The Los Angeles Rams have found temporary new digs at the California Lutheran University.
For the next two years, the NFL team will be using the university’s Thousand Oaks campus as their base of operations. This marks the return of the Rams to Los Angeles after being based in St. Louis since 1995.
The Rams will pay for the construction of two practice fields, a parking lot, and modular buildings that will be used as offices, training areas, and locker rooms. These facilities will be located on the northwest corner of the campus.
Option to extend
Operations will commence on September of 2016 through January 2017, with off-season activities throughout March and July of 2017. Regular-season practice sessions at the Thousand Oaks facility will be closed to the public, just like all NFL teams.
The Rams also have the option to extend their use of the facilities at the Cal Lutheran University for up to five years until a permanent facility is built. Temporary facilities will be turned over to the university at the end of the contract.
The city has already approved the construction of the training fields and the parking lot. Permission to construct the modular buildings now awaits approval.
The influx of around 130 athletes, coaches, trainers, staffers, and their families is also expected to boost the local economy.
They will be looking for homes to move into, local schools for their children to attend, and places to shop, dine, and spend their downtime in. The Rams also intend to offer opportunities such as student internships to the university community during the course of their operation on campus.
Indeed, housing demand surged in March and April, especially in areas surrounding the campus. Head coach Jeff Fisher advised his players to look for homes that would “minimize their driving time.”
Already, offensive guard Jamon Brown has moved his family from St. Louis into Newbury Park, a five-minute drive to the university facility, which is now under construction.
Neighbors have welcomed Brown, his wife, and young daughter with gifts like chocolate chip cookies, along with lemons, oranges, and kumquats grown in their backyards.
Defensive end William Hayes, meanwhile, has another reason for wanting to live near the campus. One of his four children will be enrolled in Thousand Oaks’ Center for Autism and Related Disorders.
A winning partnership
“The Rams look forward to becoming an integral part of the Cal Lutheran and Thousand Oaks communities as we establish our roots in Southern California,” the Rams’ chief operating officer, Kevin Demoff said in a statement.
“We are excited to partner with Cal Lutheran to use their exceptional campus as the temporary home for team facilities that will be outstanding for our players and football staff,” he noted.
Cal Lutheran president Chris Kimball echoed Demoff’s sentiments.
“We are thrilled to be part of the return of the Rams and NFL football to Los Angeles,” he said. “The Rams are investing in a major remaining part of our plans for the north campus and providing internships to our students. It will be a great partnership.”
The Rams are expected to move into the Cal Lutheran University’s Thousand Oaks campus in August 2016.