Fans of the St. Louis Rams hold a 'Los Angeles Rams' sign.
Fans of the St. Louis Rams hold a 'Los Angeles Rams' sign. - 

The St. Louis Rams are soon to be the Los Angeles Rams. The team will pack their cleats, helmets, and all the rest, heading to a new $3 billion stadium ten miles from downtown L.A. The San Diego Chargers may exercise an option to follow next season. If they decide against the move, the Oakland Raiders could take their place.

Sunny L.A. has been without an NFL team for two decades, though it’s been a tempting target.

“The greater L.A. area has the second largest population base in the entire country,” said Andrew Zimbalist, a professor at Smith College. “It is an entertainment capital of the United States. It has many large corporate headquarters, which means that they have companies to buy luxury suites, to buy club seats, to buy signage, to sign sponsorship deals with the team.”

In fact, over the years other teams have often threaten to move to L.A. to try to extract a new stadium or better terms from their current cities, said Kenneth Shropshire, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

“I teach negotiation and you always get a better deal if you have another option,” he explained.

While L.A. is now off the table, Shropshire said teams will likely still try to leverage other cities.

“It’s still musical chairs, but I guess the chair’s not as big or exciting,” he said. “Think about it, St. Louis is now open.” 

Follow Tracey Samuelson at @tdsamuelson