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Goodell: We’re working to keep NFL in Oakland, San Diego

Los Angeles Rams stadium entertainment district

The NFL is working to keep the Raiders in Oakland and the Chargers in San Diego, even at a time when Las Vegas is wooing Mark Davis and Stan Kroenke is openly keep the door open for Dean Spanos and crew to join the Rams in Los Angeles.

The musical chairs for the three teams should have been resolved since the beginning of the year, but as of now things are only partially clarified, past the Rams moving to Los Angeles for 2016. The Chargers’ situation in San Diego is pretty much the same, albeit with a little more sense of urgency among area politicians. And the Raiders’ situation in Oakland is pretty much the same, albeit with Las Vegas business leaders stepping up to propose a new billion-dollar covered stadium that may or may not host the Raiders.

Adding to the uncertainty: this week, as the NFL prepped for its biggest event of the year, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the issue by saying that the NFL would love to work out new-stadium deals in both San Diego and Oakland. In San Diego, owner Dean Spanos will be meeting this week with San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer and county supervisor Ron Roberts to once again new stadium. Though the talks have been described as cordial, there is a very big divide between the two sides when it comes to vision. The Chargers have been pushing a new stadium on the edge of downtown, near Petco Park and the Gaslamp District, that would also serve as an extension of the city’s convention center. The city and county, on the other hand, have pushed for a less-expensive alternative in the Mission Valley area, perhaps right next to Qualcomm Stadium. The NFL has sweetened the pot with an additional $100 million toward a new San Diego stadium. And Rams owner Stan Kroenke says the terms of a potential move of the Chargers to a new Inglewood are all worked out, giving Spanos an ace in the hole. From AP:

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell pledged Friday “to do everything possible” to help Oakland and the San Diego Chargers work to get new stadiums in their current markets.

“The league supports both of these teams, but we are working very hard with not only the teams, but the communities to try to find a solution that works for everybody,” Goodell said at his annual Super Bowl week news conference. “This has to work for the communities, and it has to work for the teams long term.”…

“I think it’s great that Dean Spanos and his family said, ‘We want to make this work in San Diego,’” Goodell said. “They have an incredibly attractive option in Los Angeles but they decided, ‘We’re going to go and try to make this work in San Diego,’ and we will do everything we can to support that. The same’s true for Mark Davis. Mark Davis has a lot of options.”

Yes, he does, and apparently there’s less resistance to the NFL in Vegas than many assumed; Goodell certainly left open the door for a Raiders move to Vegas, and Mark Davis spoke well of his visit to Vegas last week with billionaire Shelly Adelson, who has proposed a new domed facility for the UNLV football team and possibly the Raiders. Now, there are plenty of obstacles toward a new domed Vegas stadium — funding, the lack of a temporary facility for the Raiders — but the concept is very much alive. From AP:

But no doubt Las Vegas has him intrigued.

Davis said Las Vegas is “absolutely a possible NFL city,” then added:

“Again, there’s timing,” Davis said. “It’s absolutely an NFL city. It’s an international city, it’s a global city. The Raiders are a global brand, so it’s got potential.”

So, to wit: the Chargers could stay in San Diego or move to Los Angeles in 2017, the Raiders could stay in Oakland or move to Las Vegas or move to San Diego if the Chargers end up in Los Angeles or move to Los Angeles if the Chargers end up with a new stadium in San Diego. Such drama! This will be an interesting 11 months before owner meetings in January 2017.

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