Raiders, Rams and Chargers formally ask to move to LA

stadium-inglewood-hks.jpgThe Inglewood stadium proposal in rendering. Via HKS.

This is the first time since LA's National Football League teams left town that things have actually gotten this far. The Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers all formally applied to the NFL today for permission to relocate to the Los Angeles area. Now one or perhaps all three have to try to win enough votes from the divided NFL owners to get approval to build a stadium and move. For those who don't know your NFL history, each of those three teams used to call Los Angeles home and fled for a better deal elsewhere, even though for the Chargers that has not been since 1960, when the team then played in the American Football League.

From Sam Farmer, who has been reporting on the NFL-to-LA beat for the Los Angeles Times for what must seem to him like forever:

The development was unprecedented since the Raiders and Rams left the country's second-largest market after the 1994 season. Dozens of stadium proposals and renderings have come and gone, but this is the first time any teams have formally requested to fill the L.A. vacancy.

"We are sad to have reached this point," the Chargers said in a statement.


The 32 owners will convene in Houston for a special meeting next week, in hopes of taking a vote to resolve the competition. There's a growing sense among owners that leaving teams in limbo is damaging to the league and that the matter needs to be resolved in time for the 2016 season. That would require a decision by March, at the latest, after years of false starts and dashed hopes for L.A.

In order for one of the projects to move forward, three-fourths of owners must vote for it. Only one stadium will be approved. Each proposal currently has at least nine votes to block the other. Both sides have been lobbying fellow owners for more support....The high-stakes emotional, financial and political nature of the L.A. conundrum is uncomfortable for the NFL, which typically takes pains to avoid pitting owner against owner.

The mayor of San Diego, Kevin Falcouner, had his own words for the Chargers. "The more San Diego has done [to keep the team] the less engaged the Chargers have become. San Diegans deserve better."

The Chargers and the Raiders are involved in a bid to build a new stadium in the city of Carson, with backing from Disney chairman and CEO Robert Iger. The Rams owner, Stan Kroenke, wants to build a stadium on the site of the former Hollywood Park race track in Inglewood, next to the Forum where the Lakers and Kings played before Staples Center opened.

LA Observed contributor Phil Wallace posted over the weekend some names the Chargers should consider adopting if they do come north.

Bill Simmons, the former ESPN and Grantland sports observer, doesn't sound too impressed with the whole idea.

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