The St. Louis Rams will move to Los Angeles, while the San Diego Chargers have been given the option to make the move as well. The owners voted in favor of the move 30–2 on Tuesday night.
In a press conference following the decision, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that the Chargers have one year to accept the option to partner with the Rams, after which the Oakland Raiders would then be given the chance to move.
According to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, Chargers owner Dean Spanos has until March 20-23, when the league meetings take place, to make his final decision.
Spanos released a full statement in response to his fellow owners’ decision, saying he “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.”
After two days of debate at a special meeting in Houston, the NFL owners' decision means the Rams and Chargers will potentially share the proposed venue in Inglewood backed by Rams owner Stan Kroenke. The Rams-Chargers proposal, submitted to the owners by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, beat out a plan to have the Chargers and Oakland Raiders build a stadium in Carson.
A plan that would have made the Rams the sole team headed to Los Angeles was removed from the ballot earlier in the day.
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St. Louis mayor Francis Slay bashed the NFL in a statement after the Rams’ move had been confirmed.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, the Chargers will have the option to join the Rams in Inglewood in 2016, 2017 or 2018. The Inglewood plan is to build a $1.9 billion, three-million-square-foot stadium complex that will include entertainment areas and space for the NFL to relocate its current media center. The 80,000-seat stadium would be the largest in the NFL.
The decision leaves the Raiders the loser in the Los Angeles sweepstakes. The team has been linked to possible moves to San Antonio or Portland, Ore., in the event that it was not approved for relocation to Los Angeles, but owner Mark Davis has not said what the franchise’s contingency plan might be.
Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff, who's team currently shares the O.co Coliseum with the Raiders, responded to the announcement, saying the A's will continue to work towards building a baseball-only facility.
The Rams will now look to secure a home field while the Inglewood stadium is being constructed. The Memorial Coliseum has already confirmed the desire to host an NFL team, while the StubHub Center, Dodgers Stadium and Angels Stadium have all been mentioned as possible temporary homes.
The Inglewood stadium is projected to open in 2019 and is also expected to be the future home of the NFL scouting combine, according to the Los Angeles Times.