Gateway to the West…Coast?

Posted on 24 February 2015 by admin

Staff Writer Christian Hargas explores the possibility of the Rams moving to L.A. and other options

 

By: CHRISTIAN HARGAS
Staff Writer

 

The St. Louis Rams have struggled to maintain consistency and relevancy in the NFL for the past 10 years because of bad team performances and bad front-office decisions.

It has resulted in the league’s second worst record since 2006 (43-100-1).

The Rams have not made the playoffs since the 2004 season and have not won a Super Bowl since 1999. Simply put, this team has struggled for many years in the Midwest.

As if things were not already “doom and gloom” for St. Louis football fans, Rams owner Stan Kroenke announced on Jan. 5 a plan to construct an 80,000 seat stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

As it looks right now, nothing official has been announced. There are still plenty of things that have to play out first, before any relocation process begins.

However, this writer believes the Rams need to stay where they are. St. Louis benefits from them, the NFL benefits from having them in the Midwest and the Chargers would seem like a better fit for Los Angeles.

The Rams called L.A. their home from 1945-1994.

However, Georgia Frontiere, former team owner, filed for relocation in late 1994 and moved the team to St. Louis. Relocation was much simpler in the past. Now, teams have to go through different steps and receive majority approval before moving.

As a result, if things went Stan’s way, this leaves Ram fans in St. Louis high and dry as they will be forced to watch their team move out of town. It would be saddening to the fans to see their team leave, if it happens, but it certainly would not be the first time an NFL team relocated out of the Gateway to the West.

In 1987, the St. Louis Football Cardinals relocated after the organization failed to reach an agreement with the city to construct a new stadium.

At the time, the football team was sharing Busch Stadium II with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. However, Cardinals Owner Bill Bidwell wanted his team to have their own stadium and the city refused. As a result, the team packed up and moved to Glendale, Ariz., where they still currently reside.

Apparently, according to the Rams, the team tried to reach a deal with the city to complete a $700 million renovation project at the Edward Jones Dome in 2012, but Saint Louis refused.

On Jan. 26, the organization agreed to go on a year-to-year lease at the dome.Most indicators, right now, are pointing toward the Rams returning to L.A. However, the relocation process must be resolved first.

Also, there are a couple other teams that have been in the Los Angeles conversation; the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders. Both the Raiders and Chargers are in the same situation as the Rams – stadium issues, alleged lack of fan support, etc.

Personally, the Chargers would be the best fit for L.A. at this point. There are three major reasons as to why they would be a better fit.

First, the Chargers, of these three teams, have the largest fan base in Los Angeles.

According to ESPN.com, 38 percent of the Charger fan base is in Los Angeles. Judging by that, it would make more sense for them to move there because they have a larger fan base there.

Second, Chargers Owner Dean Spanos has consistently talked about how much more beneficial it would be for him and his team if they were to move to Los Angeles.

Spanos has been on the record a few different times and said he would like it more if the Chargers were to head north. Third, and lastly, QUALCOMM Stadium is one of the oldest fields in the NFL. It was built in 1967 and there have not been many major renovations to it. The city of San Diego has tried for years to come up with enough money to fund a new stadium, but have failed to do so.

If they have not achieved any renovations to their hometown stadium yet, what makes anyone believe they will now?

Even the Oakland Raiders would seem like a better fit for L.A. than the Rams because of their history in the city. Although it is not nearly as long as the Rams’. It appears, by the majority of NFL fans, that the Raiders seem miserable in Oakland.

They are forced to share their stadium with the Oakland Athletics baseball team, because they cannot get a deal done for a new one.

 

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