IRVING, Texas (CBS 8/AP/CNS) - NFL owners have approved a lease to let the Chargers play in the stadium the Los Angeles Rams are building in Inglewood.
They also lifted the debt ceiling on the $650 million relocation fee required by the league, allowing the Chargers to borrow money and pay it back over a longer period of time.
Chargers owner Dean Spanos, who was in Dallas at the NFL owners meeting Wednesday, said he won't make a decision on moving until after the end of the season.
"As you know, these issues have been going on for an awful long time," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "The challenges of getting stadiums built is something that we've worked very hard on. We have not made great progress in Oakland and San Diego. There is not a stadium proposal on the table that we think addresses the long-term issues of the clubs and the communities."
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer spoke to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday, his office confirmed Wednesday. However, details of the conversation were not released. The conversation comes on the heels of news that some members of the San Diego City Council sent a letter to Spanos, Goodell and owners of all the other NFL teams this week offering to lease the Qualcomm Stadium site in Mission Valley for $1 a year.
The Chargers face a Jan. 15 deadline to decide whether to join the Rams in Los Angeles, part of a deal struck almost a year ago when owners agreed to let the Rams leave St. Louis. A Chargers-written ballot measure asking for $1.15 billion in increased hotel taxes to help fund a new downtown stadium was soundly defeated last month.
The Raiders will have from the end of their season, which will likely include their first trip to the playoffs since 2002, until Feb. 15 to apply for relocation.
Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay didn't offer any encouraging words for San Diego or Oakland.
"I think that there is at this point really no reason for optimism in either market for the Chargers and Raiders right now," Irsay said. "We'll see what happens. That's the way it appears to be going with the year ending here."
Irsay said it would be "fruitless" to extend the deadline facing the Chargers on their Los Angeles decision. He suggested that Spanos and Rams owner Stan Kroenke would reach an agreement to share Kroenke's new stadium in Inglewood.
"You know this process has been going on for a very, very long time in San Diego," Irsay said. "Dean's going to need to make a decision on what's best for the Chargers and go forward. I know as owners we all felt two teams could be supported in Los Angeles, unquestionably."
Goodell said the NFL was still committed to keeping the teams in their respective cities, a point he said he reiterated with Faulconer on Tuesday.
"But ultimately it's for the community to decide," Goodell said. "We have worked to try to get the referendum passed. And we'll continue to work with the local officials. But ultimately, they have to determine what it is they want to do in the community, what it is that can work for the community and the team."
Among other issues Goodell addressed:
- The salary cap will increase at least another $10 million for the fourth year in a row, which Goodell said was a sign that the labor deal reached in 2011 was working. "This is healthy for us," Goodell said. "We should continue to find ways to continue to extend that and make sure that we address things that we think we could make better."
When the NFL and the players' union did a long-term deal with no opt-out clause, the idea was to help drive up revenues, which in turn makes the cap rise. The more the cap rises the more cash teams have to spend on players.
Had there been an opt-out clause, as previous collective bargaining agreements had, a lockout or strike scenario would have been possible during the contract.
Goodell mentioned the league is interested in an extension of the CBA. It's unlikely the union would favor anything short of negotiations on a new deal in which both sides could address any perceived shortcomings in the current agreement.
- The NFL will experiment with the number of advertisements in TV breaks during Week 16 games as it continues to evaluate a decline in ratings this season. The changes are not expected to reduce the time for ads, but perhaps the number of ads in a break and how many breaks there are. "We're evaluating every aspect of the game presentation on television, on media platforms and also in stadiums," Goodell said.
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