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Is Los Angeles the Chargers Only Backup Plan?

Proposed San Diego Charger stadium

If they do not receive a new stadium through a November referendum, the San Diego Chargers are likely facing a move to Los Angeles, according to a recent report. 

The issues that Chargers face is gaining voter approval for a new stadium/convention center are well documented. While a pending court case means that the proposal–which calls for a hotel tax increase of 12.5% to 16.5% to cover public funds of a new stadium–will require a two-thirds majority for approval, the concept has also received sour reviews in some corners of San Diego’s business community.

Given those problems, the odds are seemingly against the Chargers. If the initiative does not receive approval, an option from the NFL allows the team to move to Los Angeles and join the Los Angeles RamsThat relocation is something that league sources see as increasingly likely, according to a report from CBS Sports:

It would take a shocking turn of events for this not to be the Chargers’ final opening day in San Diego, sources said, with owner Dean Spanos cutting the best deal he could with [Rams owner Stan] Kroenke in the event he could not get a new stadium built at his preferred location in San Diego. There is a strong sense in the organization that if the Chargers can’t win this vote in November, then they won’t ever win one in San Diego.

“It’s pretty cut and dry,” as one official put it. “There is no unknown solution waiting to surface.”

The Chargers were given first right to execute a deal with Kroenke to share his market in the fallout of the NFL voting forward Kroenke’s stadium plan back in January. If the Chargers failed to exercise their option to move for 2017, which is now looking like a fait accompli, then the Raiders could opt to join the Rams in Los Angeles.

However, it is far from a forgone conclusion the Chargers would play exclusively at The Coliseum. Some in the organization believe the StubHub Center, in nearby Carson, would potentially be preferable to The Coliseum. It could accommodate only about 30,000 fans but would offer a very intimate, close-to-the-action feel, and that will be under consideration by the team as well if it moves.

The question of the margin of approval needed for the team’s initiative to move forward is in the hands of the California State Supreme Court. One possible scenario in which the Chargers could eventually reboot with a similar plan in San Diego is to have the higher court validate a previous ruling from an appellate court, which stated that tax increase proposals from private entities only require a simple majority. Better odds and perhaps a new stadium concept would be one way for the team to relaunch its efforts in San Diego.

However, the Supreme Court’s timeline on the case remains in question, and there is still no certainty that it would rule in favor of the Chargers. Los Angeles would certainly be an immediate option for the Chargers, who could move to the City of Angels two years before a new stadium in Inglewood opens.

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August Publications