As part of the yearly rotation of non-division opponents, the Packers will host the Rams next season.
The Los Angeles Rams, that is, if this passed-on report from the Epoch Times is correct:
The St. Louis Rams have already made the decision to relocate to Los Angeles, and will make the official announcement after the Super Bowl, according to a new report.
“There’s a strong belief, people that are in–that I believe are in the know–multiple people, have told me that the decision has already been made and that the team is moving,” one of the hosts of 101 ESPN said in a recent show.
“Somebody told you that, really?” sharply questioned another.
Jason La Confora of CBS Sports said recently that Rams owner Stan Kroenke is expected to make the announcement on February 15, 2015.
Kroenke stoked speculation in January by buying a 60-acre tract of land in Inglewood, California.
“The land is located between the recently renovated Forum and the Hollywood Park racetrack, which was shut down in December, and could potentially serve as the home of a future NFL stadium,” ESPN said.
“Since the Raiders and Rams left Southern California after the 1994 season, Los Angeles has been subjected to enough meaningless artist renderings to fill a museum and more empty promises to encompass two decades worth of failed campaign speeches. There is, however, a big difference if Kroenke truly does have an interest in moving the Rams out of St. Louis and back to Los Angeles. He owns the Rams and now owns enough land in Los Angeles to build a stadium.”
“Every indication that you get, or everything that is not said by Stan Kroenke would lead you to believe that he wants to build a stadium and have a team there,” one of the ESPN Radio hosts said this week.
“This is a guy that lives in L.A., and tried to buy the Dodgers.”
Pro Football Talk started this by reporting earlier this week:
As the 20th anniversary of the NFL’s departure from Los Angeles, the NFL seems closer than ever to returning. Per a league source, the current plan is that the NFL will send one or two teams back to Los Angeles within the next 12 to 24 months.
The timeline would include a team announcing its intention to move in the 2015 or 2016 offseason, with arrangements to play at the Rose Bowl or the L.A. Coliseum pending the construction of a new stadium. Possible sites for a venue in L.A. include the AEG project at L.A. Live in downtown, the land purchased recently by Rams owner Stan Kroenke at Hollywood Park, Chavez Ravine, and a couple of locations that have not yet been publicly disclosed. Ed Roski’s shovel-ready site at City of Industry is not regarded as a viable destination.
Currently, the universe of teams that may relocate consists of three: the Rams, Raiders, and Chargers. The Raiders’ current lease expires after the 2014 season. The Rams can exit without penalty after each season. The Chargers can leave by paying a relocation fee that shrinks every year.
The Rams, who most people don’t know actually started in Cleveland …
… moved from Cleveland to Los Angeles in 1946, playing at the cavernous Los Angeles Coliseum …
… before moving to Anaheim Stadium in 1980 …
… and then St. Louis in 1995:
The Raiders started in Oakland …
… moved to Los Angeles (the Coliseum) in 1982 …
… then moved back to Oakland in 1995:
The Chargers played their first season in Los Angeles before moving down Interstate 5 to San Diego.
Ever since the Rams and Raiders departed L.A. after the 1994 season, NFL-back-to-L.A. rumors have been as prevalent as car magazines’ stories about the next new Chevy Corvette. It is rather ironic that the rumors about the Rams’ and/or Raiders’ and/or Chargers’ moving (back) to L.A. involves two franchises that both moved to and from L.A. It’s also a bit ironic that two of the most recent teams to have moved (the last was the Houston Oilers, which became the Tennessee Titans in 1997, preceded one year earlier by the first Cleveland Browns, which became the Baltimore Ravens) are looking to move back.
Usually, teams that move move because of a combination of on-the-field lack of success and bad stadium situations, with one often affecting the other. (Which is kind of like being excited about buying a car that is a lemon.) The Rams play in the Edward Jones Dome, which opened in 1995. By 2012, the stadium was ranked the seventh worst U.S. sports stadium by Time magazine.
The Raiders are 0–4 and just fired their coach, and the Rams are 1–3 and in last place in the NFC West. Somewhat surprisingly, perhaps, the Chargers are 4–1. Another team often mentioned in moving discussions, the Jacksonville Jaguars, are 0–4, but their stadium, the former Gator Bowl, just had $63 million in renovation work. The Buffalo Bills were recently sold to the owners of the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres, so they’re probably not going anywhere. (And the Bills are also 3–2 and tied for first in the AFC East.)
Both the Raiders and Chargers are supposedly working on stadium deals where they are now. That makes the Rams’ moving back to L.A. more logical, given the additional fact that since the Rams are in the NFC West, they could move back to L.A. without reconfiguring divisions. The Raiders’ situation is also intertwined with the Oakland Athletics, who share the former Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum with the Raiders in the only remaining baseball/football stadium. (The A’s want out too.)
As for the Chargers, U~T San Diego is worried: