The San Diego Chargers could be following the St. Louis Rams to their new digs in Los Angeles, but not for another year, at least.
On Friday, Chargers chairman Dean Spanos (pictured) announced that the NFL team would be staying in San Diego for the 2016 season “and I hope for the long term in a new stadium.” Spanos said he hoped to work with the city’s mayor and supervisor as well as the business community to “resolve our stadium dilemma.”
However, Spanos also confirmed that he’d inked “an option and an agreement with the Los Angeles Rams to go to Inglewood in the next year.” Two weeks ago, NFL owners approved a plan that would allow the Rams and Chargers to share the Inglewood stadium that will be completed in 2019.
While Spanos insisted that his “focus is on San Diego,” he cautioned that “everyone on both sides of the table … must now determine … how to deploy the additional resources provided by the NFL.” The NFL has pledged up to $300m in loans and grants for a new $1.8b stadium in San Diego, should the Chargers decide to stay.
Spanos has until Jan. 15, 2017 to decide whether to exercise his L.A. option but could extend the option by another year if San Diego voters don’t approve a public financing referendum this November. ESPN sources said Spanos should know within the next two to three months if the economic climate is favorable for a new San Diego stadium.
Should San Diego stay put, the Rams could end up sharing their Inglewood field with the Oakland Raiders, who appear determined to continue their aimless wandering up and down the California coast.
Raiders owner Mark Davis was in Las Vegas on Friday to tour a proposed new stadium ground in Las Vegas, but the NFL brass would sooner elect the ghost of Al Davis commissioner than allow a team in America’s gambling capital, so you might want to get those old L.A. Raiders jerseys out of the closet.