St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke announced plans to build a new football stadium in Inglewood, California, stirring up speculation that the Rams will return to Los Angeles in the near future.

Kroenke bought 60 acres next to the LA Forum a year ago, and now he plans to build an 80,000 seat NFL stadium in partnership with Stockbridge Capital Group, who owns a 238-acre Hollywood Park site where the stadium will set. Terry Fancher, the founder of Stockbridge, said of the stadium proposal “”We are excited to unveil an expanded plan that will bring a world-class sports and entertainment district to Hollywood Park… We are committed to working with [the Kroenke Group] to build a project that will put Inglewood back on the map as home of the truly great sports and entertainment venues.”

For two decades, since the Rams left Los Angeles leaving the city without an NFL team, LA officials have been trying to get a team back in town. Kroenke’s proposition to build this stadium is the most viable option for an NFL team to head back to the City of Angels.

Inglewood mayor James Butts, Jr. said he was “extremely supportive” of the move to Los Angeles. “This will hasten the time for the citizens of Inglewood to get the project they deserve,” Butts said. “This is something they have waited for for a long time.”

The Rams have leased their stadium in St. Louis year to year, making their exodus to California an easy task. Additionally, this is the first stadium proposition in a long line of proposals throughout the years where an owner already has the land and is ready to build. Kroenke, whose family also owns the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche, has not commented directly regarding the stadium or the move.

While the stadium would not be ready until 2018, the Rams could submit relocation applications for the 2016 season. This means that if the St. Louis Rams were to move back to California, they would play in the Rose Bowl or the LA Coliseum until their stadium is completed.

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[photo credit: drewesque]