Though signs are pointing to a potential move to Los Angeles, the San Diego Chargers have met with San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer.
After deliberating on the proposal, Faulconer eventually backed Measure C–the Chargers’ referendum on a new stadium/convention center that was ultimately rejected by voters in November. The mayor has been clear in his desire to keep talks open with the team, even as the Chargers reportedly take a closer look at moving to Los Angeles.
It has been reported that Faulconer recently met with Fred Maas, a special advisor to the Chargers who joined the team earlier this year. The meeting, which included discussions about the stadium issue, took place earlier this week. More from the San Diego Union-Tribune:
The meeting between the mayor and Maas took place on Monday morning at San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce headquarters downtown, said Craig Gustafson, the Faulconer spokesman.
Gustafson declined to say whether additional meetings have been scheduled.
The Chargers declined to comment on the meeting.
Meanwhile, it seems that the Chargers are continuing to explore the viability of a move to Los Angeles. The team has until January 15, 2017 to exercise an option to relocate to the city. That would allow them to eventually join the Los Angeles Rams at a new stadium in Inglewood (shown above) when it opens in 2019.
If the option to relocate is exercised, there is a possibility that the Chargers would move after this season, thereby avoiding two lame duck years at Qualcomm Stadium. That would mean playing in a temporary venue until the new stadium opens, and it is now being reported that the Chargers are mulling the possibility of joining the Rams and the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Coliseum commission president Mark-Ridley Thomas confirmed the talks to USA Today:
“They had to get ready,” Ridley-Thomas said of the Chargers. “There’s a lot on the line. The health of the franchise is literally on the line.”
To play at the Coliseum, the Chargers would need the Coliseum Commission to change its lease terms with the University of Southern California, which operates the facility. The current lease allows only one NFL team to play there temporarily – the Rams. Adding a second NFL team to the Coliseum would require a lease amendment to be voted on by the commission, whose next regular meeting is Jan. 26.
Ridley-Thomas, an L.A. County Supervisor, said he empaneled a negotiating team to prepare for this possibility many months ago but the matter took on new urgency after the Nov. 8 election in San Diego.
“Earnest conversations are underway among the respective parties,” Ridley-Thomas said. “This is a matter that needs to be given very serious attention. The commission has the capacity to move quickly should it be required to do so.”
Previous reports have indicated that if the Chargers do not desire to be the third tenant at the Coliseum, that the StubHub Center in Carson could be the team’s top option. That facility is home to the MLS’ LA Galaxy.
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