ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --For the first time since 1997, an NFL team will relocate.
The league approved the relocation of the Rams from St. Louis to the Los Angeles area for the 2016 season by a vote of the league's owners Tuesday night in Houston.
The vote returns to the Rams to the area they called home from 1946-94, when they became the first major professional sports team to set up shop on the West Coast.
The Rams will move to a new stadium in Inglewood, Calif. in 2019.
"We've been at this for 20 years," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.
Ironically, it was the departure of the Rams that set the process in motion. The Rams moved to St. Louis in 1995 to play in what was then known as the TWA Dome, to which they relocated after a brief stint at Busch Stadium, which was the home of the football Cardinals until 1987.
"We were unsuccessful for many years in trying to get something done that would meet the standards for L.A. -- what the entertainment capital of the world expects," Goodell said.
The Chargers will have a one-year option to join the Rams in Inglewood; they have been approved for relocation and can exercise it over the next year. If they are to relocate for the 2016 season, they must decide by the NFL annual meeting March 20-23.
If the Chargers do not exercise their option to move, the option would pass to the Raiders.
If either team opts to stay in its current market, that team will receive $100 million toward stadium construction.
"It will provide incentive to the Chargers and Raiders to see if they can do something in their home markets," Texans owner Bob McNair said.
Chargers owner Dean Spanos read a statement and said that he would "explore the options" the Chargers have. Those could include getting a ballot issue before voters in San Diego for construction of a new stadium, but Spanos declined to specify what he would do.
Kroenke said that he has offered part-ownership of the new Inglewood stadium or a "lease arrangement" to whichever team relocates.
Raiders owner Mark Davis was non-committal. His team can leave the O.co Coliseum immediately without breaking a lease.
"This is not a win for the Raiders," Davis said. "We'll see where the Raider Nation ends up. We'll be working really hard to find us a home."