Chargers: Will they stay or go?

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The NFL’s website reported over the weekend that discussions were underway between the Chargers and Rams owner Stan Kroenke about moving the team to Los Angeles

The deadline for the chargers to accept or reject that LA option is January 15th, but there’s no way to reach an agreement to keep the team here in that short time frame.

If Dean Spanos wants to stay, he will pass on that option or have it extended for another year.

Spanos and the NFL keep saying they want the team to stay but the way this stadium saga has played out so far has left everybody confused about how it gets done.

Earlier this year the mayor had offered a plan in Mission Valley the team turned down. Then the team offered a downtown stadium initiative the voters rejected.

A lot of people felt that vote would bring the stadium issue to an end but Mayor Faulconer saw the vote as momentum for a solution. 

“I remain confident that a solution can be found, obviously continue the dialogue we’ve had with the team.”

That dialogue began right after the vote when the mayor met with stadium point-man Fred Maas. The mayor told me those discussions will continue. He remains confident about keeping the team despite the vote.

“Even after the election was over, folks that were on the other side said it’s important to keep the team here, an openness to sit around the table, let’s work together. That’s the message we’ve delivered to the team.”

Since early this year the team has been playing hard to get —breaking off negotiations on the Mission Valley plan, saying the LA stadium is more financially lucrative than a stadium in Mission Valley, but keeping the LA option as a hole card.

But now there are discussions with the rams about relocation. The mayor is not swayed.

“What we’ve said is the San Diego option is a better option. San Diegan’s have supported the team, It’s an opportunity. It’s never easy on something like this but with the right financial plan, with people working together that’s how you can achieve success.”

That means the most vocal opponents — the downtown hoteliers, and the tourism industry — need to part of coming together.

“With the right plan, the right group of folks together I remain confident that the best solution for the chargers is right here in San Diego.”

The mayor feels there can be a new plan requiring only a 50% vote without a tax increase but there would be public dollars toward a stadium.

“We are losing millions of public dollars now every year at Qualcomm Stadium and we said for the right public private partnership that benefits the city, benefits the community, keeps the team here.”

That 12 million the city is losing could finance a couple of hundred million in bonds to help pay for a stadium. And development at the Mission Valley site, if agreed to, could add more funding, and new taxes to the city.

Categories: Local San Diego News