According to ESPN‘s Adam Schefter, Chargers announced they are staying in San Diego for at least the 2016 season. When the reports were made less than two hours ago, one would have thought they were going to move there immediately.
Dean Spanos, whose Carson, Ca. project was beat out by Stan Kroenke‘s Inglewood project earlier this month, had just reached an agreement with the Rams to share the Inglewood stadium. After a secret and silent vote, he had to scramble to get something done.
“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. “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. “
With the team staying put at least one more season, the Chargers are hoping that something can be worked out with the San Diego officials. So far, after numerous attempts to get a deal done, nothing has been able to be worked or and move the team out of Qualcomm Stadium — one of the worst stadiums in the NFL.
“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 Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “NFL ownership has committed $300 million to assist in the cost of building a new stadium in San Diego. I have pledged the league’s full support in helping Dean to fulfill his goal.”
Not only is Qualcomm Stadium bad, it’s one of — if not — the oldest stadiums in the NFL. The Chargers have been playing in the stadium since 1961, which is the year after they moved from Los Angeles in 1960.
Spanos originally wanted to move to Los Angeles after no deal could be struck to build a new stadium.
While the agreement is reached with the Rams, Spanos is showing the fan base that he wants to stay put. Even his star quarterback Philip Rivers and many of his players have showed the fans and the NFL that they don’t want to leave.
If nothing can be reached to stay in the area, then his fall back plan is to move out. Should be do that, it’ll leave the market available for another franchise — which could possibly be the Oakland Raiders, who will likely be forced to sign a one-year lease for the O.co Coliseum.
The Raiders are currently in Las Vegas as they consider a possible move to Sin City, looking a potential stops near University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) or another location that the Las Vegas Sands has in mind.
“The whole concept of the stadium, everything we have looked at, is under the assumption that there is no NFL team,” said Andy Abboud, senior vice president of government relations and community development for Las Vegas Sands, to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We feel this project will go forward without an NFL team, because there isn’t one right now. But we are talking to NFL teams to see if they would be interested. This is first and foremost about the community and UNLV and about enhancing visitation.
“We’re aware of the (Raiders) situation, but that doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be other (NFL) teams interested in Las Vegas. It’s a market for a team. We already have hundreds of thousands of people who come here to watch (sports) on television. It doesn’t take much of a leap to realize people are going to come here to see it live.”
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