A 20-year NFL-to-L.A. timeline
St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is involved in plans to build an 80,000-seat NFL stadium as part of a massive development in Inglewood.
FOR THE RECORD:
Stadium renderings: In the Jan. 5 Sports section, credits on artist renderings for Farmers Field and a proposal for a renovated Coliseum were swapped. AEG was responsible for Farmers Field, and NBBJ Sports & Entertainment provided the Coliseum illustration. —
That could mean the team is planning a return to the Los Angeles area. The Rams aren’t saying what their plans are, but they are unhappy in their current home, which is outdated by current league standards.
And the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders are in similar situations. Could the Inglewood plan prompt a different team to make its own move on an L.A. location?
The two decades since the NFL left Los Angeles have been filled with grandiose plans for the league’s return to the country’s second-largest city. The regular pronouncements about the NFL’s imminent return have led only to false starts and dashed hopes, missed deadlines and aborted moves.
Every failure seems to birth another plan, another round of behind-the-scenes intrigue and more pledges to bring the country’s most popular sport back to L.A.
Here’s a look at the developments since Christmas Eve 1994, when the Rams and Raiders lost in the final NFL games in the L.A. area:
January 1995: R.D. Hubbard says “we’re pretty close” and “there are just a few little items to be worked out” for a Hollywood Park stadium.
April 1995: NFL owners approve the Rams’ move to St. Louis.
August 1995: NFL owners approve the Raiders’ move to Oakland.
January 1996: Dodgers President Peter O’Malley says a plan to build a football stadium at Chavez Ravine has an “excellent chance” of being picked by the NFL.
March 1996: The Seattle Seahawks conduct off-season workouts at Rams Park in Anaheim as part of owner Ken Behring’s effort to relocate the franchise to Los Angeles. Behring returns to Seattle after the NFL threatens huge fines.
March 1999: The NFL awards Los Angeles an expansion franchise contingent on agreement between the city and league on issues that include a stadium site and ownership group.
October 1999: With no agreement reached in Los Angeles, the NFL awards the expansion team to Houston to create the Texans.
February 2002: L.A. Mayor James Hahn says he believes the NFL will return to L.A. within five years.
May 2002: Anschutz Entertainment Group confirms plans to build a stadium next to Staples Center with hopes of an NFL team returning to L.A. for the 2003 season.
June 2002: The NFL has cooled on the idea of relocating a team to the Coliseum, even if the venue is renovated. Referring to the then-79-year-old stadium, Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell tells The Times: “Trying to put a new dress on an old hooker is not the way I want to go dancing.”
August 2002: The Rose Bowl hires John Moag to assemble a financing plan and promote the venue as an NFL option. Moag, a Maryland-based sports investment banker, helps broker the deal that brought the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore, where they became the Ravens.
May 2003: The NFL is offered the option on a parcel of land in Carson to build a stadium as part of an effort to land a team.
May 2003: NFL owners vote 30-1 with one abstention to continue to explore building a football stadium in L.A. The Raiders vote no because they still claim to own the rights to the L.A. market. The league commits $10 million to conduct feasibility studies on a Carson stadium, money that is never spent.
May 2004: Preliminary talks start between Coliseum officials and the NFL about constructing a stadium at Exposition Park.
May 2004: NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue says the league hopes to select an L.A. stadium site within the year and have a team in place for the 2008 season.
February 2005: Tagliabue tells reporters that he wants a franchise in L.A. within the decade.
November 2005: Tagliabue stands on the steps of L.A. City Hall after a closed-door meeting with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and announces a preliminary agreement has been reached to finally bring a team back. “It’s the first time we’ve had agreement on term sheets,” the commissioner says, referring to the NFL and the Coliseum. “We’re one step closer, two or three steps closer. Whether it’s 2009, 2010, or 2000-whatever, our goal is to have definitive agreements on all subject matters well before our league meetings in March.”
May 2006: NFL owners hear a pitch from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, then from groups wanting to bring a franchise to the Coliseum, Rose Bowl and Anaheim.
May 2006: The L.A. City Council votes to spend $25 million on improvements around the Coliseum in hopes of luring an NFL team. Villaraigosa announces the news while clutching a football and wearing a T-shirt that reads “Coliseum 2010.”
November 2006: Pasadena voters reject a proposal to renovate the Rose Bowl to accommodate an NFL team.
November 2007: Villaraigosa says “the Coliseum is no longer a viable option for the NFL.”
April 2008: Billionaire developer Ed Roski proposes an NFL stadium in the City of Industry.
November 2008: The possibility for L.A. to host the 2016 Super Bowl emerges. Instead, the game eventually goes to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
July 2009: John Semcken, right-hand man to Roski, says seven franchises are competing for two L.A. vacancies, and the market within a couple of years would play host to as many as 25 NFL games a year — 10 per team (exhibition and regular season), playoffs, and Super Bowls.
January 2011: L.A. City Council moves to fast-track AEG’s proposed retractable-roof football stadium downtown. “We’ll be bringing a team to L.A.,” AEG President Tim Leiweke says.
February 2011: AEG and Farmers Insurance announce a $700-million deal for the naming rights to the potential stadium called Farmers Field.
August 2011: The L.A. City Council approves the proposed AEG stadium project 12-0.
January 2014: Rams owner Stan Kroenke purchases 60 acres in Inglewood through a holding company.
October 2014: Dodger Stadium emerges as a possible temporary venue for an NFL franchise relocating to L.A.
October 2014: A survey commissioned by the NFL asks 2,000 L.A residents for feedback about the league returning.
October 2014: The L.A. City Council extends AEG’s deadline by six months to attract an NFL team for the proposed Farmers Field.
October 2014: L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said it’s “highly likely” an NFL team relocates to L.A. within the next year.
December 2014: The Chargers, perpetually rumored as a relocation possibility for L.A., announce plans to play the 2015 season in San Diego.
January 2015: Rams owner Stan Kroenke announces plans to team with Stockbridge Capital Group on an 80,000-seat NFL stadium as part of a development project in Inglewood, around the old Hollywood Park.
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