For weeks now, the sight of moving vans has been a familiar fixture as they complete the job of relocating bits and pieces of the Los Angeles Rams franchise to the West Coast. The job is expected to be finished by Thursday as the St. Louis Rams is expected to close shop after 21 seasons.
In an article published in USA Today, relocating offices, weights, equipment, and personnel has been a monumental task since the owners have given their go-signal for the move in mid-January. According to Bruce Warwick, who serves as Director of Operations for the Rams, 30 semi-truck loads carrying approximately 20,000 to 22,000 pounds each will travel to their temporary headquarters in California.
Those who were in charge of the nuts and bolts were told not to jump the gun and abide by league guidelines. Still, last season inventory was assessed anticipating a potential move. Business and scouting operations were closed down in St, Louis last Friday. The parking lot is almost empty and only the finishing touches are left. Afterward, the $15 million complex will be turned over to St. Louis who will then decide the future use of the facility.
There have been no protests but emotions are running high to a deserted fan base feeling shocked over the loss of a franchise that won one Super Bowl title but only had a total of four winning seasons. For owner Stan Kroenke, constructing a new stadium could lead to “financial ruin.” Now the team has set its sight on preparing for the new season in a new home.
For now, the Rams will have to stay mobile as their new stadium in Inglewood would not be ready until 2019 but everything is still temporary. Modular trailers will be used for football operations for the next three years. Business operations will be held in Thousand Oaks and draft meetings will be in Oxnard starting early April.
Last summer, the Rams practiced in Oxnard between road preseason games on the West Coast. They borrowed the Cowboys’ training facility to give enthusiastic fans a glimpse of what to expect. The first truckloads went directly to their warehouse in Anaheim where the Rams played before moving to St. Louis in 1995. The truckload included the Lombardi Trophy they won their Super Bowl title in 1999.
Photo Courtesy: Kelly Martin/Wikipedia.org