As San Diego Chargers fans wait for an announcement on whether the team will relocate to Los Angeles, the newly-minted Los Angeles Rams received thousands of deposits for a season tickets waiting list.
The Rams launched the site Monday morning, offering fans a chance to put their names on a waiting list for the tickets.
Beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, fans could put down a $100 refundable deposit by visiting the team's website -- WelcomeHomeRams.com. The deposit placed fans on a waiting list, allowing them to buy tickets this spring before the general public.
The team reported more than 5,000 deposits in the first five minutes that the site was live. Within about 45 minutes, more than 8,000 had been sold.
Tickets will be sold to account holders in the order in which they signed up on the waiting list. Each account holder can buy up to eight season tickets for the Rams return to Los Angeles after more than two decades in St. Louis.
The team will play in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before moving into a new stadium in Inglewood at the start of the 2019 season. The move was announced last week after an owners meeting in Houston.
The plan gives the San Diego Chargers a year to decide whether they want to join the Rams in the Los Angeles area. The two teams are expected to begin formal negotiations Monday.
The Rams finished 7-9 under coach Jeff Fisher, third in the NFC West and had a troubled attendance history in St. Louis, where a team that once produced the Super Bowl winning "Greatest Show on Turf" later struggled through a series of losing seasons. The team was consistently at the bottom of the NFL in attendance over the past decade.
Season ticket prices have not been established, according to the team. The average resale price of a Rams ticket this season was near the least expensive in the league, at one point dropping to $64, according to SeatGeek.
The franchise played in Southern California for 49 seasons before owner Georgia Frontiere moved them after the 1994 campaign. Owner Stan Kroenke won the three-team derby to return to the nation's second-largest market earlier this week, enticing NFL owners with his impressive stadium plans and his team's ties to Los Angeles, where thousands of fans stayed true to the Rams during two decades away.
The new stadium, yet to be named, will be at the former site of Hollywood Park racetrack. But Kroenke, a billionaire land developer married to a Walmart heir, is building more than a football stadium with the reported $1.86 billion Inglewood project, which also includes office space, shops, a concert venue and innumerable other enticements.
Kroenke said his new stadium will host Super Bowls and Final Fours, which he has already discussed with the NCAA. The Los Angeles area hasn't hosted the Final Four since 1972, lacking an appropriately huge roofed venue. Inglewood Mayor James Butts said he already has expressed interest to the NFL in hosting the Super Bowl in February 2021.