LOS ANGELES: The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers clash Sunday (Monday in Manila) in a meeting of two teams who could be heading to new homes before long, with little optimism offered Wednesday that their current cities can hold onto them.
“We have not made great progress in Oakland and San Diego,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters at the league’s winter meeting in Dallas.
“There is not a stadium proposal on the table that we think addresses the long-term issues of the clubs and the communities.”
Goodell noted that team relocations are “painful” and something the league would rather avoid. But after years of negotiations for new stadiums in Oakland and San Diego it appears time is running out.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay indicated negotiations in both San Diego and Oakland had stalled.
“At this point there is really no reason for optimism in either market,” Irsay said. “I think everything has been done that can be done … right now there isn’t any communication going on.”
Irsay aid he “wouldn’t be surprised” if owner Dean Spanos and the Chargers exercise their option to relocate to Los Angeles before the January 15 deadline given them by the league.
They would join the Rams in a new state of the art stadium being built since the Rams moved from St. Louis back to Los Angeles prior to the 2016 season.
“I think Dean needs to make a decision on what looks best for the Chargers and move forward,” Irsay said. “That option is there and I know as owners that we felt two teams could be supported in Los Angeles, unquestionably.”
The Raiders have been exploring a move to Las Vegas, where Nevada state lawmakers have approved hotel tax legislation aimed at helping finance a 65,000-seat domed stadium for the club.
While officials in Oakland haven’t abandoned efforts to get a new stadium built that would keep the Raiders in northern California, Irsay said that the enthusiasm of officials in Nevada to bring an NFL team there had made an impression.
“It’s a big enough market and it’s a different market than Oakland,” Irsay said of Las Vegas. “There is a real want and real enthusiasm from the powers that be that run that state to have an NFL team there and that goes a long way.”