What the Rams moving to L.A. means for the NFL

The Rams moving to Los Angeles has been brewing for a while. Now that it’s finally happening, what are the ram-ifications?

First, it’s likely the Rams will not be alone. The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers have been contemplating a move to the City of Angels as well. Now that the Rams have made the move to the Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood, which is about 10 miles from downtown L.A., at least one other team might be able to piggyback on them and tag along.

As part of Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s proposal, the Chargers will have a yearlong option to join the Rams at the Inglewood site and if they decline, that opportunity would go to the Raiders. At Wednesday’s meeting in Houston, Oakland and San Diego submitted a competing proposal to share a new stadium in Carson, California, but it failed to receive the 24 votes needed for approval.

Kroenke will be privately financing the project with $1.8 billion, but he’s basically flying blindly. His refusal to put up his own money for a new stadium in St. Louis is baffling, considering there was an established fan-base ready to support the team. It’s been over 20 years since the NFL had a franchise in L.A., so it’s hard to predict that a bunch of fans will spring from the ground and buy season tickets. On top of that, the Rams have been floating around near the bottom of the barrel in the NFL with nine straight losing seasons. A team on the edge of futility doesn’t exactly excite or inspire people to go out and buy tickets.

Plus, it’s going to take three years to open the new stadium in Inglewood and the Rams will be playing in a temporary location, likely the Los Angeles Coliseum. Yes, the new stadium would be a hub for entertainment in L.A., creating a brand-new space for concerts and other sporting events. But imagine the traffic to and from games; with the already-hideous congestion on the 405, this move could only make those dreaded L.A. traffic jams even more excruciating.

All that aside, some believe this move is a win for Kroenke and the Rams organization. Bill Polian discussed the benefits of this decision on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

“This is about business, pure and simple,” Polian said. “Stan Kroenke got an incredible victory here.”

Current and former Rams players took to social media to express their reactions to the move, most of them describing it as bittersweet. Defensive end Robert Quinn called into SiriusXM NFL Radio to say how much he’ll miss St. Louis.

The Los Angeles mayor and a certain L.A.-native were a bit more excited.

The Rams have a young nucleus and a veteran coach in Jeff Fisher, but many believe the team should have turned a corner by now. A strong defense led by Quinn, Chris Long and Aaron Donald combined with a dynamic offense featuring speedster Tavon Austin and rookie of the year candidate Todd Gurley gives the organization a promising future. But competing in the NFC West with the likes of the Arizona Cardinals, who won the division this year, and the Seattle Seahawks, who have made back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, makes that future a bit murky.

The NFL has invested in the Rams to lead the growth of the Los Angeles market. The question is, will fans buy in as well?

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