NFL gives Rams approval to return to LA, Chargers may join them
The St. Louis Rams and the San Diego Chargers have been green-lit for a move to Los Angeles.
The National Football League’s 32 team owners voted Tuesday to give the Rams approval to move to Los Angeles for the 2016 season, and the Chargers the option to join them within the next year, several sources told CNNMoney.
By the terms of the deal, the Rams have been given the go-ahead to move to a new stadium in Inglewood, the site they had initially proposed, effective immediately, the sources said. The Chargers have been given one year to work out a deal with them.
The Oakland Raiders, who agreed to disband a joint-venture with the Chargers, will receive additional loan money for a new stadium in their home market, the sources said. They will also be given the first option to move to Los Angeles if the Chargers fail to work out a deal.
The final vote among the owners was 30 in favor of the Rams-Chargers option, and 2 in opposition. Relocation proposals require at least 24 votes for approval.
The deal, which was struck after a day of meetings in Houston, brings an end to a 21-year-period in which the nation’s second-largest city was without a professional football team.
The Rams-Chargers option was a break from the original two proposals that owners were meant to vote on this week. The original proposals pitted the Rams’ Inglewood bid against a joint Chargers-Raiders bid for a stadium in Carson.
In an initial vote on Tuesday afternoon, 20 of the team owners voted in support of a Rams-Chargers plan, indicating that the majority of the league favored this option. However, that was still short of the 24 votes needed to secure its approval.
Following the meeting, the NFL’s Committee on Los Angeles Opportunities — made up of six of the league’s most influential team owners — began working with the Oakland Raiders on a plan that would dissolve the Chargers and Raiders joint venture, clearing the way for the Chargers and Rams to move to Los Angeles instead.
The Raiders agreed to back out of the deal in exchange for additional loan money from the league that will be put to a new stadium in their home market.
The team owners then met again on Tuesday night before the final vote that gave the Rams and the Chargers clearance for their moves.