Chargers protecting L.A. interests

SAN DIEGO -- With reports the NFL would like to have one or two teams in Los Angeles within the next two years, the San Diego Chargers could present a potential roadblock for owners looking to move.

While the Chargers remain committed to putting together a proposal for a new stadium in San Diego, the organization also has spent the past two decades building a business base in the Los Angeles area.

With that in mind, the Chargers are keeping a watchful eye on what happens in Los Angeles, with 30 percent of the team's local revenue -- which includes advertising, sponsorships, club seats and suites -- originating in the L.A. market.

Mark Fabiani, special counsel to Chargers president Dean Spanos, and the team's point person on the stadium issue, said San Diego's intention is to continue to protect its business interests in Los Angeles.

Any relocation vote would require three-quarters of the owners to approve the team moving to a different city.

"Allowing another team to move into those markets would be economically harmful to the Chargers, to say the least," Fabiani said. "Especially if it's a team that has voluntarily vacated that market in the past, such as the Rams or the Raiders -- that would be particularly objectionable to the Chargers."

Serving as a backdrop for Fabiani's comments is a recent report by ProFootballTalk.com that, according to a league source, the current plan is that the NFL will send one or two teams back to Los Angeles within the next 12 to 24 months.

League commissioner Roger Goodell addressed that report after the NFL owners meetings in New York on Wednesday, stating that no specific proposal or timeline emerged from the league's perspective for a team to move to Los Angeles.

"I've always been reluctant until we have a solution to project where we are," Goodell said. "There are reasons for optimism, but that can change quickly also. Until we have a solution that we're all comfortable with, and the ownership's voted on it, I'm not going to make any comment whether that's realistic or a high probability or not.

"What we want to do is make sure we're doing the work to evaluate the alternatives, understand those alternatives, and if there's an alternative that makes sense, bring that to the membership. Until we do that I couldn't make any projections about whether we're close or not. To me, at the end of the day it's not about whether we're closer, it's about whether we get there."

That said, three teams potentially remain in play as organizations that could relocate to Los Angeles.

In December, St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke purchased 60 acres of land in Inglewood, California, near Hollywood Park racetrack that could house an NFL stadium.

And Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis has reportedly made inquiries about the possibility of moving to Los Angeles if his franchise cannot get a new stadium deal done in Oakland.

Los Angeles has not had an NFL team since the Rams and Raiders departed for St. Louis and Oakland, respectively, in 1995

Both the Rams and the Raiders have the ability to wiggle out of their lease at the end of this season.

The Chargers also have a year-to-year lease with the City of San Diego for Qualcomm Stadium. The agreement permits the team to terminate the lease at any time between Feb. 1 and May 1 of each calendar year.

The Chargers and the city hope to have a tentative plan for a new stadium emerging by the end of the year. The team and the city would like to place a measure on the ballot for a countywide vote by the November 2016 presidential election.

The Chargers' propose to build a roughly $1 billion facility that could seat as many as 70,000 for Super Bowls.