The San Diego Chargers cleared another hurdle in their potential move north to Los Angeles.
However, Chargers President and CEO Dean Spanos made a statement saying the team will not relocate in 2016:
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.
The Chargers' eventual arrival in the City of Angels feels almost inevitable. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora noted the team is still expected to make the move, adding that it's just a matter of when.
Bleacher Report's Jason Cole posited a scenario in which Spanos' end goal was keeping the Chargers in their current home:
Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times downplayed the significance of Friday's news:
For all the talk of "negotiations" between the Rams and Chargers, the NFL put the framework for a deal in place earlier this month.— Nathan Fenno (@nathanfenno) January 29, 2016
These weren't back and forth negotiations. Parameters were in place and hadn't changed significantly. The Chargers simply had to decide.— Nathan Fenno (@nathanfenno) January 29, 2016
At the very least, though, this represents a further thawing of the animosity between Spanos and Kroenke, an issue on which ESPN's Jim Trotter reported Jan. 13: "It initially was uncertain whether Chargers owner Dean Spanos would seriously consider the offer because of bad blood between him and Kroenke, stemming from Kroenke's purchase of the 60-acre parcel at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, site of his proposed stadium and NFL village."
This issue remains far from resolved, but the signs continue pointing to the Chargers calling Los Angeles home at some point in the future.