Mark Fabiani says Chargers will file for relocation to Los Angeles in January

SAN DIEGO -- Mark Fabiani, point person for the San Diego Chargers on their stadium issue, stated what's been expected here and around the NFL for several months: The team plans to file for relocation to Los Angeles when the league opens the application window in January.

"At this point yes, because there's no sign that the other team or teams are not going to file," Fabiani told The Mighty 1090 AM radio show. "Everyone assumes all three teams will file, and in that case we can't afford to lose our market in Los Angeles and Orange County.

"As you know, 25 percent of our season-ticket business comes from those markets. So we have to be able to protect those markets. That's why as a last resort we went out and created the certain option we now have in Los Angeles. And if everything is moving ahead, we're not going to be standing on the sidelines and watching everything go by. We've got to stay in the game to protect the future of the franchise."

The Chargers, the Oakland Raiders and the St. Louis Rams are all expected to file relocation papers in January, Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney told The Los Angeles Times earlier this month.

Rooney is one of six owners who make up the influential committee on Los Angeles opportunities.

Teams interested in filing for relocation have traditionally been able to do it between Jan. 1 and Feb. 15. Teams are required to receive a three-fourths vote from NFL owners -- or 24 of 32 owners -- in order to be approved for relocation.

NFL owners are scheduled to meet again in Dallas in December.

The league has two Los Angeles proposals on the table.

The Chargers and the Raiders proposed in February building a $1.7 billion NFL stadium in Carson. In January, a developer and a company operated by Rams owner Stan Kroenke unveiled plans to build a $1.86 billion, 80,000-seat stadium in Inglewood, on land he owns near Hollywood Park.

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

With the Chargers set to host the Raiders on Sunday in an AFC West game, Raiders owner Mark Davis was at Chargers Park meeting with Chargers chairman Dean Spanos on Friday, The Mighty 1090 AM reported.

In August, the city and county announced plans for a new $1.1 billion stadium in San Diego that included $350 million in public funds at the current Qualcomm Stadium site at Mission Valley.

The Chargers have maintained that they prefer a downtown stadium alternative over the Mission Valley site selected by San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, but hoteliers oppose an NFL stadium combined with the noncontiguous expansion of the convention center.

Local environmental attorney Cory Briggs and a group of San Diego-area residents crafted a citizens' initiative this week, establishing a way to raise money for the building of a joint-use NFL stadium and convention center expansion that would keep the Chargers in town.

Fabiani said the Chargers are open to that proposal if the league delays relocating a franchise to Los Angeles for another year.

"What Briggs is doing is bypassing the normal process," Fabiani said. "He's doing what we did in Carson, and what Stan Kroenke did in Inglewood. He's going out and gathering signatures to be able to put something on the ballot without the involvement of the mayor or the city council.

"And I think going forward if there's a solution here in San Diego, it's going to have to come from the citizens' initiative process. It's pretty clear at this point the city's leadership doesn't really listen to anything the Chargers have to say."