RAMS RE­TURN­ING TO LOS AN­GE­LES

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Schuyler Dixon The As­so­ci­ated Press

hous­ton» The St. Louis Rams are mov­ing back to Los An­ge­les, and the San Diego Charg­ers will have the op­tion to join them in a com­pro­mise ap­proved by NFL own­ers Tues­day night.

The Oak­land Raiders, who also wanted to move to the area, could take the Charg­ers’ spot if they stay in San Diego, com­mis­sioner Roger Good­ell said.

The Charg­ers and Raiders wanted to share a new sta­dium in Car­son, Calif., and the Rams wanted to move to nearby In­gle­wood, but nei­ther op­tion got the 24 votes needed for ap­proval. Af­ter a day of ne­go­ti­a­tions in Hous­ton, the own­ers ap­proved the St. Louis move 30-2, with a first op­tion for San Diego to share the $1.8 bil­lion sta­dium Rams owner Stan Kroenke is build­ing in In­gle­wood.

The de­ci­sion ends the NFL’s 21-year ab­sence from the na­tion’s se­cond-largest me­dia mar­ket.

“I of­ten said over those 21 years what we need is a great fa­cil­ity,” Good­ell said. “The rea­son the two teams left in the 1990s … was they didn’t have an ad­e­quate sta­dium. I think what hap­pened over the last years is we had two out­stand­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. Both of th­ese sta­dium projects were out­stand­ing.”

The Charg­ers and Raiders can con­tinue to ne­go­ti­ate with their home cities, and the league will con­trib­ute $100 mil­lion if ei­ther team builds a new sta­dium in their cur­rent mar­kets.

“I 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,” chair­man Dean Spanos said.

Ray Perez, a 28-year-old Raiders fan from Sacra­mento who goes by the moniker Dr. Death, trav­eled to the Hous­ton meet­ing in his usual Black Hole garb, was cau­tiously op­ti­mistic af­ter hear­ing the news.

“I will not be com­pletely, fully thrilled un­til the ink dries on pa­per and we know we’re stay­ing in Oak­land in a new sta­dium,” Perez said. “I’m very happy, very happy. But I’m not go­ing to be over­joyed un­til we sign a sta­dium deal to keep the Raiders in Oak­land with our own sta­dium.”

The Charg­ers play 120 miles south­east of In­gle­wood at Qual­comm Sta­dium. The Raiders played in Los An­ge­les from 1982-94 and cur­rently split a fa­cil­ity with base­ball’s Ath­let­ics. It is the last re­main­ing NFL-MLB sta­dium.

“Re­lo­ca­tion is a painful process. It’s painful for the fans, for the com­mu­ni­ties, for the league in gen­eral,” Good­ell said. “In some ways a bit­ter­sweet mo­ment, be­cause we were un­able to get the kind of fa­cil­i­ties done we wanted in their mar­kets.”

The Rams — based in the L.A. area from 1946-94 — will play in a tem­po­rary fa­cil­ity — prob­a­bly the Los An­ge­les Coli­seum — un­til the new sta­dium is ready for the 2019 sea­son.

“To­day, with the NFL re­turn­ing home, Los An­ge­les ce­ments it­self as the epi­cen­ter of the sports world,” Los An­ge­les Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a state­ment. “We can­not wait to wel­come the Rams, and per­haps oth­ers, soon.”

No NFL fran­chise has moved since the Hous­ton Oil­ers went to Ten­nessee in 1997. The Raiders and Rams both left Los An­ge­les af­ter the 1994 sea­son.

Foot­note. Cincin­nati Ben­gals de­fen­sive backs coach Vance Joseph, a for­mer Univer­sity of Colorado player, was hired as the Mi­ami Dol­phins’ de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor un­der new coach Adam Gase.

Hol­ly­wood Park Land Com­pany ex­ec­u­tive Chris Meany un­veils an ar­chi­tec­tural ren­der­ing of a pro­posed NFL sta­dium in In­gle­wood, Calif. Nick Ut, The As­so­ci­ated Press

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.