For the first time in the history of the National Football League, two teams from different cities moved to the same city in the same year. The Rams moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles, and the Chargers moved from San Diego to Los Angeles after both teams failed to build new stadiums in their previous cities.
The Rams played in Los Angeles from 1946 to 1994, but they had a poor relationship with their home city. As a result of this animosity between Los Angeles and the Rams, both parties agreed it would be best for them to split up.
The Rams moved back home to St. Louis and played there until 2015 before moving back to Los Angeles again in 2016 due to stadium issues; meanwhile, Los Angeles did not have an NFL team for almost 20 years until just recently when they welcomed back their native son while simultaneously welcoming a new member into their family as well: The Chargers.
So, why does Los Angeles have two NFL teams?
The Rams and the Chargers both moved to Los Angeles after the 2015 season. The Rams played in the L.A. area from 1946 to 1994 before moving to St. Louis in 1995 while the Chargers moved back to Los Angeles from San Diego because both teams failed to build new stadiums in their previous cities.
Rams fans in L.A. wanted their team back.
You’ve probably wondered why a city that has only one NBA team, NHL team, and MLB team suddenly has two NFL teams for live actions. That’s not how it works, right?
Well, you’re right! It doesn’t work like that. The Rams played in the L.A. area from 1946 to 1994 before moving to St. Louis in 1995 due to financial concerns and stadium issues. Los Angeles was without an NFL team until the Chargers moved from San Diego in 2017 after being unable to get a new stadium built there.
But the Rams are back because their fans wanted them back! The Rams were very popular during their first stint in Los Angeles, so their departure was tough for many football fans. To show his support for bringing the Rams back, former Lakers star Kobe Bryant told ESPN he’d buy season tickets for every game if they returned to Los Angeles.
The move wasn’t without controversy, however: A few people were upset because it meant the Chargers would have a hard time attracting fans since they had just arrived and now had to compete with an older, more established franchise.
The owner wanted to move the team to Los Angeles.
There were two primary reasons behind the decision of Stan Kroenke to move the Rams franchise to Los Angeles.
First, he wanted a bigger stadium for his team. The Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis wasn’t considered one of the best stadiums in the NFL anymore and Kroenke wanted something more upscale for his team.
The second reason was that Kroenke is from Missouri and he wanted to return home where he could be closer to his family and friends. He also has other business interests in Missouri and it would be more convenient for him if he could stay local instead of traveling between Los Angeles and St. Louis all the time as an owner with a franchise located in each city.
The team needed a new stadium.
We’re not sure why St. Louis is so uninterested in replacing the Edward Jones Dome with a new stadium, but we know it’s more than just a lack of money. The Rams have played at the dome since 1994, and throughout their time there they’ve had some of the worst attendance numbers in the league.
Even when they moved to L.A., they were just one of two NFL teams to make less than two million dollars per year from ticket sales (the other being the Detroit Lions). That shows that even with a metropolitan area as rich as Los Angeles and a fan base as rabid as St. Louis has been since 1946, there are still areas of weakness that can be exploited by an opportunistic rival team or even rival leagues like MLS’ Los Angeles Galaxy—especially if that team is willing to do something about them.
The Chargers will play in a stadium right next door to the Rams.
The Rams will move from St. Louis to Los Angeles, while the Chargers will move from San Diego to share a stadium with them. Under construction in Inglewood, California, the new stadium is also set to host the 2028 Olympics and open in 2020.
There is a chance that another team will move to L.A.
It’s possible that the Los Angeles area could soon have three NFL teams. The Oakland Raiders are looking for a new home, but there is a good chance that the team will remain in California.
The Chargers and Rams share SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, which opened this year. Because there was no way to resolve their disagreements, Oakland sued the Raiders and the NFL claiming they violated antitrust laws by refusing to allow them to move. The city of San Diego also sued the league after the Chargers moved north in 2017. A judge’s decision helped both cities get closer to having a day in court.
If the Raiders do decide to move from Oakland, they could join either the Rams or Chargers at SoFi Stadium, Forbes reports. The magazine found that it would be much more expensive for one team than two, so it seems unlikely that either franchise would agree without a hefty payout from their fellow tenants.
And there’s another possibility: if negotiations between Oakland and Alameda County break down again this week (which seems likely), then according to Forbes’ estimates, it is possible that the team could move out of state permanently within two years.
There are many reasons why the NFL has two teams in Los Angeles
There are several reasons that the NFL has two teams in Los Angeles:
- The teams have different owners.
- The teams have different histories.
- The teams have different stadiums.
- The teams have different fan bases.
- The teams have different coaches.
- They play at the same venue, but they’re operated by separate entities and actually travel to away games on separate charter flights—this is called a “tenant” relationship.