NFL in Los Angeles: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation on Raiders and Chargers

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured Columnist

A San Diego Chargers helmet sits on Lambeau Field prior to the start of an NFL football game between the Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers Sunday Oct. 18, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

The NFL officially announced on Jan. 12 that the St. Louis Rams will move to Los Angeles in 2016 and open a new stadium in Inglewood, California, in 2019.

However, despite announcing that they'll remain in San Diego through 2016, the San Diego Chargers' future is cloudy after that.

Continue for updates.

Chargers Focusing Efforts on Building Downtown Stadium

Tuesday, Feb. 23

The Chargers released a statement on their downtown stadium plans:

We agree that, in many respects, the arguments for Mission Valley are compelling.

At the same time, we have considered the potential benefits to both the greater San Diego region and the Chargers of a multi-use stadium/convention center facility downtown. The multi-use facility, when combined with Petco Park, the existing Convention Center, the Gaslamp Quarter, and a revitalized East Village, would create an unparalleled entertainment and sports district that will host Super Bowls and will ideally be a permanent home for Comic-Con and a Comic-Con museum. All of our research demonstrates that voters are more likely to approve a multi-use facility that would generate economic activity on hundreds of days per year, including by attracting major sporting and convention events that San Diego cannot now host. The downtown multi-use facility would also free up the existing Mission Valley site for potential use by educational institutions such as San Diego State University and UCSD, as well as for a large riverfront park.

Raiders Announce Deal with Coliseum

Wednesday, Feb. 11

Raiders owner Mark Davis announced the team has a new lease with O.co Coliseum through next season with options for 2017 and 2018 but added there would be a rent hike involved.

Chargers Will Remain in San Diego Through 2016 Season

Friday, Jan. 29

Team chairman Dean Spanos announced in an open letter to fans that the team will be in San Diego for at least one more season:

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.

Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported earlier Friday that "the Chargers have reached an agreement in principle with the Los Angeles Rams regarding the two teams sharing a stadium in Inglewood."

Acee added that the "Chargers have until January 15, 2017, to exercise their option to move. If they get a stadium initiative on the ballot this year, that deadline could be extended to 2018 to allow for legal challenges or a second election."

Raiders Reportedly Looking to Extend Coliseum Lease 

Thursday, Jan. 28 

The Oakland Raiders are discussing plans to have a short-term lease with the O.co Coliseum for the 2016 season, according to Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com, who added an agreement has not been reached at this time. 

Raiders to Look at Potential UNLV Partnership

Thursday, Jan. 28 

UNLV president Len Jessup sent out a statement Thursday indicating the Raiders would be visiting a 42-acre site in Las Vegas that is owned by the university. The team will look at it as a potential relocation site, according to Jon Ralston of the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The idea of the Raiders locating to Vegas is "very real", according to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole, who added Raiders owner Mark Davis and billionaire Sheldon Adelson have been discussing the idea for two years. 

Chargers Acquire Land in Orange County

Thursday, Jan. 28 

Acee reported the Chargers have obtained land in Orange County.

Vincent Bonsignore provided details on the site from the Chargers, where team headquarters and the practice facility will be built:

Vincent Bonsignore @DailyNewsVinny

#Chargers statement about potential Santa Ana team headquarters site https://t.co/3stuyBIYV2

Rams COO Comments on Negotiations With Chargers

Tuesday, Jan. 26

“The Steve Hartman story is completely false,” Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Hartman, who works for XTRA Sports 1360 in San Diego, originally reported Monday that talks between the two sides had "screeched to a halt" and that it "seems likely" that the Chargers would remain in San Diego for 2016.

Raiders Could Replace Chargers in San Diego

Sunday, Jan. 24

"If the Chargers do move to Los Angeles, the Raiders could move to San Diego for the 2017 or 2018 season," reported ESPN's Adam Schefter, citing a source. "One source this weekend called a Raiders move to San Diego 'very viable.'"

L.A. Mayor Comments on Chargers' Potential Move

Wednesday, Jan. 20

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was asked about the Chargers' potential move to L.A. on the Capital Games podcast on Wednesday and suggested he'd prefer the franchise to stay in San Diego, per Andy Katz of ESPN.com.

"We'd welcome any team to come here, but I love the idea of a great rivalry to the south," Garcetti said. "We wish them luck."

Chargers Apply for Trademark

Tuesday, Jan. 19

Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times reported that the Chargers are already taking steps to move toward a new name:

The Chargers applied to trademark “Los Angeles Chargers” and “L.A. Chargers” two days after NFL owners approved the Rams’ relocation to L.A. last week.

Signed by A.G. Spanos, the Chargers’ president of business operations, the applications seek to cover a sprawling array of products including football helmets, ear muffs and golf balls.

Chargers Move to LA Inevitable

According to NFL Network's Alex Flanagan on Jan. 13, the Chargers were reviewing a stadium proposal, "and barring anything unforeseen, [they] plan on going to L.A." Citing a league source, Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News reported the proposal is the one San Diego received Jan. 12. 

The Chargers proceeded to pump the brakes on those reports in an email Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani wrote to Pro Football Talk, according to Mike Florio:

[Owner] Dean [Spanos'] comments from Tuesday night accurately represent the team's position. Dean will take some time to evaluate the new options that have been created for the Chargers by the owners' vote. No decisions have been made, and no serious review of a proposed framework for a Rams-Chargers deal has yet begun.

However, the Los Angeles Times' Sam Farmer, via Fennocited three sources who said a framework has been in place since the weekend of Jan. 8-10.

The Jan. 12 agreement that solidified the Rams' move included a sequence of options—the first of which put the Chargers in the driver's seat. According to NFL Network on Twitter, the Chargers have first priority on a potential move through Jan. 16, 2017. Should the Chargers decline, the Oakland Raiders would pick up the option to join the Rams in Los Angeles.

If the Chargers stay in San Diego, they'll receive a $100 million subsidy from the NFL toward building a new stadium. They would also save $550 million since a relocation fee would be out of the equation, per Florio. The same goes for the Raiders. 

While the Chargers worked closely with the Raiders to develop a proposal that revolved around the two franchises building a stadium in Carson, California, the joint effort fell flat.

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum has been tabbed as the Rams' temporary home, and it should eventually serve as the Chargers' abode should Spanos decide it's in the franchise's best interest to move up the coast.

Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith wrote on Jan. 13 it appears as if the Chargers will eventually end up in L.A.:

It's unclear whether the Chargers will move to a temporary home in Los Angeles in 2016, as the Rams plan to do, or if the Chargers could stay in San Diego this year. But it sounds like when the new Los Angeles stadium opens in 2019, it will be the home of both the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers.

With closure seemingly on the horizon for the Chargers, it will be fascinating to see how things pan out for the silver and black over the coming months.


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