If the San Diego Chargers end up sharing a new Los Angeles-area stadium with the Los Angeles Rams, the NFL shuffle may continue with the Oakland Raiders pursuing a more modest stadium proposal in San Diego.
As you’ll recall, NFL owners approved a move of the Rams to Los Angeles and also gave Chargers ownership a year-long window to join them at both the Coliseum (initially) and then a new Inglewood stadium. If the Chargers stay in San Diego, they can also receive $100 million in NFL funds for a new stadium.
By many accounts, the Chargers will indeed make the move to Los Angeles, but no final decision has been made. That leaves the San Diego market open, and other reports indicate Raiders ownership could pursue a move to San Diego if a new stadium is on the horizon. Stadium efforts in Oakland have completely stalled: there’s a $400-plus funding gap for a new facility at the O.Co Coliseum site, and team owner Mark Davis has been less than enthused about a proposal to build a new stadium in the corner of the current O.Co Coliseum/Oracle Arena sports park. The Raiders also sport an unusual fan base: beside the blue-collar base in Oakland, the team has retained an unusually robust Los Angeles fan base dating from the team’s days there. Add this all together, and a Raiders move to San Diego becomes logical. From the Los Angeles Daily News:
According to sources, San Diego is a very real and viable option for the Raiders. It’s a market the NFL absolutely wants to be in, and one the league is comfortable the Raiders would dominate.
In fact, don’t be surprised if the NFL either waived any relocation fee to facilitate a possible Raiders move to San Diego or set one at a price extremely affordable. Also, the additional $100 million the league promised to the Raiders to go toward a deal in Oakland is expected to be available to them in a move to San Diego….
The stadium needs and visions of Davis and Chargers owner Dean Spanos — or 90 percent of NFL owners for that matter — are different.
Davis isn’t looking to build an extravagant $1.7 billion stadium. He wants a modest, contemporary venue that includes all the bells and whistles and revenue streams of new stadiums around the league. But at a much smaller price tag.
If you’re a San Diego football fan, you’re in a no-lose situation: you win if the Chargers stay or go.
RELATED STORIES: Rams to Los Angeles; Chargers can move, Raiders denied