(Reuters) - The Oakland Raiders, St Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers all submitted applications to relocate their franchises to the Los Angeles area by the start of next season, the National Football League (NFL) said in a statement on Monday.
“The applications will be reviewed this week by league staff and three league committees that will meet in New York on Wednesday and Thursday — the Los Angeles Opportunities, Stadium, and Finance committees,” the NFL statement said.
“The applications will be presented for consideration at next week’s league meeting in Houston on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“The relocation of a franchise requires the affirmative vote of three-quarters of the NFL clubs (24 out of 32).”
Monday was the first day organizations were eligible to petition the league, as required by the NFL Policy and Procedures for Proposed Franchise Relocations.
The Chargers, who have long sought a new stadium in San Diego, released a statement offering their reasons for planning a switch to Los Angeles.
“We have tried for more than 14 years, through nine separate proposals and seven different mayors, to create a world-class stadium experience for fans in San Diego,” the Chargers, who spent their inaugural season in Los Angeles in 1960, said.
“Despite these efforts, there is still no certain, actionable solution to the stadium problem. We are sad to have reached this point.”
The Rams and Raiders also issued statements. “The St Louis Rams informed the National Football League today that the Rams propose to relocate to the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. The relocation would be effective for the 2016 NFL League Year,” said the Rams, who were previously based in the Los Angeles area from 1946 to 1994. “In accordance with the relocation policies, the Oakland Raiders submitted a relocation package to the NFL. The matter is now in the hands of the NFL’s owners,” the Raiders added.
The three teams have all suffered from a lack of fan interest in their respective bases and have failed to field a team considered a regular Super Bowl contender. The Rams, who moved to St Louis in 1995, finished the 2015 season bottom of the average attendance statistics on 52,402 spectators per game.
Oakland, who also left Los Angeles in 1995, was third from last, while San Diego was also in the bottom half.
The Rams have not made the postseason since 2004, the Raiders’ last trip was in 2002 and the Chargers punched a playoff ticket in 2013 but were the worst among the trio this past season, finishing 4-12.
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto and Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien