San Diego Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos announced Friday that his team will remain in San Diego through at least 2016.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 29, 2016
The Chargers were initially in an agreement with the now Los Angeles Rams to relocate to Inglewood next year, but have decided to stay put in San Diego and hopefully find a way to commit to the city beyond the 2016 season.
According to ESPN, the relocation agreement between the Rams and Chargers allots San Diego a one-year window to relocate to Los Angeles as the second team in the Inglewood project. Should the Chargers decide to stay in San Diego beyond 2016, the rights to relocate as the second team in Inglewood would then be granted to the Oakland Raiders.
“We look forward to partnering with the Chargers in Inglewood, but the decision of course is Dean’s to make,” Rams owner Stan Kroenke said in a statement.
The Charger’s starting quarterback, Phillip Rivers, wasted no time in proclaiming his excitement to remain in San Diego after playing what everyone thought was the Chargers final game in San Diego against the Miami Dolphins on December 20.
“Obviously I’m fired up, as I know the guys will be in that building,” he said shortly after the announcement. “Hopefully the fans are as fired up as we are. We get at least one more go out at Qualcomm and in San Diego. It is exciting news, so I am fired up.”
Rivers has spent his entire career in San Diego and had an emotional press conference referencing his connection to the city and its fans after their speculated last home game win against the Dolphins.
The Chargers, and its owners, have been attempting to upgrade their stadium since 2002, and in that time have presented nine different proposals which were rejected by the city due to lack of support and the recession of 2008. The frustration of not being able to lock up a plan for a new stadium during those years resulted in ownership’s flirtation with the move to Los Angeles.
With plans of staying in San Diego beyond the 2016 season, the Chargers gain financial support from the NFL. The league will provide the Chargers with $100 million in financial support for a new stadium should they find a way to stay in their home market along with an additional $200 million as a loan from the league’s G-4 stadium fund.
Goodell: "NFL ownership has committed $300 million to assist in the cost of building a new stadium in San Diego" https://t.co/8RluhxK27r
— #NBC7 San Diego (@nbcsandiego) January 29, 2016
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Chargers have until January 15, 2017, to make a decision on their plans for a new stadium (whether it be in San Diego or elsewhere) leaving almost a year for decision makers to negotiate a deal that team owner Dean Spanos can agree to. The Tribune also notes that should the team and officials approve of a plan and have that plan approved by voters, the deadline could be extended another year to 2018.
— FOX Sports Live (@FOXSportsLive) January 30, 2016
San Diego Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos released a statement directed to Chargers fans on the team’s website Friday regarding the decision to keep the Chargers in San Diego for 2016 and beyond.
“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. “
[Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images]