Rams Make the Move to Los Angeles: Chargers and Raiders Could Follow Soon

Jake Rosenstein, Maroon-News Staff

The St. Louis Rams recently announced they would be moving their franchise to Inglewood, California, tapping into the Los Angeles sports market, a place they are no strangers to. The Rams had been in California for nearly 50 years until their departure in 1994. Moving back to this market has widespread implications for the NFL as well as other major cities in the United States. There is also much speculation around the league regarding the statuses of two other California teams, the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers.  

The city of Los Angeles has always been a large question mark in the sports world. Why, in the extremely populous region of Southern California, are they unable to support an NFL team? Los Angeles, with a metro population of 13 million people, cannot fill an 80,000-person stadium. Perhaps it is a culture bred in Southern California that sees American football as something too barbaric. In the MLB, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim do not have trouble filling their seats. The Dodgers have the highest attendance in the league and the Angels have the fifth highest. Just as the city supports two baseball teams, it also supports two basketball teams and two hockey teams. The Clippers and Lakers are both in the top half of the NBA in terms of attendance. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks of the NHL share the market of Southern California hockey teams. 

There has not been an NFL team in Los Angeles since the Rams and Raiders left 22 years ago. The city that had two teams suddenly had none when the Rams went east to Missouri and the Raiders went north to Oakland to cash in on the Bay Area’s fans. 

The Chargers and the Raiders now both face increasingly uncertain futures. The Chargers, owned by the Spanos family, is one of the teams that is expected to move to Los Angeles in the coming years. This is in part due to lack of attendance and the ownership’s feuding with the local government regarding funding for a new stadium. They filed for relocation at the conclusion of the 2015-2016 NFL season and were granted permission as long as they could negotiate with the Rams for a new stadium. It is widely speculated the Chargers will be moving, as evidenced by them trademarking the “Los Angeles Chargers” brand. Long time quarterback Phillip Rivers and his team likely played their last game in San Diego this past season and will be part of the new Los Angeles duo. The Oakland Raiders were expected to relocate as well but they have a more accommodating city which may lead to them staying. There are new reports that the Raiders might move to San Diego if the Chargers were to vacate which would cause uproar, as they would be moving to the old city of a division rival.  As of now there is only one team in Los Angeles, but the future of the Chargers and the Raiders is very much unknown. However one thing is for sure, by moving from St. Louis to Los Angeles, the Rams will no longer seem like an anomaly in the NFC West.