HOUSTON – The Rams are headed for Los Angeles. The Chargers have been approved to go there, if they can finalize a deal to do so.
The Raiders are headed back home. Maybe. For a little while at least.
A league source confirmed to CSNCalifornia.com that the Raiders bowed out of their LA relocation. That helped establish a resolution the NFL could get behind, one that owners approved with a 30-2 vote. The Rams will play in the L.A. Coliseum starting next year, before moving to a new Inglewood stadium. The Chargers can join them now, but have up to a year, maybe more, to do so. The Raiders can exercise an option to relocate if the Chargers don't exercise their option.
You lost yet? It's a little complicated, but the bottom line is this: The Raiders won't move to L.A. right away after a dramatic owners meetings slated for two days but finished in one.
The Rams entered these meetings promoting a $1.86-billion Inglewood project, while the Raiders and Chargers promoted a $1.7-billion stadium proposal in Carson.
The league approved a separate option, putting the Rams and Chargers in the Inglewood proposal. With some tinkering.
The Raiders will be compensated for being left out of Los Angeles, though their bounty wasn’t as fruitful as expected. They will get an additional $100 million for stadium construction only if they find a solution in their home market. The Raiders will continue to look for a long-term stadium solution that can generate steady corporate revenue streams.
That could be in Oakland. It could legitimately be in another market.
The league’s decision came on the second formal vote.
The NFL whittled three proposals down to two prior to the first vote, as a league source confirmed that the Rams’ proposal to play in the Inglewood stadium they’ve created alone was taken off the ballot early Tuesday afternoon.
League owners conducted an initial vote after that decision and neither proposal received the 24 votes required for approval. The Rams' Inglewood option received more votes than the Carson plan. That result came despite the fact that the NFL’s committee on L.A. opportunities recommended the Raiders-Chargers project in Carson.
Owners then broke for further discussion in hopes of reaching an accord. The league’s L.A. committee met with Spanos and Davis privately, as they discussed a way to break up the Carson coalition.
That formally happened on Tuesday night.
Disney CEO and Carson stadium chairman Bob Iger gave a presentation on Tuesday morning that sources say impressed owners in the room. Rams owner Stan Kroenke led off Tuesday’s meeting touting his project and its merits, which proved to be the preferred site.
The Chargers had been quietly working on the Carson project for a while, and found a partner in the Raiders in early 2015. Chargers owner Dean Spanos and Raiders owner formed a strong bond over the last year, and Spanos didn’t want to let his partner go without making sure Davis found an agreeable settlement.
Where the Raiders go from here is up in the air. O.co Coliseum would welcome the Raiders back with open arms even on a one-year lease, though the team is not committed to return. It has flirted with San Antonio in the past, and San Diego popped up as a possible Raiders destination in discussions at these meetings if the Chargers vacate the city, though that interest has not been confirmed by anyone within the organization.