NFL owners say Chargers unlikely to play in Los Angeles in 2016

HOUSTON -- Representatives of the San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Rams met Tuesday evening and are scheduled to meet again here Wednesday about a deal that would make the Chargers the second team in Inglewood.

However, the prevailing opinion among owners speaking to reporters after they approved Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s proposal to relocate to Los Angeles was that the Chargers likely will play in San Diego in 2016.

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 at the Inglewood project. The Chargers must decide by March 23 if they plan on playing in Los Angeles or San Diego this year.

“The ownership I think personally believes that the project at Hollywood Park was the kind of signature project that is going to help make us successful in Los Angeles for the long term,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “I said this (Tuesday) morning that we’ve been at this for over 20 years.

“We felt that we needed to have the kind of stadium and kind of project that had the vision and had the facilities that would really bring a new kind of fan experience to the NFL and to Los Angeles. We’re very excited about the project that Stan has put together.”

Kroenke offered the Chargers the option of being an owner or a tenant in the Inglewood project.

The Chargers and Raiders were given an additional $100 million in financial support for a new stadium if they stay in their home markets.

“I’m going to take a day off tomorrow [Wednesday],” Chargers chairman Dean Spanos said. “This has really been excruciating for everyone. I’m going to look at all our options. I’m going to take a little bit of time here. We do have some options. It’s very difficult to say right now I’m going to do this or I’m going to do that.”

Although the NFL is negotiating an agreement with the LA Coliseum for teams relocating to Los Angeles as a temporary home, New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch said it’s unlikely the Chargers would play in Los Angeles in 2016.

Tisch also thought the secret ballot was a great idea, which reportedly led to eight owners flipping their vote from Carson to Inglewood.

“Personally, I’m very happy with the result,” Tisch said. “I’ve lived in Los Angeles for 44 years, so I think the Hollywood Park location is great. And I’m very excited.”

Added Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones: “I know this: Dean loves San Diego. He loves the San Diego Chargers. He would like to have a competitive situation -- relative to what he can get done -- that’s on the table right now. We’ll see how that works.”

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, a supporter of the Inglewood project heading into the meeting, also believes moving the Rams to Los Angeles made sense.

“I think we made the right decision,” Ross said. “We’re in Los Angeles, and that’s what everybody wanted.”

Jones floated the plan with the Rams and Chargers partnering on a deal in Inglewood that owners ultimately approved by a 30-2 margin.

“The ownership made the right decision,” Jones said. “It left the options open for Dean, and it left the options open for Mark in Oakland. It left the options open for the NFL. It always was about Los Angeles and what Los Angeles and those great fans that we have out there mean to the NFL.

“It’s such a natural to have the Los Angeles Rams be in Los Angeles.”