Mark Byrnes is a senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design and architecture.
Journey back to 1975, when the Rams still played in Southern California—and helped promote regional bus service.
An NFL relocation pawn since 1995, Los Angeles will have yet another potential stadium site to dangle in front of cities wrestling with the idea of spending public money to keep their football teams in town.
St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who already owns a 60-acre site in Inglewood, California, is now partnering with the owners of a 238-acre site next door. Combined, according to a Los Angeles Times report, it would be enough space for an 80,000-seat stadium, parking, and an already-planned mixed-use development.
This latest proposal is only one of many to be floated since Los Angeles lost both its football teams (including the Rams to St. Louis) at the conclusion of the 1994 season.
Before moving to Anaheim's Angels Stadium in 1980, the Rams played their home games at the L.A. Coliseum starting in 1946. Long-established in the University Park neighborhood by the '70s, the Rams helped out relatively new transit agency RTD promote proper bus etiquette and appreciation for its workers in a 1975 promotional film titled Operation Teamwork.
After a summary of Los Angeles' transportation history, defensive end Phil Olsen and linebacker Ken Geddes tour the RTD's maintenance yard, watching unsung workers keep the bus fleet in game-day condition (football metaphors abound in this film). They also explore vandalized, out-of-commission busses: Sitting on graffitied seats, the teammates discuss the roots of such acts of "unsportsmanlike conduct," as the narrator describes it.
The RTD merged into the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) in 1993, just before the Rams packed up for Missouri. With Kroenke and the Rams' current home city $572 million apart in stadium negotiations, LACTMA may get the chance to ask Chris Long and Alec Ogletree for a 2016 update of the film. And if they want to spice it up, the team's 1986 theme song "Ram It" will provide more than enough inspiration.