Rams’ Relocation

Joseph Sturtz, Editor-in-Chief

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To the dismay of St. Louis sports fans everywhere, the decision to move the Rams back to their home city of Los Angeles was finalized Tuesday, January 12th. The decision by owner Stan Kroenke and the council of 31 other NFL team owners was approved with a vote of 30-2 in favor of the migration of the team to Southern California, but what could this mean for the city itself?

Stan Kroenke’s decision was by no means sudden, as the Rams have had abysmal attendance over the past few seasons, and Los Angeles has been calling for a football team since the first departure of the Rams in 1980, and out of California in 1995.

Stan Kroenke is the owner of Kroenke Sports Enterprises, which owns four other major league sports teams and is also the largest shareholder for the premier football club Arsenal, so many believe that he looks at this as purely a business venture and not in the interest of the sport, the team, or the fans.

Kroenke will shoulder the $550 million fee to move the team back, but the cost of building an entirely new stadium in Inglewood could reach a price as high as $2.66 billion. This stadium would be the most expensive stadium to be built in the league, but it could be capable of housing more than one NFL team.

After the initial proposal of the relocation of the Rams to Los Angeles, the possibility arose of either the San Diego Chargers or the Oakland Raiders joining them. The NFL has offered the Chargers and the Raiders $100 million each to build new stadiums in their current locations, and besides more speculation of the teams instead moving to Carson, talks have become stagnant.

So what does this mean for the city? In short, a heavy upfront cost, even more traffic in one of the most gridlocked cities in the US, and pollution of every variety. While this doesn’t sound entirely pleasing to the locals of the area, not everything that the housing of a major league sport entails is negative.

First things first, who doesn’t love catching a game when the arena is that close to your house? Furthermore, what business owner wouldn’t want to have an average of 67,000 people going by their business to get to the game? Not only is the revenue of these business owners being positively affected, but this also means that with more purchases comes more tax revenue, so the city gets money that could be used towards things the residents can enjoy, like a football stadium. In the same field comes the income of tourists who either stop by the game during their visit to the city or whose main purpose is to watch the Los Angeles Rams play.

Last but not least, there is a certain pride that comes with having a professional sports team in the city. It increases the overall happiness of the citizens and this becomes apparent just by walking through any of these sports towns and seeing all the merchandise that people will gladly pay to wear.

Whether or not the good outweighs the bad, this move is indeed happening, and all of these effects will be doubled if one of the other teams decides to move along with the Rams. Along with a sports franchise comes great responsibility for a city, but the rewards can also be great. Hopefully the city of Inglewood will be able to reap the benefits while also keeping the monetary and other costs down.

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