NEW YORK (CBS 8/AP) — The deadline for the San Diego Chargers to exercise their option to relocate to Los Angeles has been extended for two days.
Last year, NFL owners approved a deadline of Jan. 15, 2017, for the Chargers to make a decision on relocation. Since that deadline falls on a Sunday of a Divisional Round playoff weekend and Monday is a federal holiday (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), the NFL extended the option deadline to Tuesday, Jan. 17, a league spokesman told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on Wednesday.
It remains to be seen if the Chargers will indeed exercise the option and move to join the Rams in Los Angeles. In November, San Diego voters rejected a ballot measure that would have raised hotel occupancy taxes to help pay for a proposed $1.8 billion downtown stadium project. Meetings between Chargers owner Dean Spanos, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other city and county officials have so far failed to yield a stadium plan both sides can agree upon.
The challenge for Spanos and local political leaders who want to keep the Chargers in town is to formulate a funding plan that doesn't involve tax increases so a future vote would require only a simple majority, and to keep the public contribution at a moderate level that would be supported by at least half of the voters.
Another public vote on a San Diego stadium plan could take place next year, if incorporated into a scheduled election.
ESPN reporter Jim Trotter said on his Twitter account Tuesday that a "Hail Mary is developing to keep the Chargers in SD at least two more years'' and that the San Diego situation is believed to be "salvageable'' by the league while Oakland's is not.
Last month, the Chargers agreed to lease a portion of an Orange County office facility as part of their preparations for a potential L.A. move.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell underlined the challenges facing the Chargers in their attempts to stay in San Diego while speaking at the Winter League Meeting in December.
If the Chargers moved, they would eventually play their home games in Inglewood at a stadium facility they would share with the Rams. They would also have offices at the Inglewood stadium, which is under construction and slated to open in 2019.
The NFL's stadium and finance committees are meeting Wednesday to discuss relocation of the Chargers and Raiders. Spanos has reportedly spoken with some members of the committees but is not scheduled to attend their meetings.