Early Wednesday morning east coast time, the city of Inglewood in Southern California unanimously approved the construction of an 80.000-seat NFL stadium. The city council bypassed voters in coming to the agreement, which means construction on the stadium will start later this year.
BREAKING: Inglewood City Council approves NFL stadium, bypassing city voters. Construction starts later this year.
— Ben Bergman (@thebenbergman) February 25, 2015
If Inglewood rings a bell, that’s because it should. Major James Butts has met multiple times in the past with St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who has already purchased a 60,000 acre lot of land in the city.
It is an absolutely huge step in what has been a drawn-out process regarding a return of the NFL to the nation’s second-largest media market. And while there are still some hurdles in the way of a team relocating back to the Southern California market, this is a huge step.
It’s also somewhat of a power play from the Rams. This big piece of breaking news comes shortly after the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders announced a joint plan to build a stadium in Carson, California. It also comes just a few days after reports surfaced that the city of Oakland and the Raiders would end conversations regarding a new stadium if significant progress isn’t made within the next month.
As it relates to the Inglewood vote, there’s not much standing in the way of the city building a new stadium. The developers are on board, the Rams have a strong relationship with city officials, and Kroenke can afford to spend a relocation fee in order to bypass the necessary votes (24) from fellow league owners to move to Southern California.
The vote also indicated that a stadium will be built no matter what happens regarding the St. Louis Rams. This means that the city could potentially build the stadium for another team—potentially the Raiders and/or Chargers. Though, it must be noted that this is a plan that has been backed and supported by the Rams from day one. It’s more likely that either the Chargers or Raiders would share this stadium with the Rams should the Carson plan fall through.
One thing is for sure here. There will not be three teams in or near the city of Los Angeles. Even as the second-largest media market in the United States, that’s not a viable option for the National Football League. So if the Rams were to end up moving to Inglewood, either the Chargers or Raiders would be out of luck.