SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Chargers executives are considering Thursday whether to become the second team to move to the potentially lucrative Los Angeles market following National Football League's decision that the Rams could move forward with stadium plans in Inglewood.
San Diego city officials, meanwhile, are hoping for a fresh start with the team.
In a 30-2 vote Tuesday, NFL owners approved a bid by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke for a stadium in Inglewood, next to Los Angeles, on land he controls at the old Hollywood Park racetrack. They also gave the Chargers a one-year option to become the second team there.
The Chargers have until next January to decide on the Inglewood option. If it expires, the Oakland Raiders will have a chance to become the second team in the greater Los Angeles area. However, both the Chargers and Raiders could receive an extra $100 million from the NFL to build stadiums in their home markets, on top of the $200 million the league already offers for such projects.
Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos is now studying his team's possibilities, which include moving to Inglewood to share a $1.6 billion stadium with the Rams, or pursuing a stadium project in San Diego, team special counsel Mark Fabiani said Wednesday. Fabiani said Spanos planned to take a few days to evaluate the franchise's new options.
Fabiani also shot down a report that said Spanos was nearing an agreement with Rams owner Stan Kroenke on the framework of a deal to leave San Diego, calling it "overblown."
San Diego-area officials said the NFL's rejection of a proposal by Spanos and Raiders owner Mark Davis to build a facility in Carson, also an L.A. suburb, provides San Diego with an opportunity for a fresh start with the team. Spanos has wanted a replacement for San Diego's aging Qualcomm Stadium for around 15 years but had been stymied by the city's fiscal problems a decade ago, the recession and difficulty in finding a suitable site.
"Today isn't about the past, it's about the future -- it's about the opportunity that we have, San Diego and the Chargers, to work together as a team," San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said.
Faulconer said the plan for a stadium in Mission Valley remained on the table, but he was willing to entertain other locations -- like downtown -- if they're "viable and legal."
If San Diego voters approve a financial package to build a stadium here, the Chargers' Los Angeles option would be extended an additional year. Faulconer said he was confident San Diegans would approve such a measure, which likely would be placed on the November election ballot.
Supervisor Ron Roberts, who had led county efforts to keep the Chargers in town, and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith also expressed optimism about resuming negotiations with the team.
We have the opportunity for a fresh start. We owe it to this community to see if Mr. Spanos will support a fair agreement. The door is open.— Kevin Faulconer (@Kevin_Faulconer) January 13, 2016