With less than 24 hours until the deadline for terms to be set, the San Diego Chargers may be headed to the City of Angels. The Chargers walked away from negotiations for a new stadium in San Diego in mid-June. Mayor Kevin Faulconer has said that if the sides haven’t agreed to a term sheet by September 11, there won’t be a special election held to keep the franchise in San Diego.
San Diego has partnered with the Oakland Raiders on plans for a $1.7 billion stadium in Carson if they can’t get new stadiums in their respective home cities. Carmen Policy, who has been hired by both San Diego and Oakland, will spearhead the push to persuade the NFL to embrace the proposed stadium in Carson, California, that the Raiders and San Diego would share. According to a statement reported by NBC Sports, Policy said, “The Chargers and Raiders are committed to Los Angeles.”
Spokesperson for the San Diego mayor, Matt Awbry, in an excerpt from USA Today, explained the seriousness of the matter.
“September 11 is effectively the deadline for a January 12 election. San Diego is prepared to work toward a June or November 2016 election if the Chargers return to the negotiating table to work out a fair agreement.”
Now that the deadline is less than a day away, the fan bases of both San Diego and Oakland are beginning to believe the hype is real. What seemed to be nothing more than a publicity stunt may well be a blockbuster event between San Diego and the Raiduhs.
The biggest enemy in the San Diego negotiation is time. If the Bolts take too long to apply for relocation or if monetary problems arise, San Diego could be faced with no new stadium and loss of revenue from surrounding counties. Orange and Los Angeles counties accounted for 25 percent of the Chargers’ revenue. Taking too long could also result in the St. Louis Rams taking the place of San Diego in the deal. All three teams involved are unhappy with their stadiums and can break their leases without penalty.
San Diego plays in the NFL’s oldest stadium structure, Qualcomm Stadium, which opened in 1967. The Chargers have not been quiet about wanting new digs to strut their stuff. San Diego wants a deal by the end of the year, according to CBS Sports. Taxpayers are not in agreement on whether to contribute to a new building. That disagreement has led to the proposed deal with Oakland for the new facility. The deal must still be voted on by the NFL owners.
Unless last minute negotiations are made, the San Diego Chargers may be loading a truck and heading two hours up the road.
[Photo by Harry How / Getty Images]