Rams to move to Inglewood, CA - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

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Rams to move to Inglewood, CA

(Source: AP Images) (Source: AP Images)
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(KFVS) -

It's official, the Rams have been approved to return to the greater Los Angeles area, beginning the 2016 season.

NFL owners approved the move by a vote of 30-2, according to NFL.com.

"This has been the most difficult process of my professional career," Rams owner Stan Kroenke said. "While we are excited about the prospect of building a new stadium in Inglewood, Calif., this is bitter sweet. St. Louis is a city known for its incredibly hard-working, passionate and proud people. Being part of the group that brought the NFL back to St. Louis in 1995 is one of the proudest moments of my professional career. Reaching two Super Bowls and winning one are things all St. Louisans should always treasure."

A new stadium is expected to be finished in Inglewood by the 2019 season.

Kroenke said this decision has been ongoing since 2002.

"As an owner, to be able to appeal to our fans, we have to have a first-class stadium," Kroenke said.

He said he understands the emotional side, but he also has a responsibility to all the owners.

"While there understandably has been emotionally charged commentary regarding our motives and intentions, the speculation is not true and unfounded.

"I am a Missouri native named after two St. Louis sports legends who I was fortunate enough to know on a personal level. This move isn't about whether I love St. Louis or Missouri. I do and always will. No matter what anyone says, that will never change.

"This decision is about what is in the best long-term interests of the Rams organization and the National Football League. We have negotiated in good faith with the Regional Sports Authority for more than a decade trying to find a viable and sustainable solution. When it became apparent that we might not be able to reach an agreement, it was then and only then that we looked at alternatives."

Kroenke said he thinks it's a tremendous and exciting thing for Los Angeles fans.

"We look forward to returning to Los Angeles and building a world-class NFL entertainment district in Inglewood," Kroenke said.

The NFL Network first tweeted on Tuesday night that the Rams will move to Inglewood and the Chargers will have the option of going there with them.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon released the following statement on Tuesday regarding the vote:

“Tonight’s decision is disappointing, and a clear deviation from the NFL’s guidelines.  It is troubling that the league would allow for the relocation of a team when a home market has worked in good faith and presented a strong and viable proposal. This sets a terrible precedent not only for St. Louis, but for all communities that have loyally supported their NFL franchises.

“Regardless of tonight’s action, the fact remains that St. Louis is a world-class city deserving of a world-class NFL team.  We will review the NFL’s decision thoroughly before determining what next steps to take. In particular, we are interested in their justification for departing so significantly from the NFL’s guidelines after St. Louis had – in record time – presented a proposal for a first-class stadium.”

It was also stated in the press conference that the Chargers will have up to one year to make a decision on relocation.

The Rams will pay a relocation fee, the amount to be decided by the commissioners.

An NFL committee exploring moving the teams to Los Angeles has recommended the combined stadium proposal involving Oakland and San Diego over St. Louis owner Stan Kroenke's ambitious plan for another venue.

No NFL franchise has moved since the Houston Oilers went to Tennessee in in 1997.

The Raiders and Rams both left Los Angeles after the 1994 season. The Rams had been in the LA area since 1946.

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Copyright 2016 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press also contributed to this story.

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