INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- The San Diego Chargers may join the Rams in Los Angeles and the Oakland Raiders could relocate to Las Vegas, but the "ideal scenario" would be for both of those franchises to remain put, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Rams' new stadium on Thursday.
"If we get our issues resolved in San Diego, and our issues resolved in Oakland, I think that's the ideal solution, frankly," Goodell said. "I think that's what we would all like to see happen. But there's a lot that has to get done in those two communities to get there."
The Chargers' hopes of remaining in San Diego suffered a major setback last week, when the organization received only 43 percent approval for a proposed $1.8 billion stadium and convention center that would have raised hotel taxes in order to secure most of the funding. Two-thirds approval was required.
Now the popular belief is that the Chargers must head north. They have the option of being a tenant in the stadium project in Inglewood, which will open for the 2019 season. As part of the Rams' relocation agreement, approved earlier this year by NFL owners, the Chargers have until Jan. 15 to decide whether they want to join the Rams in Los Angeles as a second NFL team in a market that went more than 20 years without so much as one.
The Rams' stadium project, costing an estimated $2.6 billion, is being built with amenities that can house two teams, Rams COO Kevin Demoff said.
"We follow their progress in San Diego," Demoff added. "I know [Chargers president and CEO Dean Spanos] and [Rams owner Stan Kroenke] talk regularly. Dean keeps Stan updated on their progress, and we have a deal in place for them to come here if they still want to exercise that option by Jan. 15. The ball is really on their court. They can decide what they would want to do. We would welcome them with open arms, and if not them, we'd certainly welcome the Raiders with open arms."
The Raiders would have the opportunity to join the Rams if the Chargers ultimately find a way to stay in San Diego, their home since 1961. Las Vegas approved $750 million in public funds to help build a new stadium for the Raiders, who must now get approval from three-quarters of the NFL owners in order to relocate.
Many believe the Raiders' move to Vegas is inevitable, similar to the Chargers' move to L.A., but Goodell made the NFL's intentions clear.
"We'd love to get something done in Oakland, but if they do file a relocation, we'll evaluate that and make sure that we look at it as far as the market issues is concerned," Goodell told the local media in Los Angeles. "We're very thorough on relocation, as you guys know."