SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Chargers owner Dean Spanos announced Friday that the team will play the 2016 season in San Diego, and hopes to work out a long-term deal with the franchise's home of 55 years.
His statement came an hour after it was reported that he had reached an agreement with Rams owner Stan Kroenke to share a future stadium in Inglewood, in Los Angeles County.
The Chargers reportedly reached an agreement in principle Friday to share the Rams future stadium in Inglewood, in Los Angeles County, but there's still no word on whether the team has actually decided to relocate.
The Chargers have not issued a formal announcement, but team special counsel Mark Fabiani said a statement could be released later today (Friday).
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported on its website that the agreement- in-principle had been reached for the team to share the Inglewood stadium with the Rams.
Representatives of the Chargers and Rams have been negotiating terms of a deal over the last couple of weeks, ever since the National Football League allowed the Rams to return to Los Angeles and gave the Chargers a one-year option to join them.
An agreement with the Rams could mean the Chargers will move, but it could also simply inform future negotiations with officials in San Diego, in case team Chairman Dean Spanos decides to give the franchise's home of 55 years another try.
The Chargers have until next January to exercise their option to move to Inglewood.
Spanos has not conversed in more than two weeks with the top two San Diego officials working to keep the Chargers in town - Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Supervisor Ron Roberts.
Faulconer and Roberts released a joint statement following the Chargers' decision to stay for the 2016 season.
"We appreciate Mr. Spanos' commitment to staying in San Diego for the 2016 season to work with the region on a stadium solution. We look forward to discussing his vision for a new San Diego home for the Chargers, and will be working with him and our negotiating team on a fair and viable plan to put before voters. We have agreed to meet again in the near future."
Thursday, it was learned that the Chargers applied for permits with the city of Santa Ana, in Orange County, to use five acres as a temporary headquarters and practice field while the Inglewood stadium is built. Fabiani said the submission had to happen now because of the long time it takes to get approvals, and install turf to be ready for preseason training camp.
The question of where the Chargers would play games the next few seasons remains unanswered, but the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission heard a presentation Thursday on a proposed amended lease with USC that would let two NFL teams play in the venerable stadium on a temporary basis, instead of the one currently allowed.
If the Chargers do move, the Oakland Raiders could opt to relocate to San Diego. However, owner Mark Davis was expected to be in Nevada today to meet with Las Vegas Sands Corp. head Sheldon Adelson on his plans to build a $1 billion domed stadium next to the UNLV campus.
STATEMENT FROM DEAN SPANOS
Dear Chargers Fans,
Today I decided our team will stay in San Diego for the 2016 season and I hope for the long term in a new stadium.
I have met with Mayor Faulconer and Supervisor Roberts and I look forward to working closely with them and the business community to resolve our stadium dilemma. We have an option and an agreement with the Los Angeles Rams to go to Inglewood in the next year, but my focus is on San Diego.
This has been our home for 55 years, and I want to keep the team here and provide the world-class stadium experience you deserve.
Everyone on both sides of the table in San Diego must now determine the best next steps and how to deploy the additional resources provided by the NFL.
I am committed to looking at this with a fresh perspective and new sense of possibility.
With deep appreciation for your years of support,
Dean A. Spanos
MAYOR KEVIN FAULCONER AND RON ROBERTS JOINT STATEMENT ON CHARGERS DECISION
We appreciate Mr. Spanos' commitment to staying in San Diego for the 2016 season to work with the region on a stadium solution. We look forward to discussing his vision for a new San Diego home for the Chargers, and will be working with him and our negotiating team on a fair and viable plan to put before voters. We have agreed to meet again in the near future.
ROGER GOODELL STATEMENT ON CHARGERS
We are very supportive of the decision by Dean Spanos to continue his efforts in San Diego and work with local leaders to develop a permanent stadium solution.
NFL ownership has committed $300 million to assist the cost in building a new stadium in San Diego. I have pledged the league's full support in helping Dean to fulfill his goal.