The NFL's 32 team owners on Tuesday voted to approve the relocation of the St. Louis Rams, and possibly a second team, to Los Angeles, bringing the city one step closer to hosting professional football for the first time since 1994.
"We have the return of the Los Angeles Rams to their home," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said during a press conference Tuesday.
The team will play in a new stadium in Inglewood, and the San Diego Chargers will reportedly have an option to share the venue.
Goodell called the decision "bittersweet," but one he hoped would be the best for football fans.
"It's a painful process," Goodell said. "It's a painful process for the teams, for the fans."
Chargers owner Dean Spanos said he was still undecided if the team would exercise their option and join the Rams in Los Angeles.
"I'm going to take a day off tomorrow," Spanos said. "We do have some options, so it's very difficult to say."
The Chargers have a year to decide whether to move to the Inglewood stadium, Goodell said.
If they decide not to, the Raiders would then have a year to make the move themselves.
In a short statement, the Raiders congratulated the Rams on their bid, and stated they would now "turn our attention to exploring all options to find a permanent stadium solution."
Rams owner E. Stanley Kroenke called the relocation decision "the most difficult process of my professional career."
"Being part of the group that brought the NFL to St. Louis in 1995 is one of the proudest moments of my professional career," he said in a written statement. "Reaching two Super Bowls and winning one are things all St. Louisans should always treasure."
Still, Kroenke acknowledged the move will be a blow to fans in St. Louis, which has hosted the team since the 1995 season.
"This move isn't about whether I love St. Louis or Missouri. I do and always will," he said in the statement. "This decision is about what is in the best long-term interest of the Rams organization and the National Football League."
The decision from NFL team owners came after the league’s relocation committee had made an entirely different recommendation earlier on Tuesday.
The committee had recommended Carson as the location for the new stadium, which would have moved the Chargers and brought the Raiders back to Los Angeles.
Instead, the owners opted for Inglewood, which is set to be the home for the NFL's largest sports venue so far.
The NFL also approved an award of $100 million to both the Chargers and Raiders to help them build or improve their stadium back home, Goodell said.
Raiders owner Mark Davis seemed disappointed at the decision.
"Well, this is not a win for the Raiders," he said.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the preferred scenario for many of the NFL team owners is to approve a plan that includes bringing two teams to L.A., which has not been home to an NFL team since the Rams and the Raiders left at the end of the 1994 season.
The newspaper also reported that the owners considered two scenarios during their first round of votes Tuesday afternoon: Chargers and Raiders in Carson, or Rams and another team in Inglewood.
Neither received the required 24 votes, but the Inglewood location won the most votes, the paper reported.
The cost of the Inglewood stadium, according to the Los Angeles Times, would be about $2 billion.
Salvador Hernandez is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Salvador Hernandez at email@example.com.
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