HOUSTON (CN) - The Rams are returning to Los Angeles and the San Diego Chargers have one year to negotiate a deal to join them at a new stadium in Inglewood, NFL owners announced Tuesday night.
After a day of deal brokering, the owners said the Inglewood site proposed by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke was accepted by them with a 30 to 2 vote. The league also approved the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders to move to Los Angeles.
The deal gives the Chargers until January 15, 2017 to decide whether to join the Rams at the new stadium, which will start hosting NFL games in 2019.
The owners left the door open for the team to remain in San Diego contingent upon a ballot measure being placed before the city's voters in November to approve public financing for a new stadium there.
"I will be working over the next several weeks to explore these options if the city can place a ballot measure on the November 2016 ballot," Chargers owner Dean Spanos said at a press conference announcing the deal.
Spanos called the negotiations "excruciating" and said he was going to take a day off tomorrow to collect himself. "It's very difficult to say right now whether I'm going to do this or do that," he said when asked if he would sincerely try to keep the Chargers in San Diego.
The Oakland Raiders can elect to move to the Inglewood stadium if the Chargers opt to stay in San Diego or the Chargers option expires.
The owners pledged to give the Raiders or the Chargers $100 million, which ever winds up staying put, to finance a new stadium in their home city.
The news was an about face from the NFL's L.A. Opportunities committee recommendation Tuesday morning for the Raiders and Chargers to share a stadium in Carson, Calif.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said both stadium proposals were "extraordinary" and it was hard to decide between them.
But Goodell praised Rams' owner Stan Kroenke for proposing the new stadium and surrounding complex that will aim to capture the business of more than just NFL fans.
The Inglewood Stadium is expected to cost more than $2 billion. It will have a dome and will seat up to 100,000 for special events such as the Super Bowl. The stadium will be part of a large scale entertainment and retail district on the 293-acre site.
Land around the stadium will include offices, restaurants, shops and a 6,000-seat performance venue. It will also house space for the NFL's television network.
"This was an opportunity for the ownership to reenter the Los Angeles market, returning the Rams to their home market, with a project that we think isn't just going to change NFL stadiums and complexes, but sports complexes around the world," Goodell said in a press conference announcing the decision. "I think this is going to be one of the greatest complexes in the world and I think it's part of Stan's vision and the NFL supported that."
But the deal cemented Kroenke's reputation as public enemy number one in St. Louis.
Kroenke thumbed his nose at Missouri's efforts to keep the Rams in St. Louis.