LOS ANGELES: The San Diego Chargers will remain in their current home for the 2016 NFL season and plan a fresh bid to find a permanent home in the city, chairman Dean Spanos said on Friday (Saturday in Manila).
Spanos’s statement came after the Chargers reached an agreement in principle to share the new stadium planned by the Los Angeles Rams in Inglewood.
While a move to Los Angeles could still happen, Dean Spanos said the Chargers still hope to find a new stadium in their current city.
“Today I decided our team will stay in San Diego for the 2016 season and I hope for the long term in a new stadium,” he 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 . . . I am committed to looking at this with a fresh perspective and new sense of possibility.”
National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell said the league was committed to helping San Diego find a new home.
“NFL ownership has committed $300 million to assist in the cost of building a new stadium in San Diego,” Goodell said in a statement.
“I have pledged the league’s full support in helping Dean to fulfill his goal. “
The Rams are slated to return to Los Angeles from St. Louis next season, ending a 21-year NFL drought for the Southern California entertainment capital.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke is planning to build a $1.86 billion stadium complex near the old Hollywood Park racetrack.
Until the new venue is completed the Rams will play at Memorial Coliseum near downtown Los Angeles.
The Rams played in Los Angeles for 49 seasons before moving to St. Louis in 1994. They were one of three teams — along with the Chargers and Oakland Raiders — who applied to relocate to Los Angeles saying their current cities didn’t offer adequate solutions for new stadium development.
Under the terms by which NFL owners approved the Rams’ move to Inglewood, the Chargers have until January 15, 2017, to decide whether to become the second team there.
If the Chargers should decide to stay in San Diego beyond 2016, the Raiders would have a year to exercise an option to relocate to Inglewood.