NFL finally returns to LA

Tavon Austin and Todd Gurley are ready to take their talents to LA

Photoshop by Andrew Schenkel

Tavon Austin and Todd Gurley are ready to take their talents to LA

On the 12th and 13th of January, all the owners of the NFL met, but not to talk about the exciting playoff games that occurred during Wildcard Weekend or the coaching vacancies throughout the league but to decide which lucky NFL franchise gets to call Los Angeles their new home. Three former franchises located in Los Angeles, the Rams, the Raiders and the Chargers, are all front runners for the relocation back to Los Angeles.

Although the Chargers, who now play in San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium, only played in Los Angeles for a year in 1960, that was during the time of the AFL (American Football League) before the merger with the NFL.

From 1946 to 1994, the Rams played their home games in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as well as Anaheim Stadium. While playing in Los Angeles, the Rams made the playoffs an astounding 21 times including one playoff trip that ended in a championship. In the early 1990s, the Rams were looking for a new home as Anaheim Stadium was falling apart and the city couldn’t pay for renovation due to a recession in Anaheim. Finally, the city of St. Louis made an offer to build a $280 million stadium known as the Trans World Dome to host the Rams home games. The offer was exactly what the Rams wanted and St. Louis finally got an NFL team back after the Cardinals left in 1987.

The Raiders, now located in Oakland, were residents of Los Angeles from 1982 to 1994 and won the franchise’s third Super Bowl in their second season in Los Angeles. During their time while playing home games in the Los Angeles Coliseum, notable Hall of Famers such as defensive end Howie Long and running back Marcus Allen were send on the field to play for the Raiders. After the 1994 season, renovation at the Coliseum were halted which caused Hall of Famer and the owner of the Raiders at the time, Al Davis, to give up on Los Angeles after nearly 12 seasons. Davis then accepted an offer to bring the team back to Oakland the following year to play their home games at the Oakland-Alameda Country Stadium.

After two days of meeting, the owner voted to bring the Rams back to Los Angeles with a 30-2 vote instead of the Chargers or Raiders. With this vote, the Rams get to opportunity to bring their young talent which includes wide receiver Tavon Austin, running back Todd Gurley, and defensive tackle Aaron Donald to the second-largest media market in the nation.

“Today, with the NFL returning home, Los Angeles cements itself as the epicenter of the sport world. We cannot wait to welcome the Rams, and perhaps others soon, as they join a storied lineup of professional franchises, collegiate powerhouses and sports media companies.” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti while talking to reporters.

New Plans for the City of Champions Stadium in LA
Photo courtesy of
New Plans for the City of Champions Stadium in LA

The Rams are planning to build a brand new stadium in Inglewood, 12 miles away from downtown Los Angeles, which will cover nearly 300 acres, seat 70,000 fans, and cost around $1.9 billion. Besides the stadium, the project includes retail space, office building, residential units, a preforming arts center, and a 300-room hotel. While the project is under construction, the Rams will be playing in their former home the Los Angeles Coliseum.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell voiced his opinion on the new venues in Los Angeles, “I often said over those 21 years (that there was no team in LA) what we need is a great facility. I think what happened over the last years is we had two outstanding opportunities. Both of these projects were outstanding.

The San Diego Chargers also have the first option to share the new stadium with the Rams if they wish to do so. However, the Chargers are taking their time making the decision as well as hearing offers from the city of San Diego to see what they can offer.

“I like the decision of moving the Rams to LA because LA is a big city that will attract more fans than St. Louis and can also draw fans from all over Southern California,” commented Junior Zach Fries on the whole topic of the NFL bringing a team to Los Angeles.

Throughout the next few months and years, the Rams will be transitioning to their new home in Los Angeles but they’re more than happy to be there.