Professional football is finally coming back to the US‘s second biggest city after a 21-year absence, and the Rams have officially played their last game in Missouri.

The NFL‘s board of owners has today officially approved a deal that will see the St Louis Rams return to Los Angeles – the city they left way back in 1994.

The move has enormous ramifications for the league, which has not had a foothold in the nation’s second-largest media centre since both the Rams and the Raiders left at the conclusion of the 1994 season.

After a tense and chaotic few hours in which the league’s owners gathered in a closed-doors meeting in Houston, the deal was announced that sealed pro-football’s fate in St Louis – at least for the time being.

Originally, the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers had both expressed desire to move to Los Angeles, in a proposed deal that would’ve seen them co-occupy a new stadium in Carson.

Instead, the Rams won the approval of the board, and will move to Los Angeles effective immediately. The team will play in a temporary stadium – likely the Los Angeles Coliseum where the USC Trojans currently play – from the 2016 season, until a new stadium in the more Downtown-adjacent Inglewood is completed in 2019.

The San Diego Chargers ownership group was reportedly furious at the turn of events, which effectively saw them squeezed out of negotiations. The team does, however, maintain the option to join the Rams as the co-tenant of the new Los Angeles stadium, and has a period of 12 months to negotiate better terms.

The NFL‘s website has already updated the playing list of the Rams with the new team name – the Los Angeles Rams.

This marks the first time an NFL franchise has moved cities since the Houston Oilers moved to Nashville to become the Tennessee Titans in 1997.

Photo: St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Getty Images.