NFL Owners Vote for Rams’ Move to Planned Inglewood Stadium, Give Same Option to Chargers

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Defensive back Marcus Gilchrist #38 of the San Diego Chargers is brought down by running back Benny Cunningham #36 of the St. Louis Rams after Gilchrist’s goal line interception ended the Rams’ last attempt to take the lead with one minute seven seconds left in the game at Qualcomm Stadium on Nov. 23, 2014 in San Diego. (Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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At a special closed-door meeting in Houston Tuesday, NFL team owners voted to support the move of the St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers to a planned stadium in Inglewood.

The Rams will relocate to Inglewood and the Chargers have an option to join them.

The vote was 30 to 2, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. At least 24 votes were required for relocation.

The "Los Angeles Rams" were approved to return to the market starting with the 2016 season, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said at a news conference after the vote.

"In 2019, they will be opening in a new stadium that we are all, as ownership, very excited about," Goodell said.

Until then, the Rams' will play at the L.A. Coliseum, according to Goodell.

Document: Read Full NFL Deal "Resolution G-2A" (PDF)

The Chargers have been given one year to work out a deal with the Rams that would also bring them to Inglewood.

The Oakland Raiders, who agreed to disband a joint-venture with the Chargers, will be given the first option to move to Los Angeles if the Chargers fail to work out a deal.

In addition, the Chargers and the Raiders have each been promised $100 million for a new stadium in their respective markets, should they choose to stay where they are now.

If the Chargers do not exercise their option to relocate, the Raiders would then have the option to join the Rams in Los Angeles, the commissioner said.

Goodell called relocation a "painful process."

The planned 80,000-seat Inglewood stadium is at the site of the closed Hollywood Park racetrack. It would be the league’s biggest stadium and has a projected opening in 2019 at a cost that could rise to $3 billion, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The stadium will be a "signature project" and include an entertainment complex that will be very successful in the L.A. market, Goodell said. The league will contribute $100 million to construction.

In a statement, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the move "cements" L.A. as the "epicenter of the sports world."

"We cannot wait to welcome the Rams, and perhaps others soon, as they join a storied lineup of professional franchises, collegiate powerhouses, and sports media companies," Garcetti said. "With the return of the NFL, there is yet another another reason for visitors to come to Los Angeles, and for Angelenos to love calling this city home."

The announced was not good news for officials in Missouri.

"The NFL ignored the facts, the loyalty of St. Louis fans, who supported the team through far more downs than ups, and the NFL ignored a strong market and viable plan for a new stadium," St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said in a statement.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger tweeted that he was "bitterly disappointed" with the news.

"This region is fully capable of supporting an NFL team," he said in a statement. "That team should have been the Rams. The NFL and (Rams owner) Stan Kroenke have displayed a callous disregard for the St. Louis area and its loyal football fans."

Tuesday's decision came as all 32 NFL team owners convened this week at a hotel in Houston for a special meeting to discuss whether any of the teams should be brought to Los Angeles.

The St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders all submitted applications earlier this month to relocate to L.A., which has been without a franchise for more than 20 years.

The Chargers and Raiders had looked to build a stadium in Carson, while the Rams had eyed a move to Inglewood.

After the announcement to select Inglewood as the site for the new stadium, Carson Mayor Albert Robles thanked the NFL for the opportunity to participate in the competition.

“This NFL bidding process has put Carson on the map as a city that has the wherewithal to compete in the big leagues for development opportunities,” said Mayor Robles.

The Chargers have the option to relocate to L.A. any time "in the next year," team Chairman Dean Spanos said.

"I will be working over the next several weeks to explore the options that we have now created for ourselves to determine the best path forward for the Chargers," Spanos said.

Previously, the Rams and Raiders called the nation’s second largest market their home before each left for St. Louis and Oakland respectively in 1994.

Since then, there has been widespread discussion and speculation about whether an NFL team would fill the two-decade vacancy.

A rendering shows the proposed NFL stadium development project in Inglewood at the site of the old Hollywood Park racetrack. (Credit: G.F.Bunting)
A rendering shows the proposed NFL stadium development project in Inglewood at the site of the old Hollywood Park racetrack. (Credit: G.F.Bunting)

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