LOS ANGELES (AP) -- When the Rams take the field for their regular season opener in September, they will end the NFL's 21-year journey back to a sprawling, vibrant city that loves both a spectacle and a winner.
September is a long way away, though. The Rams have an incredible amount of work to do before they can truly call Los Angeles home again.
They must decide where to play on Sundays until their palatial, billion-dollar new home in Inglewood is completed in 2019.
They must find or build a training complex to be their home for the other six days of the week, and their players, coaches and key employees must find homes close to it. They've got to move untold tons of equipment from the franchise's current base in Earth City, Missouri, to their new home 1,800 miles west.
They've also got to decide what to wear: The current uniforms or their classic LA blue and gold?
After that, all they've got to do is hire hundreds of new employees, sell tens of thousands of tickets and corporate sponsorships, establish charity connections to restore community ties and promote their product to 18 1/2 million people who have been getting along just fine without pro football.
And if the Rams truly hope to succeed, it would really help for local boy Jeff Fisher to put a winning team on the field in September.
The franchise hasn't publicly announced how it will do any of that. Rams employees spent Wednesday learning about the months of hard work ahead, and Rams spokesman Artis Twyman said the team hasn't made any logistical decisions yet about the move.
But if the Rams pull it off with no major missteps and a reasonably successful on-field product, this move could be extraordinarily rewarding for owner Stan Kroenke and his lavish Inglewood stadium complex.
"If they didn't believe that, they wouldn't have paid to move now," said David Carter, the executive director of the Sports Business Institute at the University of Southern California. "They want to be very careful coming back into Southern California because of the previous failures. They knew they had to get it right this time around, and I believe that they think they've got the right business model."
The Rams haven't formally secured a home stadium for next season, although they appear likely to return to the Coliseum, their home from 1946-79, after the Rose Bowl expressed no interest in fostering an NFL team last year. USC athletic director Pat Haden, the former Rams quarterback, plans to talk with the Rams soon about returning to the Trojans' 93-year-old home, which is managed by the school.
The Rams would be a financial windfall for USC, which wants to make $270 million in upgrades. Haden said its current lease with the Coliseum Commission allows for only one NFL team to use the arena, although it could be amended if the Chargers decide to move as well.
When the Rams spent two days in Oxnard, California, last August for training camp, a widespread rumor claimed the Rams are interested in building a permanent base in Thousand Oaks, the upscale suburb 35 miles west of downtown Los Angeles.
Although the Rams haven't confirmed that plan, Kroenke lives in Malibu, and Thousand Oaks is only a picturesque canyon drive away.
"I've had a home in the area for 20 years," Kroenke said Tuesday. "It will be a lot of fun for me, as I spend a lot of time out there anyway, to move forward, to look forward and build a great stadium for our league and for Los Angeles."
The players have a bit of time to get settled in LA. The Rams held their minicamp and organized team activities in June last season, and while Fisher has scheduled their offseason workouts for May in other years, that plan typically isn't set for three more months.
The Rams' ticket office was closed Wednesday, but it will have plenty of work to do after a temporary venue is chosen. The NFL schedule usually isn't finalized until mid-April, and the Rams will have only seven regular-season home games in 2016, playing the eighth in London against the New York Giants.
Carter thinks the team's marketing department will need a smart plan to re-introduce the Rams, who broke hearts in 1994 with their departure.
"I think it's appropriate, and would be helpful, to have the right kind of 'We're back' campaign," Carter said. "With the passage of time, people might give them a little bit of a pass on how it played out 20 years ago. But simply relying on history and mythology is not going to get it done. They need to take a fresh look at this market and make sure they're really involved in all aspects of Southern California."
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Detroit Lions fullback Jed Collins (45) is grabbed in the face mask by Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Bruce Carter (54) during the first half of an NFL wildcard playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
New England Patriots strong safety Malcolm Butler (21) intercepts a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette (83) during the second half of NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Sergio Brown #38 of the Jacksonville Jaguars takes the field prior to a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at EverBank Field on August 14, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants catches a touchdown in front of Jairus Byrd #31 of the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 1, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 20: DeMarco Murray #29 of the Philadelphia Eagles leaps over Brandon Carr #39 of the Dallas Cowboys in the third quarter on September 20, 2014 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 20-10. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 20: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots scores a touchdown during NFL game action as Aaron Williams #23 of the Buffalo Bills tries to make the tackle at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 20, 2015 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Jermaine Kearse #15 of the Seattle Seahawks makes a catch against Malcolm Butler #21 of the New England Patriots in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 30: Taiwan Jones #22 of the Oakland Raiders tries to catch the ball in the endzone while covered by Chris Clemons #29 of the Arizona Cardinals at O.co Coliseum on August 30, 2015 in Oakland, California. The play was called back for a penalty and did not count. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 27: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is tackled by Janoris Jenkins #21 of the St. Louis Rams after making a catch in the first quarter at the Edward Jones Dome on September 27, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Washington Redskins wide receiver Rashad Ross (19) tries to make the catch as Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford (23) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 6: Jesse James #81 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is tackled by Darius Butler #20 (not pictured) of the Indianapolis Colts as Mike Adams #29 of the Indianapolis Colts defends in the first quarter of the game at Heinz Field on December 6, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Aller/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 11: Ty Montgomery #88 of the Green Bay Packers does the 'Lambeau Leap' after running in a 31 yard touchdown against the St. Louis Rams in the first quarter at Lambeau Field on October 11, 2015 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 18: The Green Bay Packers huddle in the fourth quarter of the 2015 NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on January 18, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15: The Washington Redskins are introduced before playing the New Orleans Saints at FedExField on November 15, 2015 in Landover, Maryland. The Washington Redskins won, 47-14. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 08: Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drops back during a game against the New York Giants at Raymond James Stadium on November 8, 2015 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DETROIT MI - DECEMBER 3: Richard Rodgers #82 of the Green Bay Packers catches a fourth quarter touchdown to win the game 27-23 over the Detroit Lions on December 3 2015 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 15: Benjamin Watson #82 of the New Orleans Saints scores a touchdown during the third quarter of a game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 15, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 08: Brandon Marshall #15 of the New York Jets attempts to catch a pass under pressure from Telvin Smith #50 and Johnathan Cyprien #37 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 8, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 18: Strong safety David Bruton #30 of the Denver Broncos and tight end Gary Barnidge #82 of the Cleveland Browns fight for a last second throw into the end zone to end the first half at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 18, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 11: Wide receiver Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots dives into the endzone to score on a 59 yard touchdown reception against the Dallas Cowboys during the second half of the NFL game at AT&T Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) tries to pull in a pass in front of New Orleans Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis (21) in the first half of a preseason NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)
New England Patriots' Tom Brady (12) is sacked by Dallas Cowboys' Greg Hardy (76) and Rolando McClain during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte is mobbed by Kansas City Chiefs players during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
San Diego Chargers wide receiver Malcom Floyd (80) pulls in a touchdown pass despite interference from Baltimore Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb (21) during the first half of an NFL football game in Baltimore, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) dives past Buffalo Bills' Duke Williams (27) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Willie Snead (83) fumbles as he is hit by New York Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (41) in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. The fumble resulted in a touchdown return for the Giants. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) is tackled by the face mask by Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Arthur Moats (55) in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Pittsburgh. Moats was penalized on the play. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey (5) celebrates with his teammates after kicking the game-winning field goal during the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. The Cowboy defeated the Redskins 19-16. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots is surrounded by the media after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)