Business & Economy

The NFL returns to LA: What happens next? (FAQ)

The winners and losers in the NFL stadium vote: Raiders owner Mark Davis (left) and Rams owner Stan Kroenke.
The winners and losers in the NFL stadium vote: Raiders owner Mark Davis (left) and Rams owner Stan Kroenke.
Ben Bergman/KPCC

For the first time in more than 20 years, Los Angeles will be home to pro football again next season, with the return of the Los Angeles Rams. That much we know. But other facts are unclear.

Q. Are the Chargers moving too?

They have the option to, but an exhausted looking owner, Dean Spanos, said on Tuesday he wants to take "a day off" to think about it. "I will be working over the next several weeks to explore the options that we have now created," Spanos said. Translation: He will look for where he can get the best deal. Spanos likely has more leverage than ever with San Diego, now that the threat of going to Los Angeles is imminent. San Diego city and county officials have proposed an election in June for funding a new stadium, a timeline that Spanos previously said was unworkable. 

Q. How long do the Chargers have to decide whether they move?

They have a year to think about it, and if they decide not to come, the option goes to the Raiders, who will then have a year to figure out if they want to play in Los Angeles. If either or both teams stay put, they'll get $100 million from the NFL towards a new stadium.

Q. If the Chargers or Raiders move, what will their arrangement be with Kroenke?

"We have offered either a partnership in the stadium as an owner, or we’ve offered the lease arrangement," Kroenke said. "The teams will have their choice of those options." It's likely a team would want the first option, so that they could be equal partners.

Q. Where will the Rams play next year?

The most likely answer is the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum until the Inglewood stadium is ready, in 2019 at the earliest. The bigger question is where the Chargers or Raiders would play next season because having two teams would violate the Coliseum's lease agreement. The Rose Bowl has already rejected the idea of serving as a temporary stadium for an NFL team, but they could reconsider. Other options (though unlikely) include Dodger Stadium and the Stubhub Center in Carson. 

Q. Why did the owners choose Inglewood instead of Carson?

The owners didn't disclose much publicly. The NFL's relocation committee had endorsed Carson's proposal in a 5-1 vote earlier on Tuesday. "They were two very good projects," Texans owner Bob McNair told reporters. "They’re both very good, and either one could be very successful." Inglewood benefited from the fact that it was backed by Kroenke – with his deep pockets – and is considerably closer to being able to break ground. 

Q. What is so appealing about Los Angeles for NFL owners?

It may sound like an obvious question, but it's not as clearcut as it appears, because NFL owners split most of their revenue, including the monster television deals. Kroenke is also turning his back on taxpayer financing in St. Louis. He will have to fund the Inglewood stadium himself (or with a partner) and pay a hefty relocation fee. However, Kroenke is a developer, so this stadium is just one part of a sprawling 300-acre complex in Inglewood. The population of Los Angeles is also much wealthier, and there are more businesses here that can splurge on personal seat licenses and luxury boxes, which is revenue that team owners get to keep.

Q. An NFL team has not played in Los Angeles for more than two decades. What changed this time?

Earlier proposals that came and went all originated from politicians and developers. This time, three NFL owners stepped forward and offered to put their own skin in the game. What will be interesting to see now is if new stadiums still get built with taxpayer money as easily as they did before, since Los Angeles will no longer be a pawn in the NFL chess game.