In a move that rocked the sports word in the early hours today, NFL owners voted to accept the St. Louis Ram’s bid to move the team. In a 30-2 vote, most owners seemed to support the Rams more than the two other teams bidding for a move to L.A., the Chargers and the Raiders.
St. Louis residents are understandably upset at the news. Regardless, Rams ownership will most likely follow through on the move which will bring a team back to L.A. after a 21 year hiatus. The Chargers could still join the Rams in America’s 2nd largest city which houses the second largest T.V. audience. All three teams looking for a move are looking to revitalize their franchises. However, Oakland’s football team faces a fairly uncertain future after losing the bid.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell referred to the Ram’s relocation as a potentially “painful process.” The Rams must also pay the NFL a $550M relocation fee.
As mentioned, in a move that has angered Rams fans, Missouri’s governor Jay Nixon is not very happy. He said the move set “a terrible precedent” not only for St Louis but for all communities that have “loyally supported” NFL franchises. Nixon added that there would be a thorough review of the NFL’s decision before determining what next steps to take.
Should fans in St Louis want to continue supporting the Rams, they face a trip of around 1,800 miles.
The Rams will play their home games at the LA Coliseum until their $1.86B stadium, above, in Inglewood is complete.
The Rams have played in LA before, first moving there from Cleveland in 1946. They left for Anaheim in 1980, before moving to St Louis in 1995. They are the only franchise to claim three NFL championships in three different cities, winning Super Bowl XXXIV in the 1999 season.
The Raiders, however, face a more uncertain fate.
Oakland are uncertain which city they will call home in 2016 after the failure of their bid, according to team owner Mark Davis. Undoubtedly, Marks father and former owner, Al Davis, is rolling over in his grave.
The Raiders lease at Oakland Coliseum has expired and the city does not seem to be interested in paying for the team to build a new stadium.
“I don’t know where we’ll be,” said Davis. “We’re trying to figure that out. We made a commitment to try to get to Los Angeles.”
Davis ruled out moving the Raiders to St Louis to fill the void left by the Rams, but said all other options would be considered, including a move to San Diego should the Chargers vacate the city. Many rumours are circulating around the prospect for the team to move to the desert and play at Alamo Stadium in San Antonio. The stadium does have the rights to host the 2018 NCAA Final Four.
“America, the world, is a possibility for the Raider nation,” he said.