Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke's St Louis Rams NFL franchise is moving to Los Angeles - and will pay $550m relocation fee

 
Joe Hall
Follow Joe
On the move: Kroenke is relocating his NFL franchise

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke is moving his Rams NFL franchise from St Louis to Los Angeles following a vote of league owners.

The Rams, who had been competing with the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders to move to LA, will return to the Californian city which has been without an NFL franchise since they relocated to St Louis 21 years ago.

Kroenke's franchise must now pay the NFL a $550m (£311m) relocation fee to fund the move to a new stadium in Inglewood which could cost up to $2bn and is set to open in 2019.

Read more: Arsenal owner's sports empire valued at $4.1bn

"This is the hardest undertaking I've faced in my professional career," said Kroenke in a press conference.

"It is a difficult process and it is bittersweet. We understand the emotions of our fans. It's not easy to do these things. It's purposefully made hard."

According to Forbes the Rams are currently valued at $1.5bn - but that could rise by at least another $1bn following a move to Los Angeles and an expected 80,000 capacity stadium in Inglewood.


The Rams previously played in Los Angeles from 1946-1979 and 1980-1994 (Source: Getty)

The Rams could also be joined in the new Los Angeles stadium by the Chargers who now have a year to decide on potentially relocating. Should they decline, the door will be open for the Raiders to make the move.

Unlike the Rams, the Chargers and Raiders wanted to move to a stadium in the Carson suburb of Los Angeles but their proposal was defeated by the NFL owners by a 20-12 margin in favour of the Inglewood option.

Kroenke had previously promised fans in St Louis that he would try and keep the franchise in his native Missouri, having been quoted in 2010 saying: "I'm going to attempt to do everything that I can to keep the Rams in St Louis...I've been a Missourian for 60 years. People in our state know me. People know I can be trusted. People know I am an honorable guy."

In the Rams application to relocate to Los Angeles it was argued that "Any NFL Club that signs on to this proposal in St Louis will be well on the road to financial ruin, and the League will be harmed."

Related articles