A Tale Of Two Teams: How Los Angeles Ended Up With Two Nfl Franchises

As the second largest media market in the United States, the metropolitan region of Los Angeles has long been an attractive destination for professional sports teams looking to expand. Yet unlike other major cities, LA stands out for being home to two National Football League (NFL) teams – the Rams and the Chargers.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Los Angeles has two NFL teams largely due to the league’s determination to re-establish a footprint in the lucrative LA market after the Rams’ and Raiders’ prior departures decades ago, combined with both teams’ individual circumstances prompting relocation.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the unique stories behind the Rams and Chargers and break down the factors that shaped LA into a two-team NFL town.

The Rams’ Road Back to LA

LA Origins and First Relocation

The Los Angeles Rams have a long and storied history in the National Football League (NFL). The team was originally established in 1936 in Cleveland, Ohio, and moved to Los Angeles in 1946, becoming the first NFL team on the West Coast.

The Rams quickly gained popularity in their new city, attracting a dedicated fan base and winning their first NFL championship in 1951.

However, after several decades in Los Angeles, the Rams faced financial difficulties and a lack of support from the local government for a new stadium. As a result, the team decided to relocate to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1995.

This move was met with disappointment and frustration from fans in Los Angeles, who felt abandoned by their beloved team.

The Rams’ relocation to St. Louis was not without success, as the team won their only Super Bowl championship in 1999. However, the relationship between the team and the city of St. Louis eventually soured, leading to discussions of a potential return to Los Angeles.

Returning ‘Home’ After 20 Years

After two decades of absence, the Rams finally made their highly anticipated return to Los Angeles in 2016. The decision to bring the team back was met with excitement and enthusiasm from fans in the city.

The Rams’ homecoming was marked by a rebranding of the team’s logo and colors, as well as the construction of a state-of-the-art stadium in Inglewood, California.

The return of the Rams to Los Angeles was not only a significant moment for the team but also a testament to the city’s status as a major sports market. The move signaled the NFL’s recognition of the importance of having a team in the second-largest media market in the United States.

The Rams’ homecoming has been met with mixed results on the field, with the team experiencing both success and challenges. However, the return of NFL football to Los Angeles has undeniably reinvigorated the sports scene in the city and brought joy to the hearts of passionate football fans.

For more information on the Los Angeles Rams and their journey back to LA, you can visit the official NFL website: https://www.nfl.com/teams/los-angeles-rams/

The Chargers Join the LA Market

San Diego History

The San Diego Chargers had a long and storied history in the city before making the decision to move to Los Angeles. The team was founded in 1959 and enjoyed success over the years, including multiple trips to the playoffs and even a Super Bowl appearance in 1995.

The Chargers were a beloved part of the San Diego community and had a dedicated fan base.

Chargers Seek New Stadium

However, as the years went on, the Chargers found themselves in need of a new stadium. The team had been playing in Qualcomm Stadium, which was outdated and lacked the modern amenities that many other NFL stadiums had.

The Chargers’ ownership began exploring options for a new stadium, but negotiations with the city of San Diego were unsuccessful.

According to a report from The San Diego Union-Tribune, the Chargers had been seeking a new stadium for over a decade before ultimately deciding to move to Los Angeles.

Shared Stadium With the Rams

After failing to secure a new stadium in San Diego, the Chargers made the decision to join the Los Angeles market. In 2017, they announced that they would be moving to LA and sharing the newly constructed SoFi Stadium with the Los Angeles Rams.

Sharing a stadium with another team is not uncommon in the NFL, but it does present unique challenges. The Chargers and Rams had to work together to ensure that the stadium met the needs of both teams and their fans.

The move to Los Angeles also meant that the Chargers would be competing for fans in a highly saturated sports market.

According to NFL.com, the Chargers’ move to Los Angeles was met with mixed reactions. Some fans were excited to have an NFL team in the city, while others were disappointed that the Chargers were leaving San Diego.

Benefits for LA as a Two-Team Market

Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world, has always had a strong connection with sports. With the return of not one, but two NFL franchises – the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers – the city has experienced a surge of benefits as a two-team market.

Increased Revenue and Exposure

The presence of two NFL teams in Los Angeles has brought about a significant increase in revenue and exposure for the city. With multiple teams, there are now more games being played, which means more ticket sales, merchandise purchases, and television viewership.

This boost in revenue has not only benefited the teams themselves but has had a positive impact on local businesses as well.

According to a study conducted by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, the return of the NFL to Los Angeles has generated over $1 billion in economic activity and created thousands of jobs in various sectors.

The increased exposure from having two teams in the city has also attracted more tourists and visitors, further contributing to the local economy.

Appealing to Broader Fan Bases

Having two NFL teams in Los Angeles has allowed the city to appeal to a broader range of fan bases. The Rams and the Chargers have their own unique histories and fan followings, and by having both teams in the city, Los Angeles can cater to fans from different backgrounds and preferences.

For example, the Rams have a long-established fan base in Los Angeles, dating back to their first stint in the city from 1946 to 1994. Their return has reignited the passion of loyal fans and attracted new ones.

On the other hand, the Chargers, formerly based in San Diego, have brought their own dedicated fan base with them to Los Angeles.

By having two teams, Los Angeles has become a melting pot of football fandom, creating a vibrant and diverse atmosphere in the city. This has not only enhanced the fan experience but has also fostered a sense of community among football enthusiasts.

Fueling the NFL’s West Coast Presence

With the addition of two teams in Los Angeles, the NFL’s presence on the West Coast has been significantly strengthened. Previously, the West Coast was primarily represented by teams in Seattle, San Francisco, and Arizona.

The return of the Rams and the arrival of the Chargers have expanded the league’s reach and popularity in the region.

This increased presence has sparked a renewed interest in football among West Coast residents. It has also opened up new opportunities for the NFL to tap into the lucrative West Coast market for sponsorship deals and partnerships.

The growth of the NFL in Los Angeles has also prompted other major sports leagues to consider expanding or relocating to the city. The success of two NFL franchises in Los Angeles has showcased the potential for professional sports in the market, making it an attractive destination for other leagues.

Coexisting and Competing in the Same City

Los Angeles is a city known for its vibrant sports culture, and the return of not one, but two NFL franchises has only added to the excitement. The coexistence of the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers in the same city has created a unique dynamic in the world of professional football.

While both teams share the same home stadium, they are also competing for the hearts and loyalty of the local fan base.

Developing Fan Bases

When the Rams returned to Los Angeles in 2016, they had the advantage of having previously been a part of the city’s football history. The team had a dedicated fan base that had supported them during their time in St. Louis, and many of those fans were thrilled to have their team back.

The Chargers, on the other hand, faced the challenge of building a new fan base from scratch. However, being a part of the NFL for over 60 years, the Chargers had a strong following in Southern California, which helped them in establishing their presence in Los Angeles.

The Rams’ return to Los Angeles was met with great excitement from their loyal fan base, but it also drew the attention of a new generation of football fans who were eager to support a hometown team. The team’s success on the field, including their Super Bowl appearance in 2019, has only further solidified their position as a beloved team in the city.

Leveraging LA’s Diverse Communities

One advantage that both teams have in Los Angeles is the city’s diverse population. With a wide array of ethnic and cultural communities, the teams have been able to connect with fans from all walks of life.

The Rams and Chargers have actively engaged with these communities through various outreach programs, charity events, and cultural celebrations. By embracing the city’s diversity, both teams have been able to build strong connections with fans and create a sense of inclusivity within their fan bases.

Additionally, both teams have recognized the importance of catering to the Spanish-speaking community in Los Angeles. The Rams and Chargers have provided Spanish-language broadcasts of their games, hosted bilingual events, and have even hired Spanish-speaking staff members to ensure that fans from all backgrounds feel welcome and included.

Seeking On-Field Success

While developing a dedicated fan base is essential, on-field success is ultimately what drives fan loyalty. Both the Rams and the Chargers have made significant efforts to build competitive teams that can contend for championships.

The Rams have been particularly successful in recent years, with a talented roster led by star players such as Aaron Donald and Jared Goff. Their success has not only attracted fans to the stadium but has also helped to raise the profile of the team nationally.

The Chargers, while facing some challenges, have also made strides towards success. With a promising young quarterback in Justin Herbert and a solid roster, the team has shown potential and is working towards establishing themselves as a playoff contender.

It is clear that the coexistence of the Rams and Chargers in Los Angeles has created a competitive environment that benefits both teams. The city’s passionate sports fans have embraced having two NFL franchises, and the teams have responded by actively engaging with the community and working towards on-field success.

As the rivalry between the Rams and Chargers continues to grow, it will be interesting to see how both teams evolve and compete for the support of their shared city.

The Outlook for Pro Football in Los Angeles

As the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles has always been a desirable location for professional sports teams. However, for many years, the city was without an NFL franchise after the Rams moved to St. Louis in 1995 and the Raiders returned to Oakland in 1994.

But in recent years, the football landscape in Los Angeles has undergone a dramatic transformation. The city now boasts not one, but two NFL teams: the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers.

New Stadium Coming in 2026

One of the most exciting developments for pro football in Los Angeles is the construction of a brand new state-of-the-art stadium set to open in 2026. The SoFi Stadium, located in Inglewood, will be the new home for both the Rams and the Chargers.

With a seating capacity of 70,240, the stadium will offer fans an unparalleled game-day experience. The stadium is also equipped with cutting-edge technology, including a 4K dual-sided video board that spans 120 yards.

This new stadium is a testament to the commitment of the NFL and its teams to provide top-notch facilities for the fans in Los Angeles.

Rising Team Values

The return of NFL football to Los Angeles has not only brought excitement to fans but has also had a significant impact on the financial landscape of the city. The presence of two NFL franchises has led to a surge in team values.

According to Forbes, the Rams and the Chargers are among the top 20 most valuable NFL franchises, with the Rams ranking 6th and the Chargers ranking 19th. The value of these teams is not only a reflection of their on-field success but also the potential for growth in the Los Angeles market.

With a large population and a strong economy, Los Angeles provides a lucrative base for NFL teams to thrive.

Lasting Investments

Bringing NFL football back to Los Angeles was not an overnight decision. It required significant investments from both the league and the team owners. The construction of the SoFi Stadium alone is estimated to cost $5 billion, making it the most expensive stadium in the world.

Additionally, the teams have invested heavily in building their rosters and creating a winning culture. These lasting investments demonstrate the long-term commitment to pro football in Los Angeles and ensure that the city will continue to be a prominent player in the NFL landscape for years to come.


While Los Angeles has had a complex history with pro football, the presence of both the Rams and Chargers has brought renewed stability, lucrative growth opportunities, and exciting on-field matchups to one of the league’s marquee US markets. As the teams further establish their LA fan bases and state-of-the-art stadium, the city seems poised to benefit from NFL football for decades to come.

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