There was, quite literally, dancing in the streets today when the National Football League owners association granted Los Angeles a professional football team. A “previously loved” team, as the used car dealers say. But at least it’s the Rams, a familiar name in these parts. The somewhat itinerant team started in Cleveland, and matured in L.A. for the better part of a half-century. Now after 20 years of sewing its wild oats in the Midwest, it’s back on the coast to delight hometown fans.
It was mere minutes between when the owners’ association made its announcement and the “Los Angeles Rams” section magically appeared on the NFL’s web site. The team is expected to suit up and take the field in a matter of months, starting its 2016 season in the Southland. But exactly what field will it take? The two billion dollar Inglewood stadium that was planned for the team is years from completion. Heck, it may be years from even starting construction.
Right now, the scuttlebutt is pointing to the venerable Los Angeles Coliseum, which is actually the Ram’s ancestral home going back to the 1940’s. Right now that joint is run by the University of Southern California, which needs the cash the Rams would bring to renovate the place. So it’s a win-win. If it happens.
Right now the estimates for completion of the Inglewood stadium point to 2019. But until we see some dirt turning, consider that a floating date. Plus, there’s another complication.
That complication is currently known as the San Diego Chargers, but may some day be known as the Los Angeles Chargers. Again. You’ll remember the Chargers wanted to chip in with the Oakland Raiders on a new shared stadium in Carson. Well, the league has nixed the Oakland portion of that idea. But left open the option for the Chargers to shack up with the Rams in Inglewood. It’s a do-si-do worthy of high school prom.
The Chargers have a year to make up their mind. Which means zero progress can be made on the new Inglewood stadium since the notion of bringing in a second team will mean significant architectural changes. So once again, Los Angeles football fans will have to hurry up and wait.