As of late Tuesday night, at least one big change is coming to the NFL next season.
That change being the decision made by the league owners to accept the bid to relocate the Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles.
Obviously this is a huge change for the franchise and its fans as they move back to their old home in California but it will also affect, to a lesser degree, the teams they’ll host in the 2016 season which includes the Panthers.
The Rams moved from L.A. to St. Louis in 1995, the same season that saw the Panthers enter the league as an expansion team. The move back to Los Angeles means that next season’s Panthers-Rams battle will be the first time Carolina has played there in their 21-years in the league.
Currently, the plan is to have a new stadium in Inglewood, CA built by 2019 and in the meantime, the Rams will likely host games at the L.A. Coliseum; currently the home of the USC Trojans.
The Panthers would have had to travel regardless as their matchup with the Rams is an away game, but travelling to Los Angeles is quite a bit further than St. Louis.
In fact, as Bill Voth of Black & Blue Review pointed out, it’ll drastically change the Panthers’ travel plans.
The Rams weren’t the only team hoping to relocate however as the Chargers and Raiders also placed relocation bids. The decided plan gives the Chargers the option to move to L.A. or stay in San Diego and receive $100 million towards a new stadium with the Raiders receiving the same offer should the Chargers decline the move.
As of now, the Raiders will likely be staying put for the 2016 season but change could be coming their way as well which will once again leave the Panthers schedule in flux.
With Carolina going on the road to face the Raiders as well, the Panthers are unaware of where exactly they will be playing this matchup. The Raiders currently reside in Oakland at the Oakland Coliseum but could wind up in Inglewood or at another venue.
As it stands for now, Carolina will head to at least one new venue next season and log quite a few extra miles to get there.