HOUSTON -- Now that the San Diego Chargers have some time to decide if they want to be the second team in Los Angeles with the Rams, the city of San Diego is ready to rekindle talks on building a stadium in town.
But it takes two to tango, and Chargers chairman Dean Spanos is still mulling over the resolution to join Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s $1.86 billion facility in Inglewood, California.
“We might get another bite at the apple, but we’re still in a situation where we don’t control the outcome,” said Jason Roe, chief political strategist for San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer. “Now, Stan Kroenke controls the outcome. Our hope is at some point the Chargers wake up and realize that the one place they have a real say in their future is San Diego.”
Along with concerns about the environmental review process, one of the reasons the Chargers have not pursued a $1.1 billion proposal by Faulconer on a stadium deal in San Diego is the belief that a June public vote to unlock $350 million in public funding would not pass.
But with Kroenke holding all of the leverage in Inglewood, the Chargers are forced to take a closer look at the city’s proposal, and Faulconer’s camp believes that with a unified effort, a public vote could pass this year.
“We hope they sober up about this situation and they are ready to negotiate,” Roe said. “We are ready to engage. I think that it’s really up to them.”
As far as winning a public vote, Roe says, the mayor’s office has done polling that shows a public vote for stadium funding would pass in both the June and November elections.
Roe points to the fact that a Republican candidate like Faulconer was elected in a Democratic city like San Diego and is positioned to be re-elected again, with no challengers coming forward at this point.
“We know what we’re talking about when it comes to elections,” Roe said. “And we are supremely confident that we can get this done. We just need the Chargers involved, and the NFL’s support.”
According to the relocation agreement between the two teams, the Chargers have a one-year window that ends on Jan. 15, 2017, to move to Los Angeles as the second team in the Inglewood project. However, the Chargers must decide by March 23 if they plan on playing in Los Angeles or San Diego this year.
The Chargers can extend that option to Jan. 15, 2018, if a referendum for public financing in San Diego is not approved prior to Nov. 15 of this year.
The Raiders are granted a conditional option to accept the second-team opportunity with the Rams, effective the day that the option to the Chargers expires.
The Chargers and Raiders were given an additional $100 million in financial support for a new stadium if they stay in their home markets.