Inglewood City Council votes to fast-track stadium project

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The City Council in Inglewood voted last night to fast-track the stadium project proposed by Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

Construction could begin later this year.

It is a critical step in separating Inglewood from other rivals who may want to move into the Los Angeles market, including the joint proposal by the Chargers and Raiders.

Chargers spokesman Mark Fabiani said the Rams are moving at lightning speed to get into the Los Angeles market, but he also admits relocation is a long process, and there is ample time for the Chargers to catch up if they head to Carson.

The Inglewood City Council had a choice, move the project immediately with simple Council vote, or send it to the voters. They chose the former and said it was the people’s will.

The crowd in Council chambers all wore Rams, and Raiders jerseys, and there were Twitter pictures of Stan Kroenke who was there for the vote.

In St. Louis, there was disappointed.

“It’s a bad day for us. It’ll take 20-years for us to get a team here,” said Arthur Scott.

While the vote put the Rams farther ahead of other rivals, their return to Los Angeles is still far from certain.

St. Louis has upped the ante to keep the Rams by offering a $900 million package for a new stadium. It still remains to be seen if Kroenke will take it, or move his Rams.

The Rams and Raiders left Los Angeles in 1995. Two-years later the Houston Oilers moved to Tennessee. No team has switched since then.

Seattle tried, and was blocked by the NFL who became wary of teams abandoning their home cities.

Before the Chargers, Raiders announcement to move to Carson, the NFL tried to re-assert its authority and created a committee to coordinate any move to Los Angeles.

League policy states no club has an entitlement to relocate simply to enhance revenues.

Teams will maintain stable community relations by working diligently and in good faith to stay put.

Conversely the city is to remedy any stadium deficiencies including replacement.

One could argue the Chargers have fulfilled those obligations, after all, the stadium is dilapidated, and the team has been working 13-years to get a new stadium.

The NFL will not discuss any relocation before league owners meet in march and May.

Meantime, an investment group headed by San Diego based Floyd Kephart is proposing a $2 billion football stadium project in Oakland, that may include a stadium for the A’s.

“This could be the largest redevelopment in the history of America. This could be the new focus of how technology can change a community,” said Floyd Kephart.

The NFL will step into this grasp for Los Angeles to mediate the Rams, and Chargers/Raiders proposals when they are on equal footing.

The league has said it wants two teams, not three in Los Angeles.

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