Chargers Owner Commits to NFL Team's Next Season in San Diegoby
Spanos meanwhile reaches pact to share LA home with Rams
Proposed $1.9 billion LA stadium scheduled to open in 2019
The San Diego Chargers will play next season in San Diego, giving city officials more time to come up with a new stadium plan or lose their National Football League franchise to Los Angeles.
Chargers owner Dean Spanos confirmed his intentions in a statement posted Friday on the NFL team’s website. But if a new stadium can’t be worked out, the Chargers will move and share a facility with Stan Kroenke’s Rams.
The Los Angeles backup plan gives Spanos additional leverage in talks to remain in San Diego. The accord in principle comes about two weeks after NFL owners approved the Rams’ application to move to Southern California from St. Louis. At that time, the owners also gave the Chargers a year to decide whether to join the Rams in their proposed $1.9 billion stadium in Inglewood.
“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,” Spanos said on the site. “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.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he supported Spanos’s plan to keep working with San Diego officials.
“NFL ownership has committed $300 million to assist in the cost of building a new stadium in San Diego,” Goodell said in a statement. “I have pledged the league’s full support in helping Dean to fulfill his goal.”
The Rams didn’t respond respond to a request for comment.
Details of the agreement aren’t known, including how the stadium will be financed and how revenue will be shared. The stadium will have 274 luxury boxes and 16,300 premium seats, according to the relocation plan Kroenke submitted to the NFL.
The agreement to share a new Los Angeles stadium, which will be ready in time for the 2019 season, still leaves the Oakland Raiders to decide where they will play. If the Chargers ultimately stay in San Diego, Raiders owner Mark Davis would have an option to join Kroenke in Los Angeles. Davis was scheduled to meet Friday with billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson about a possible move of the Raiders to Las Vegas.
Initially, the Chargers and Raiders had planned to share a facility in Carson, California. Owners, however, preferred Kroenke’s sports-and-entertainment complex in Inglewood, which is conceived as a de facto West Coast headquarters for the league and its entertainment properties.
Both the Rams and Raiders will have to pay a $650 million relocation fee, which is shared among the other owners in exchange for their losing out on a valuable market.