St. Louis Rams Approved to Move to Los Angeles for 2016-17 Season

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist

Nov 9, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke on the sidelines prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Rams 31-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Rams are set to move to Los Angeles, while the San Diego Chargers will be waiting for up to a year to get their chance, courtesy of a 30-2 vote on Tuesday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter

Continue for updates.

Rams Moving to LA; Chargers Given Option to Join

Tuesday, Jan. 12

The Rams' approval for relocation to Inglewood has been approved, per Judy Battista of the NFL Network, who added the San Diego Chargers have an option to join them. Schefter noted the Chargers would have the first chance to move with a deadline of Jan. 16, 2017, and if they don't, the Oakland Raiders will have an opportunity. 

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports confirmed the Raiders "agreed to exit [their] 'exclusive partnership' with [the] Chargers." Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported the "details and timing [are] being worked out" between the Rams and the Chargers.

Per Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News, the Chargers are "pretty angry" with how the voting has turned out.

Latest on Relocation Vote

Tuesday, Jan. 12

The first round of votes resulted in neither plan getting the required 24 votes; however, the plan with the Rams and a TBD franchise sharing a stadium in Inglewood received more votes than the Raiders and Chargers plan in Carson, according to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. The Chargers will be given the right to move to Inglewood and join the Rams, per Bleacher Report's Jason ColeFarmer reported the first round of votes was 20-12, in favor of the Rams sharing an Inglewood stadium. 

"I've packed my bags, but I haven't checked out," said Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney when asked when the vote will be completed, per Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune

Rapoport reported the team is listed as TBD because if the Chargers or Raiders entered a partnership with another team, it would violate the agreement they have in place for the Carson stadium. 

Rapoport said the NFL's Los Angeles committee will meet with all three involved teams individually. 

Paul Allen was in attendance for the meeting, marking the first he has attended since the 2011 collective bargaining agreement meeting, per Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal.

According to Fox Sports' Howard Balzer, Kroenke told owners "not to cross him," indicating he believes a decision to choose a Carson stadium site involving the Chargers and Raiders would involve collusion. 

Chargers Reportedly Could Delay L.A. Relocation

Tuesday, Jan. 12

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported:

Per a source with knowledge of the dynamics of the situation, the Chargers could resist a forced marriage with the Rams in Inglewood by employing nine votes to block the proposed Rams-Chargers partnership there. This would, as a practical matter, delay the L.A. relocation by at least another year, forcing the Chargers to stay in San Diego and, more importantly, forcing the Rams to stay in St. Louis.

Florio outlined the implications of that move:

With [Kroenke] recently burning his bridges there—and given that the NFL has declared the efforts of local politicians to subsidize a new stadium to be “unsatisfactory and inadequate”—a one-year stay in St. Louis would be impractical at this point for the Rams.

Which could give Chargers owner Dean Spanos the leverage necessary to, with the blessing of at least 23 other owners, swap the Raiders for the Rams in the proposal for a shared stadium in Carson.

Kroenke Reportedly Open to Partnership as League Consensus Reportedly Building Around Chargers-Rams Pairing 

Tuesday, Jan. 12

Rapoport reported Kroenke "was clear in [New York] he welcomes a partner in Inglewood," adding the "new proposal might be more financially beneficial for Chargers."

On Monday, Farmer and Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times reported, citing "multiple league officials and owners not involved with the Inglewood project, or the competing proposal in Carson," that there is "momentum" to pair the Chargers and Rams in Los Angeles:

The Chargers and Oakland Raiders want to build a stadium in Carson, and to this point, Chargers owner Dean Spanos has stood by his partnership with Raiders owner Mark Davis.

The league insiders, who spoke on the condition they not be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter, say Spanos doesn't want to be seen as turning his back on a partner. This makes the path to what is emerging as the preferred pairing more difficult. But the insiders believe the matter can be resolved during the special meeting that starts Tuesday in Houston, where owners hope to find an answer to the two-decade L.A. vacancy.

One influential owner whose preference has not been apparent in public or private, touted Inglewood over Carson, saying "the deals aren't even close."

Cole: San Antonio a Potential Fallback Plan for Raiders

Monday, Jan. 11

Cole passed along Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis' plans if the Chargers and Rams move to Los Angeles:

Cole: Jones Attempting to Push Chargers, Rams to LA

Monday, Jan. 11

Cole reported what he was hearing regarding Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' involvement in the attempt to put the NFL back in Los Angeles:

Cowboys Propose Measure of Ownership Vote

Saturday, Jan. 9

La Canfora reported the Cowboys have "proposed a measure for ownership vote that would send the Chargers with the Rams to Inglewood."

Report Circulates on LA Proposals

Saturday, Jan. 9

Farmer and Fenno reported NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called the stadium proposals "unsatisfactory and inadequate." Farmer and Fenno also provided more details from Goodell's report that was distributed around the league:

The intent of the report is to establish facts about the home markets, as the league views them, heading into a special meeting in Houston on Tuesday and Wednesday to resolve the two-decade L.A. vacancy. The report does not give teams the green light to move to Los Angeles—that will be determined by owners' voting—but establishes that the home markets have failed to provide stadium solutions.

Goodell does not make any recommendations about which club or clubs should be approved to relocate, or which stadium project—Carson or Inglewood—should be approved.

Chargers Release Executive Summary of Relocation Application

Friday, Jan. 8 

Cole provided the Chargers' statement on their relocation application:

NFL Issues Requirements Teams Must Meet Before League Vote

Wednesday, Jan. 6

The NFL laid out specific guidelines that must be agreed upon before the Jan. 12 vote to ensure the Chargers, Rams and Raiders are eligible to relocate to Los Angeles, per Reid:

The three franchises must submit documents verifying the teams' commitments to those requirements by the end of the week.

The NFL's Los Angeles, finance and stadium committees will then determine if the teams are eligible for a relocation vote next week in Houston.

The NFL also set a relocation fee of $550 million per team, based on present-day dollars. ...

Among the requirements the teams must agree to are the relocation fee, moving procedures and guaranteeing an opening date for the new stadiums.

The Los Angeles committee then will make a recommendation on which team or teams should be approved for relocation.

Cole broke down what to expect from the meetings next week and why the debate may get "ugly":

Inglewood Still Moving Forward on Stadium Project

Tuesday, Jan. 5

Inglewood Mayor James Butts told Inglewood Today the plan would adjust on the basis of the NFL's decision. If the league doesn't grant the Rams relocation rights, the Inglewood stadium would then be used for major sporting events like the World Cup and the Olympics.    

The venue is also planned for big-ticket concerts, awards shows and a number of other entertainment events. Last February, Inglewood's city council approved the $2 billion project, which will be located at the old Hollywood Park. The plan calls for a stadium seating 80,000 fans and is part of a movement to revamp Hollywood Park into a multipurpose entertainment mecca.

Realistically, NFL approval is the only thing standing in the way. The Chargers and Raiders have also been linked to a move to Los Angeles. The Chargers and Raiders introduced a plan that would include a shared stadium between the two franchises, which would be located in Carson.

Each Plan on the Table for LA Move Features Pros and Cons

For the Rams, the city of St. Louis has at the very least taken a significant step in approving a new stadium for an NFL team. St. Louis has been far more proactive than either Oakland or San Diego, which may cause league ownership to consider keeping the franchise there for continuity.

The Oakland-San Diego plan would require an actual competitive change. Either the Chargers or the Raiders would have to realign and join the NFC West for the plan to work, which creates a drawback from a competitive perspective. A franchise currently in the NFC West would then have to agree to relocate to the AFC. The NFL has not realigned its divisions since 2002.

Owners are expected to approve one of the two proposals within the next month. A meeting will be held Jan. 12 and Jan. 13 to go over the plans.  

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