St. Louis Rams green-lit for move to Los Angeles

Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:53pm EST
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By Ruthy Munoz

HOUSTON (Reuters) - The St. Louis Rams are headed to Los Angeles and the San Diego Chargers have an option to join them after NFL owners voted on Tuesday to end the league's 21-year absence in the United States' second-largest TV market.

Owners voted overwhelmingly to give the Rams approval to return to Los Angeles for the start of the 2016 National Football League season while the Chargers have until next January to agree to lease terms with the Rams.

If the two team's cannot work out a deal then the Oakland Raiders, the other team that was hoping to move to the world's entertainment capital, will be given the first option to work out a deal with the Rams.

"This has been the most difficult process of my professional career," Rams owner Stan Kroenke said in a statement. "While we are excited about the prospect of building a new stadium in Inglewood, California, this is bitter sweet."

The Rams, who won one Super Bowl since leaving Los Angeles in 1995 for St. Louis, will play their home games at the L.A. Coliseum until their $1.86 billion stadium in Inglewood, roughly 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles, is complete.

The Rams, who first moved to Los Angeles from Cleveland in 1946, will also pay the NFL a $550 million relocation fee.

In his remarks shortly after NFL owners voted 30-2 to ratify the Rams' application for an immediate move, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called relocation a "painful process."

"It's painful for the fans, the communities, the teams, for the league in general," said Goodell. "Stability is something that we've taken a great deal of pride in and in some ways a bittersweet moment because we were unsuccessful in being able to get the kind of facilities that we wanted to get done in their home markets."   Continued...

An aerial view of the former site of the Hollywood Park Race Track in Inglewood, California- the site of a proposed 80,000 seat NFL Stadium by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke- is shown in this February 22, 2015 photo.  MANDATORY CREDIT: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports