Caleb Bailey, Sports Editor
For the first time in 21 years, there is a professional football team in Los Angeles, California. When the 2016 NFL season kicks off in September, the Rams will not be playing in the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, but rather the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
On January 12, the NFL announced that the Rams had been given approval to move back to Los Angeles by a 30-2 vote by owners from around the league. They have already made the move to California and have settled into their home, however this is not an unfamiliar phenomenon for the Rams.
The team played their final season in Los Angeles in 1994, before making the move to Missouri for the 1995 season, where they have played for the last 20 seasons.
The Rams have had some success since their big move across the country, playing in 2 Super Bowls and winning in 2000 over the Tennessee Titans. However, the team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2004 and many believed it was time for a big change.
The move to Los Angeles has been seen as a good move by the Rams because of what they did in the 49 seasons in Hollywood.
From 1949-1955, the team played in four NFL Championship games, winning one in the seven seasons. At the beginning of the Super Bowl era in 1967, the Rams made 16 playoff appearances, played for 7 NFC championships and made a Super Bowl appearance against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1979.
The Rams will have a new stadium in Inglewood, California, just miles north of where Busch Stadium (the team’s former home) stood for nearly 30 years. The new stadium will open at the sight of the old Hollywood Race Track in 2019 but the Rams may not be the only team taking the field that year.
The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers were also fighting for a spot in Los Angeles. The NFL announced that the latter team has until the end of the 2016 season to make the decision to move to Los Angeles with the Rams.
“I will be working over the next several weeks to explore these options that we have now created for ourselves to determine the best path forward for the Chargers,” Chargers owner Dean Spanos told NFL.com.
The news of the Raiders being shafted on their hopes of moving has caused them to look elsewhere for a new home as well. The team has already reached out to landowners in San Antonio, Texas about a possible move to West Texas: a city that has been starved for a professional football team for far too long.
The now-Los Angeles Rams are certainly excited about their new home on the West Coast. Only time will tell if the team will be able to replicate the success they had during the 20th century.