Ex­am­in­ing St. Louis Rams move

Ques­tions and an­swers about team head­ing to Los An­ge­les

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

The Rams will leave St. Louis and re­turn to the team’s for­mer home in the Los An­ge­les area this year, end­ing a foot­ball drought in the na­tion’s se­cond-largest mar­ket that has lin­gered since the end of the 1994 sea­son. It’s also pos­si­ble a se­cond team, the San Diego Charg­ers or Oak­land Raiders, might end up in the $1.8-bil­lion sta­dium planned just out­side Los An­ge­les in the city of In­gle­wood. Some ques­tions and an­swers on the move:

Q. What hap­pened?

A. Three NFL teams were ma­noeu­vring to re­lo­cate to LA in 2016, the Rams, Charg­ers and Raiders. The Charg­ers and Raiders had pro­posed a joint sta­dium in the city of Car­son, but at a Tues­day meet­ing in Hous­ton the plan failed to at­tract suf­fi­cient sup­port from the league’s 32 own­ers. The Rams’ plan in In­gle­wood pushed by owner Stan Kroenke pre­vailed. The league gave the Charg­ers a one-year win­dow to de­cide if the team wants to play in In­gle­wood with the Rams, and if the Charg­ers take a pass, the Raiders would be given a chance to move.

Q. The In­gle­wood sta­dium is not ex­pected to be com­pleted un­til 2019. Where will the Rams play in the in­terim?

A. It’s ex­pected the team will play its games in the Los An­ge­les Me­mo­rial Coli­seum near down­town LA, the home field of the Univer­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia foot­ball team and the Rams’ home from 1946-79.

Q. The Charg­ers have been try­ing to get a new sta­dium for more than a decade, and the team has a strained re­la­tion­ship with city lead­er­ship. What hap­pens now?

A. Charg­ers owner Dean Spanos said lit­tle con­clu­sive on Tues­day af­ter the vote, other than he would take sev­eral weeks to re­view his op­tions. If the team wants to join the Rams, it would need to ne­go­ti­ate a deal to re­lo­cate to In­gle­wood, ei­ther as a ten­ant or part­ner with Kroenke. It’s pos­si­ble the team could re­main in San Diego, but it would re­quire reach­ing a deal for a new sta­dium, which has proved elu­sive for years. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the city and county “are not in­ter­ested in a cha­rade by the Charg­ers if they con­tinue to pur­sue Los An­ge­les.”

Q. The Raiders have a creaky, old sta­dium and the city isn’t even close to a pro­posal for a new one. What hap­pens in Oak­land?

A. Owner Mark Davis ex­pressed un­cer­tainty about the team’s fu­ture. “I don’t know where we’ll be,” said Davis, who has made vis­its to San An­to­nio, an­other pos­si­ble move. “We don’t have a lease right now at the Oak­land Coli­seum. Amer­ica, the world is a pos­si­bil­ity for the Raider Na­tion.”

Q. Why did Kroenke pre­vail, ul­ti­mately in a land­slide?

A. The bil­lion­aire Kroenke is a skilled and savvy busi­ness­man, and while he was vir­tu­ally in­vis­i­ble in pub­lic he clearly im­pressed own­ers be­hind the scenes as some­one who thinks big and de­liv­ers. NFL Com­mis­sioner Roger Good­ell, among oth­ers, heaped praise upon his vi­sion for Los An­ge­les. Deep pock­ets pair nicely with am­bi­tion, and his record as a suc­cess­ful de­vel­oper didn’t need to be ad­ver­tised.

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