Soon enough, possibly by 2016, the NFL will be back in Los Angeles. The question remains who, where and how many teams will actually be occupying the city. L.A.’s two former teams, the Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams, are in the mix for relocation–as are the San Diego Chargers.
The NFL’s desire to finally have a successful team in America’s second-largest market has been public knowledge pretty much since both teams left in the early ‘90s. Since then, the city has been a ploy used by owners hoping to secure new stadium deals in their current cities. The three aforementioned clubs have often been in the mix, as well as the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars, for quite some time. Now, the threatening stage is over as it moves to the “what if” phase to sift through. Regardless which scenario wins out, the NFL will be back in the city of angels soon.
If Stan Kroenke gets his way, the Rams will be back on the west coast in Inglewood–possibly with the Chargers occupying the stadium as well. With deep pockets of his own, and his wife’s Walton family money added in, Kroenke has the largest funds of any owner in the mix. With a team of developers hard at work for over a year, Kroenke recently presented his idea of a sunken, astroturf stadium to a group of league owners and executives earlier this week. With the city’s mayor in support, Inglewood could be the next home for the NFL.
However, St. Louis isn’t going down without a fight. The city that has lost the football Cardinals before does not want to see another franchise pack up. Though Kroenke and the Rams seem opposed to the city’s riverfront stadium proposal, the city made a presentation to the league the same day as Kroenke had.
Also at that meeting was a joint presentation from Chargers and Raiders owners Dean Spanos and Mark Davis. While the Chargers have been linked to both teams, the united front of billionaire Spanos and multi-millionaire Davis showed where they are leaning at the moment. With a potential state of the art design and the city of Carson already approving the deal, the Chargers/Raiders plan is currently in the lead to land the move.
All of this, however, can change at any time. With so much fluctuating in recent months all bets are off. Just last month, rumors began to swirl that the Raiders could be in the mix for a St. Louis move when all was said and done. Rumors like this should pop up a few more times before any official announcement is made. Regardless the outcome, NFL fans are sure to hear a few more rumors before it is decided which city, or cities, will be out a team in the coming years.