Facts about the Los Angeles Rams
February 2, 2016
Well, it’s finally happened. After 20 some-odd years of local sports fans subsisting solely on baseball, basketball and hockey, a pro football team is coming to Los Angeles. Two, to be precise. Because not only have NFL team owners approved the St. Louis Rams move from Minnesota to the California, but they threw the San Diego Chargers into the bargain. And although the Chargers have the option to stay in San Diego until the 2017 season, the Rams’ bags are already packed. So what does this mean for the sports landscape of L.A.? Quite a bit. Here’s the breakdown:
Cynics outside of Los Angeles might point out that it will be hard to host an NFL team without a football stadium. Indeed, Los Angeles does not possess an adequate venue as of yet. Enter Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who has proposed a $1.86 billion stadium in Inglewood, the same neighborhood where the Showtime-era Los Angeles Lakers delivered so many legendary nights. This is where the Rams and Chargers will play. In the interim the Rams will kick off the 2016 season in USC’s Coliseum.
The Rams have a storied history in Los Angeles that dates back to the 1940s. But the logo isn’t the only thing that’s getting a homecoming. Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, a vested Californian himself, is returning to the same city where he played college ball for USC. For Fisher, the experience is a bittersweet one as it means saying goodbye to loyal fans in St. Louis. At a press conference in Los Angeles on Jan. 15th, 2016, Fisher expressed remorse at leaving but also remarked, “Once you’re a Rams fan, you’re always a Rams fan.”
But the star of the show was Kroenke himself. In front of a smattering of excited fans, and amid former Rams players like Jackie Slater and Wendell Tyler, Kroenke laid out his grand vision for the stadium and for the future of the team. Among other things he said he didn’t have to twist the city’s arm regarding the team’s move. “I don’t think we sold them. I think it was the excellence of the project itself.”
That remains to be seen. What is for certain is that the prodigal team has returned to L.A.