a $550 million relocation fee.
Wagoner added "it's a three-team, two-stadium race that could get some resolution as soon as the Jan. 12-13 owners meetings."
According to Patra, Rams owner Stan Kroenke wants to build a stadium in Inglewood, while the Raiders and Chargers both "have plans to move to Carson."
Wagoner provided more context for the two plans:
Rams owner Stan Kroenke has proposed a $1.86 billion stadium project in Inglewood, the project that essentially jump-started this whole affair. ... Meanwhile in California, the Chargers and Raiders have forged an alliance to propose a $1.75 billion NFL stadium in Carson. The two teams currently play in the two oldest stadiums in the NFL.
Patra added the following, citing Rapoport: "Whichever team or teams get left out of the LA mix, the league is expected to help secure a new home."
Perhaps most importantly, none of the teams with plans to move is "set to get the 24 votes needed" for approval before the Jan. 12 meeting, per Rapoport.
Wagoner also pointed out that "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 right now."
On the Rams' side, the city of St. Louis submitted a $1.1 billion stadium proposal to the league Dec. 29. The stadium task force issued a statement Monday (via Wagoner):
We've anticipated this filing from the Rams for more than a year. It's why we started working in November 2014 to produce a viable St. Louis stadium proposal for consideration by the Rams and the National Football League. That proposal was delivered last week to the NFL and team owners, and we feel extremely confident that it will be well received as the league weighs its options in the weeks ahead.
Monday's decision by the teams to file for relocation appears to be just another development in what promises to be a dominant offseason storyline.