While the outcome of today’s vote is expected to go against the San Diego Chargers‘ proposed stadium/convention center, the fallout is more complicated.
Pending a court ruling the Chargers’ proposal for a $1.8 billion stadium/convention center that is funded through a hotel tax increase will require a two-thirds majority to pass. On top of that, polling indicates widespread opposition to the planse However, given that the Chargers will consider final results relevant in their consideration over whether to pursue a new stadium in San Diego, Election Day could also yield answers about the futures of the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Rams.
The Rams are already settled in Los Angeles, where they are expected to move into a new stadium in Inglewood in 2019. The Raiders, meanwhile, are still sorting out their negotiations with Sheldon Adelson to move to Las Vegas and questions continue to surround whether they have a viable alternative in Oakland, where officials are trying to attract a private investment group to assist in the construction of a new stadium.
Should their ballot measure fail today, the Chargers can exercise an option to move to Los Angeles and eventually share the Inglewood facility with the Rams. However, if the team wants to reopen talks in San Diego and extends the Los Angeles option, the Raiders could gain some leverage. More from The Orange County Register:
When the Chargers’ L.A. option expires in January it automatically transfers to the Raiders. If, at that point, the Chargers decide they want to give San Diego one more try but not lose their L.A. landing spot in the process, there is a mechanism to extend the option. That would require some form of compensation going to the Raiders.
Here is where it gets interesting.
The Raiders could use that option as leverage to garner support for their Las Vegas interests. It’s widely known the NFL covets the San Diego market, and the Raiders could help the Chargers and the league buy more time there by surrendering their option on L.A. to the Chargers on condition they receive the necessary support for relocation to Las Vegas.
If so, it could mean the Chargers ultimately staying in San Diego – using the threat of moving to L.A. to get a new stadium approved – and that second spot in L.A. being left open for the league to use as leverage for future stadium endeavors across the league.
At this point it is foreseeable that, even if they stay in San Diego for now, that the Chargers will still want Los Angeles on the table. That could give the Raiders leverage, though the team still has to resolve some issues in their continuing negotiations to make a move to Las Vegas more appealing to the NFL.
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