Chargers will play in San Diego for 2016 season, owner Dean Spanos says, but team has “an option and an agreement with the Los Angeles Rams”
The Chargers have reached an agreement in principle with the Los Angeles Rams to share a new stadium in Inglewood, California, allowing them to become the second NFL team moving to Los Angeles — if they want to.
The Chargers have until Jan. 15, 2017, to exercise their option to move, but if they get a stadium initiative approved this year, that deadline could be extended to 2018 to allow for legal challenges or a second election, if necessary, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Chargers owner Dean Spanos released a statement Friday afternoon saying: “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. … 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.”
The Rams officially announced on Jan. 12 that the team will move from St. Louis to Los Angeles for the 2016 season. They will most likely play at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (home of the USC Trojans) until their new stadium is built, which is projected to be in 2019.
Owner Stan Kroenke has proposed to build a $1.86 billion stadium in Inglewood, which is located southwest of downtown Los Angeles. The Lakers and the Kings played at the Forum in Inglewood until both teams moved to Staples Center in 1999. In 2014, Kroenke bought a 60-acre tract in the area, and he later added land where the old Hollywood Park racetrack stood. Last January, he announced plans to build a domed stadium surrounded by an entertainment district.
A week after the move was agreed to by a secret vote of 30-2 among the league owners, the sides began meeting to focus on a deal brokered by the NFL in which the Chargers would be a revenue-sharing tenant in the Inglewood stadium.
The Oakland Raiders were involved in prior talks to move to L.A. but bowed out earlier this month. Owner Mark Davis is now meeting with casino mogul Sheldon Adelson to discuss the potential relocation of the franchise to Las Vegas.
The Rams played in the City of Angels at the Coliseum from 1946 to 1979. They moved a few miles south, to Anaheim, California, in 1980 and then to St.Louis, Missouri, after the 1994 season.
Meanwhile, the Chargers were actually founded in Los Angeles in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League, but they quickly headed south to San Diego the following year and have played there ever since.