Dean Spanos said the Chargers will play in San Diego in 2016, adding he will work with politicians and others to try to resolve a fight over a new stadium. Down the line, the team has an option to join the Rams in an Inglewood, Calif., stadium.
SAN DIEGO – Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos said Friday the team will play in San Diego in 2016, and he will work with politicians and the business community to try to resolve a long, bitter fight over a new stadium.
Spanos’ statement was posted on the team website shortly after The San Diego Union-Tribune reported the Chargers had agreed in principle to join the Los Angeles Rams in a stadium expected to open in Inglewood, Calif., in 2019.
It also came shortly after Spanos invited San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and County Supervisor Ron Roberts to his home for an afternoon meeting.
A spokesman for Faulconer said Mark Fabiani, who has led the Chargers’ stadium push for 15 years, was not at the meeting. It wasn’t immediately clear if Fabiani, who has attacked Faulconer’s proposals for the last year, will be involved when negotiations resume.
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Spanos’ announcement was a relief to fans who feared the Chargers would leave their home of 55 seasons and join the Rams in Los Angeles in the fall.
Spanos said he hoped the Chargers would remain in San Diego “for the long term in a new stadium.”
“I have met with Mayor Faulconer and Supervisor Roberts and I look forward to working closely with them and the business community to resolve our stadium dilemma,” Spanos said. “We have an option and an agreement with the Los Angeles Rams to go to Inglewood in the next year, but my focus is on San Diego.
“This has been our home for 55 years, and I want to keep the team here and provide the world-class stadium experience you deserve.”
Spanos’ announcement came more than two weeks after NFL owners voted to approve Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s plans to build a stadium in Inglewood, near Los Angeles. A competing proposal by Spanos and Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis to build a stadium in Carson was defeated.
While the owners gave Spanos the first option to relocate to Los Angeles, league officials said the Chargers and Raiders would each get an additional $100 million to try to get new stadium deals in their home markets. That money is in addition to a $200 million loan from the league available to each team.
“We are very supportive of the decision by Dean Spanos to continue his efforts in San Diego and work with local leaders to develop a permanent stadium solution,” league commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.
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