Football fans in Los Angeles haven’t had a team to call their own in over 20 years. The Raiders and Rams both relocated in 1994. More than a dozen stadium proposals have cropped up in the intervening years to try and draw the NFL back. Two of them gained the necessary political and environmental approvals: Ed Roski’s plan for a stadium in the City of Industry, and an AEG development in Downtown Los Angeles. Neither came to fruition. Now, fast forward to 2015. Enter St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who is teaming up with the owners of the former Hollywood Park site and planing to build a stadium in Inglewood.
Kroenke made his fortune in real estate before becoming a team owner, buying a 40% stake in the Rams when they moved to St Louis in 1995. He snapped up 60 acres of land adjacent to the Forum in Inglewood in 2014, and is now partnering with the nearly 300 acre Hollywood Park site to develop an 80,000 seat stadium, a performance venue, in addition to retail, hotel and office spaces.
LA has long been the place teams threaten to move when dissatisfied with aging stadium facilities, in an effort to wring more money or development from home cities. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said that no teams may relocate in 2015, so a possible move to LA would be on hold until at least 2016.
Is this new proposal proof that the Rams are ready to return to LA? Or is it just another move to push St Louis and other cities toward providing their teams with more and better financing?
Does LA need a football team? And, if you’re a fan, which team would you like to see make the move?
Vincent Bonsignore, sports columnist at the LA Daily News