It’s Happening: Rams are moving to LA

Rendering of the Inglewood stadium (credit: HKS)
Rendering of the Inglewood stadium (credit: HKS)

For two decades, LA developers, mayors and others have tried desperately to bring an NFL team to town. Now, it’s official. The Rams will move to Inglewood.

The NFL owners approved on Tuesday the franchise’s bid to relocate from St. Louis to a proposed $1.8 billion stadium in Inglewood, which is being developed by Rams owner Stan Kroenke and Stockbridge Capital Group. The owners voted 30-2 in favor of the Inglewood project over a joint bid between the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers to build a $1.7 billion stadium in Carson that the two teams would share.

The Chargers also have a chance to move to Inglewood. The NFL owners gave the team the option to join the Rams in Inglewood or remain in San Diego. They have one year to make a decision.

If the Chargers do not exercise their right to move to Inglewood by Jan. 15, 2017, the Raiders will then have the option to join the Rams in Inglewood. Until then, they will stay in Oakland.

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Kroenke, a real estate developer who purchased a portfolio of retail properties in the valley last year for $115 million, must have been pretty confident that his franchise would get the NFL stamp of approval. The team owner, who is married to the niece of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, began construction in Dec. 2015. Kroenke bought 60 acres of land for roughly $100 million from Wal-Mart in Jan. 2014, next to 238 acres of the Hollywood Park site owned by Stockbridge Capital. The developers’ joint project was approved by the Inglewood City Council in Feb. 2015.

Until the Inglewood stadium is completed, the Rams may play at the L.A. Coliseum. The new stadium is expected to be finished in time for the 2019 season.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted his congratulations to the Rams, indicating they would be at the Coliseum for the 2016 season.

“Great day for LA! “I’ll see you at the Coliseum later this year!,” he tweeted, along with the hashtag “#welcomehomerams.” [LAT] Hannah Miet