Three U.S. football teams submitted applications on Monday night to the National Football League requesting to relocate their franchises to Los Angeles, Calif.
The trio consists of the St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers, and Oakland Raiders, the NFL said in a statement, confirming that each had submitted the appropriate paperwork. The teams seek to move before the start of the 2016 football season.
At stake are several billion-dollar stadium proposals: Rams owner Stan Kroenke has presented plans for a $1.86 billion arena in Inglewood (St. Louis’ is attempting to woo Kroenke back by contributing $400 million to a proposed $1.1 billion stadium of its own) and the Chargers and Raiders have joined forces to propose a $1.75 billion venue in Carson, ESPN reports.
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Dean Spanos, owner of the Chargers, described his decision to file for relocation as “probably the single most difficult decision that I’ve ever made” in business in a video announcement on the team’s website. The longtime franchise CEO explained his reasoning, framing it as a defensive maneuver.
“We’ve had nine different proposals that we’ve made, and all of them were basically rejected by the city,” he said, referencing the team’s failure to reach a deal on funding a new venue in its present hometown.
More than a quarter of the Chargers’ business comes from Los Angeles County and its surrounding environs, Spanos said. “Another team or teams going in there would have a huge impact on that. I think that’s what really was the catalyst that got this whole thing going. When the Rams decided to make their move there, this was a move to protect our business more than anything, and so we find ourselves where we do right now.”
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The NFL said that officials will review the proposals at a meeting in New York on Wednesday and Thursday this week. In order to gain relocation approval, the franchises must garner the support of three-quarters of league’s 32 clubs. A vote will take place at a league meeting in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.