Rams and Chargers approved for relocation to Los Angeles

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – 6:05 p.m. – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Tuesday night that the Rams will relocate to Inglewood, with the option for the San Diego Chargers to join them.

"Relocation is a painful process. It’s painful for the fans, for the community and for the league in general," he said.

Goodell said the agreement provides the Chargers the first option to move to LA. If they decide not to move, the Raiders then have the option for relocation to Los Angeles.

"The excitement that we feel about being able to return the Rams to Los Angeles is balanced with the disappointment that we weren’t able to get it done for our fans in St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland. But we will continue to try in those markets and to address those issues," he said.

At the press conference, Dean Spanos said he will take a few days off, but then consider all the options the team now has.

"My goal from the start of this process was to create the options necessary to safeguard the future of the Chargers franchise while respecting the will of my fellow NFL owners. Today, we achieved this goal with the compromise reached by NFL ownership. The Chargers have been approved to relocate to Los Angeles, at the Inglewood location, at any time in the next year. In addition, the NFL has granted an additional $100 million in assistance in the even there is a potential solution that can be placed before voters in San Diego. I will be working over the next several weeks to explore the options that we have no created for ourselves to determine the best path forward for the Chargers."

Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and County Supervisor Chairman Ron Roberts released the following joint statement Tuesday in response to the NFL owners’ decision.

“Today NFL owners rejected the Chargers’ bid to move to Carson. If Mr. Spanos has a sincere interest in reaching a fair agreement in San Diego, we remain committed to negotiating in good faith. We are not interested in a charade by the Chargers if they continue to pursue Los Angeles.”

Mayor Faulconer, Chairman Roberts and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. Wednesday at City Hall to address media questions.

In Carson, Mayor Albert Robles said city officials plan to move forward with development plans on the 157-acre site that had been proposed for a joint Chargers-Raiders NFL stadium, now that league owners have rejected the idea in favor of an Inglewood stadium.

While wishing Inglewood officials "the best of luck,” Robles says Carson officials will be monitoring Inglewood’s response to an FAA warning that the proposed Hollywood Park stadium could present a hazard for aircraft approaching Los Angeles International Airport.

"If the league must revisit this issue, Carson stands ready,” Robles said. "Our site will be exclusively available as a stadium site until at least April when our current agreement with the Chargers and Raiders expires.”

5:45 p.m. – After hours of deliberation, the NFL owners voted Tuesday night in favor of the Rams and Chargers relocating to Los Angeles, with the Rams moving back to Los Angeles and the Chargers given an option to join the Rams at the Inglewood site.

This marks the first time in 21 years that there will be an NFL team in Los Angeles.

The Oakland Raiders, who were originally part of a dual-team venture with the Chargers in Carson, bowed out, withdrawing their relocation request. The team will receive additional loan money earmarked for a future stadium in their home market.

After the NFL owners proposed a new venture involving the Rams and Chargers in a joint venture in Inglewood, the official voting results were 30-2 for the the Rams and Chargers to relocate.

It was also reported by NFL Insider Jason La Canfora that the University of Southern California signed off on two NFL teams sharing the LA Coliseum starting as soon as the 2016 season.

The Chargers have until February of 2017 to decide whether or not they want to join the Rams in Inglewood, as a tenant or partner. If the Chargers decline or are unable to decide by that deadline, then the Oakland Raiders are next in line with the option to join the Rams.

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said that the Raiders or Chargers would get an additional $100 million toward a stadium if they were to remain in their local markets. Both teams are however subject to a $550 million dollar relocation fee, regardless of if they were to join the Rams as tenants or partners at the Inglewood site.

The Rams have a strong motivation to bring in a second team as quickly as possible. The team can’t sell personal seat licenses, premium seats (including luxury suites) or naming rights, until February 15, 2017 unless an agreement struck with a second team before that date.

2:22 p.m. – The first round of votes by the 32 NFL owners were completed Tuesday afternoon. There was no word, however, on whether either site project, Inglewood or Carson, had received the necessary 24 votes.

12:20 p.m. – Per St. Louis Dispatch reporter David Hunn, the NFL is now in the middle of a owners-only session.

12:00 p.m. – According to the Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole, the NFL’s LA relocation committee has recommended the Carson project site on a 5-1 vote. The Kansas City Chiefs’ owner Clark Hunt was the only owner to not approve the site, citing that there should be one team or none.

The six members of the Los Angeles relocation committee include Art Rooney II (Pittsburgh Steelers), Jerry Richardson (Carolina Panthers), Robert Kraft (New England Patriots), Robert McNair (Houston Texans), John Mara (New York Giants) and Hunt.

11:00 a.m. – Chargers.com formerly released a video of Bob Iger Tuesday after the The Walt Disney Company’s chairman and chief executive officer lead the Carson project’s presentation, along with Chargers owner Dean Spanos and Raiders Owner Mark Davis, to the 30 other NFL owners.

10:42 a.m. – The Los Angeles relocation committee formally recommended the Carson project to NFL owners Tuesday, according to reports.

While the move was expected by many, the recommendation sets the stage for a contentious vote between the Inglewood and Carson projects in the coming days. 

10:15 a.m. – A meeting of National Football League team owners that could determine the future home of Chargers after 55 years in San Diego is scheduled to begin Tuesday in Houston amid reports that a consensus is developing within the league for the Chargers and St. Louis Rams to share a stadium in Inglewood — not the arrangement Chargers management has been pushing.

After several months of collecting information from teams and the three cities in danger of losing them, the owners could start making decisions on which team, or teams, will move to the Los Angeles area.

The potentially lucrative Los Angeles market has been without an NFL team for 20 years. The Chargers, Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams are vying to become the team that brings professional football back to the L.A. metropolitan area. "We’ll just have to wait and see what happens,” Chargers owner Dean Spanos said when confronted by reporters in a Houston hotel lobby Monday.

He reiterated that he will abide by whatever decisions his fellow owners make. Spanos has wanted a replacement for aging Qualcomm Stadium for around 15 years, a quest stymied thus far by the city of San Diego’s fiscal problems of a decade ago, the recession and difficulty in finding a suitable site. When Rams owner Stan Kroenke about a year ago proposed building a stadium on land he owns in Inglewood, on the site of the old Hollywood Park, the Chargers responded by announcing plans to construct their own playing facility in Carson — possibly in concert with the Raiders.

The Chargers contend that 25 percent of their business comes from Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire. However, it remains unclear whether any decisions made by the owners this week will be final, and speculation has swirled regarding various scenarios. Media discussion in the past few days has coalesced around reports that the Chargers and Rams could share a facility in Inglewood.

League officials and owners not involved with the Inglewood project or the competing proposal in Carson told the Los Angeles Times there was momentum to pair the San Diego and St. Louis franchises in what one owner described as a "transformational” project. The Chargers and Raiders previously announced plans to build a stadium in Carson, and Spanos has stood by his partnership with Raiders owner Mark Davis.

Spanos rejected a partnership with Kroenke in a letter to Goodell last month, and reiterated his support for the Carson project. But league officials and owners who spoke on the condition of anonymity told The Times that Spanos doesn’t want to be seen as turning his back on a partner, making the path to what is emerging as the preferred pairing more difficult.

The matter is expected to be resolved during the Houston meeting, according to The Times. It has long been believed that while neither the Inglewood nor Carson projects had the 24 votes needed for approval by the NFL owners, league officials are committed to a return to Los Angeles this year. That situation led to recent talks among the owners and league executives to establish a consensus in time for the Houston meeting.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer established a task force that has recommended building a new facility next to Qualcomm Stadium, but the Chargers broke off negotiations on the proposal in June. The team’s refusal to restart talks prevented what could have been a citywide vote on the proposal this month. On Saturday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell distributed a report to owners that said plans by San Diego, Oakland and St. Louis are "unsatisfactory and inadequate.”

Among other things, the league objects to uncertainty created by San Diego’s demand that plans for a stadium project be put before voters — something the Chargers once supported. Chris Melvin, an attorney and lead negotiator for the city and county of San Diego, said Sunday that the Chargers created their own uncertainty.

"We could have already gained voter approval of a stadium under the plan laid out this summer by the city and county,” Melvin said. "But the Chargers stonewalled, rebuffed attempts to negotiate a term sheet, and refused to act. Despite all this, San Diego has proven that it’s a region that supports its major league teams.”

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