On Tuesday, January 12, 2016, the City of Carson received unwanted news – the NFL did not approve Carson as the site for the return of professional football to the City of Angels. By a vote of 30-2, the NFL owners voted to allow the St. Louis Rams to move to Inglewood, Ca.
Carson Councilman Jawane Hilton expressed his profound disappointment while congratulating the City of Inglewood. “We are thankful to the NFL for considering one of the greatest cities in the country. It was a contest between two cities and I want the residents of Carson to know that we did everything we could to make it possible for the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders to come here,” Hilton said. “At the end of the day, the decision was not ours. We will never know how behind the scenes actions caused them [the NFL] to ignore public safety.”
According to Hilton, the FAA issued a “notice of presumed hazard,” “concluding that the proposed Inglewood stadium’s height, building design and composition posed a major flight risk for jetliners at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The proposed stadium is located three miles from LAX and is directly under the flight path taken by hundreds of planes as they approach LAX to land.” Hilton went on to say that former US Department Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge issued a report that contained warnings about the public safety dangers posed by the proposed Inglewood stadium’s proximity to LAX’s flight operations. Anschutz Entertainment Group who wanted to build a stadium in downtown Los Angeles commissioned the report that contained the warning. ESPN reported that the NFL had no comment on the report but offered this assessment: “the league hired its own experts to assess any potential NFL site and that is the advice they will rely on” according to Eric Grubman, NFL senior vice president and point man for the NFL in the LA market.
Alas…all is not lost for Carson. Both Councilman Hilton and Carson Mayor Albert Robles said they have a shovel ready project that could be announced as early as April 2016. “We are disappointed, but we are excited about our future,” Robles said. Hilton echoed this sentiment,” Carson is a great location and great things are happening and will continue to happen for our city,” Hilton said.
As the LA Rams make immediate plans to move into their temporary home, the Los Angeles Coliseum – the San Diego Chargers have a one-year option (until January 2017) to decide if they want to relocate and join the Rams. If the Chargers decide they want to join the Rams for the 2016 season, they have until the conclusion of the owners meeting in March 2016 to inform the league. The Charger may forgo making a decision for the 2016 season to give the City of San Diego an opportunity to make a decision about Qualcomm Stadium.